Author: Jessica @TheCBDGlobal
During the winter months or when you’re restricted to going outside, perhaps during the lockdown, a trip to the park might not be an option for you and your dog. All dogs need exercise for both physical and mental stimulation and to prevent destructive boredom behaviors from setting in.
Luckily there are plenty of wholesome indoor playtime activities that you can do with your pet that will keep him busy and entertained without wrecking your home!
Tug toys are inexpensive to buy, simple to use, and provide plenty of fun and exercise for your dog in a relatively small space. You can even make your own tug toys from old T-shirts and knotted towels.
Before you begin, be sure to move anything breakable to a safe location just in case!
Hunt The Treat!
Most dogs are motivated by the prospect of a food reward. So, your pup will love a game of hunt-the-treat! This game is particularly popular with scenting breeds such as Beagles.
Begin by letting your dog see where you hid the treat, and let him grab it. Next, hide the treat in a different room and let your dog look for it. Remember, this is a scenting game, so you need to use very strongly scented treats.
Obstacle courses are excellent if you have limited space but you still need to exercise your dog.
You can use a staircase if you have one, items of furniture, pillows, and open-ended boxes that the dog can run through. Create jumps, tunnels, and even a maze for your dog to negotiate.
Dogs of all sizes and breeds can enjoy this game from tiny terriers to larger flat coat Goldendoodles. Use treats and positive reinforcement to encourage your dog and make the activity fun for both of you.
Teach Your Dog To Tidy His Own Toys Away!
Intelligent dog breeds can be trained to return their toys to a toy box once playtime is over for the day.
Although it sounds impossible, it’s actually pretty easy to train your dog to tidy his own toys away. That’s a fun game for your pup that saves you the job, too!
Food Puzzle Games
Here’s another food game that dogs love to play.
You can buy interactive food puzzle games or make your own. These games encourage your dog to hunt and work for his treats leaving you free to get on with something else. Food puzzle games are also excellent cognitive toys that encourage your dog to think and can keep a bright pup busy for hours.
Use A Treadmill
Many people own a treadmill so that they can do some exercise without leaving the comfort of their own home. So, if you’re stuck at home, why not incorporate walking, your dog with your own exercise regimen?
Until your pet gets his head around walking on the treadmill, you might have to keep him leashed and encourage him with treats. Some dogs can learn to use the treadmill without their owners, but you must never leave your dog unsupervised.
The Shell Game
The shell game is another problem-solving game that involves using treats to encourage your dog to use his sense of smell for a reward.
You need three paper cups and some small treats. Hide a treat under one cup without your dog seeing where you’ve put the reward. When the dog uses his sense of smell to locate the treat, lift the cup and allow your pet to take his prize
Training your dog is a brilliant way to keep him mentally stimulated and helps to strengthen the bond between you.
Dogs usually regard training as a game, so teaching your dog some basic commands is the ideal way to amuse your pet on a day when you can’t go out. Once the basics are in place, you can begin teaching your dog new tricks, such as lie down, roll over, high five, and the like.
(Image by Andre Noboa; source: unsplash.com)
Word Association Games
If your dog has a selection of small toys, you can teach him what each toy is called by using word association.
Dogs are very quick to learn words, such as “dinner,” “walkies,” and of course, their name. So, you can teach your dog the names of his favorite toys, too. Once your pup knows the toy’s name, you can send him to find the toy and reward him when he brings it to you.
Wash And Brush Up!
When playtime is over, why not treat your pampered pooch to a grooming session? Most dogs love attention, and regular brushing can help to reduce shedding, too.
You might also want to take the opportunity to bathe your dog so that he’s fresh and sweet-smelling at least for a little while before he gets to go out and roll in the mud again!
There may be times when you can’t take your dog outside to play, either because of the weather or for other reasons, such as local lockdowns. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun and exercise your pet without even leaving your home.
All the above-mentioned activities also help with training your dog and, once playtime is over, you can cuddle up together and enjoy some quality snuggle time!