Most dogs don’t like mucking about in the rain any more than we do.
But they do require daily exercise and playtime. Because a bored pooch, stuck inside all day, can be a spot-of-trouble waiting to happen.
Here are a few stimulators to help you and your best friend pass the time on a foul-weather day.
1. Indoor fetch. Seems obvious, but does require a soft indoor ball and a clear runway to avoid breakage (lamps, vases, iPads etc.)
2. Play dates. Invite your dog’s best mate over for an hour. You’ll both enjoy the company.
3. Game of ‘freeze’. Grab a few toys and get really silly with your buddy. Then yell ‘freeze!’ or ‘wait!’ and don’t move a muscle. Your pet will eventually catch on. Make sure to stretch out the ‘wait’ period as play progresses.
4. Grooming/massage. Both are great bonding exercises. And it’s not like you don’t have the time. Remember, it’s raining. Here’s a ‘how-to’ video on giving your doggie a sweet massage.
5. Hide the treat. Grab five or so opaque plastic containers/small boxes, space them a few feet apart on the floor, and hide a treat under one of them when your dog’s not looking. Encourage your pet to “find it” and make a huge fuss when he/she stops beside the container concealing the prize. Spread the containers further apart – even placing them in different rooms – as your dog gets the hang of it. You can buy brain puzzles like this Nina Ottosson toy, too.
6. Hide ‘n seek. Spend a few seconds showing your pooch a toy, then hide it in another room and encourage him/her to find it. Give clues (pointing or moving in the general direction of the hiding spot) and be sure to get exited the closer your dog gets to the prize.
7. Teach a new trick. It can be anything, from “roll over” to walking over, under or around a chair on command. Or better yet – how to gather up their toys and put them back in their play box.
8. Set up an indoor rally / obedience course. Then, walk your dog through its paces. Post a variety of training objectives around the room (turn right, turn left, sit, sit down, etc.,) using this printable PDF.
9. Yoga/aerobic exercise. If your dog doesn’t mimic you – many try – he/she will certainly be amused. Lots of fun.
Remember, he/she absolutely loves your company and that’s easily the best gift you can offer your pet on a gloomy day. Just try not to spend too much of it on the couch.