The “dog days of summer” might be over, but that doesn’t mean your dog’s need for play is done, too. If anything, spending more time indoors can leave your dog with pent-up energy that could end up manifesting in increasingly destructive ways. If you have noticed your dog has been barking more, chewing more, or displaying anxious behavior, it might be time to evaluate their routine and add some new entertainment options.
Mix it up
When was the last time you got your pup a new toy? Dogs love new toys as much as anyone else, so treat your pup to something new the next time you need to visit the pet store. Instead of getting the same-old same-old, mix it up with something completely different. If you usually give your dog rope toys or squeaky toys, offer a puzzle or food-dispensing toy to stimulate your pup’s brain.
Being stuck inside all the time isn’t that much fun for a pooch or its “pawrents.” Tell your dog to “sit” and then go hide elsewhere in the house. When you are properly hidden, call your dog and give them a little bit of time to find you. Call them again after a few moments, and give them a little more time. Keep calling them until you find them, and remember to give them lots of praise upon the reunion. Play a few more rounds of hide-and-seek but quit before your dog tires of it. Conversely, you can also play, “I’m going to get you” while trying to “get” your pup.
Try some shell games or mix it up
You might be familiar with the shell game, in which a small object is placed in one of three identical containers. This game is often played with gamblers, but you can play it with your pup, too. Hide a treat under a container while your dog is in a “sit” position. Then have your dog find the treat, and when she does, praise her and give her the treat. Then practice by switching the containers in which the treat is hidden. Once she has mastered this skill, hide your keys under one of these containers, and when she finds your keys, toss a treat into the room. Transfer your scent onto a piece of leather or canvas that you attach to your keys and hide your keys until your dog finds them. Reward your dog with a treat. Remember to quit playing the game while your dog is still engaged so that they don’t get bored and are eager for the next session.
Create an obstacle course
While we think of obstacle courses as outdoor events, you can set one up inside on days that are too cold and snowy for outside fun. Take a few chairs, a ball, a hoop, a blanket, and anything else you can imagine to create a fun and flexible obstacle course for your active pup. Tailor it to your dog’s physical ability and make it more fun than work so that you will both enjoy the process. Don’t use anything that you don’t want your dog to jump on later, such as a table or the kitchen counter: Our dogs are smart, but they aren’t necessarily capable of understanding context! Make sure to praise your pup and keep things light and fun.
Party at a playdate
Chances are good that your dog has a few puppy friends. Maybe it is time to invite those furry friends over for a puppy playdate. If your space isn’t big enough or you don’t have enough activities to keep everyone active and engaged, consider heading on over to Playful Pack. At Playful Pack, we have everything your pup needs to stay mentally and physically happy and healthy this winter season. With lots of fun activities, a spacious puppy playground designed specifically for dogs, and a team of dog-loving staff ready to play all day long, what more could you and your pup want?
Contact our team today to find out more or to schedule a visit to our indoor dog daycare facilities.