When the weather is gloomy, it may be hard to know how to keep your dog entertained and having fun. Dogs need exercise and stimulation, rain or shine. Taking your canine friend for a short walk in the rain is fine, but what else can you do together? In this article, we're going to cover some fun indoor-friendly games and activities you can do with your dog when the weather is less than ideal, so keep reading!
ACTIVITIES AND GAMES TO PLAY INDOORS
This game is a classic and a great one that you can easily play indoors, no matter how much or how little space you have! All you need is a dog tug toy like the JW Giggler (shown above) that your pup can easily hold in its mouth. If you don't have any toys, consider an old rag or blanket that you won't mind being chewed and pulled on.
Some owners may worry that playing tug-o-war may cause their dog to start acting more aggressively. However, this is not the case! Tug-o-war is actually a great game that will challenge them physically and mentally. Some studies have even suggested that playing tug-o-war with your dog will help them to become more obedient and confident. Just be sure to stop the game if your dog ever starts biting at your hand, especially if you're playing with a younger puppy. This will teach them that this behavior is not appropriate.
2. DOG TRAINING
Have you ever heard the saying "you can't teach an old dog new tricks?" This is false! No matter what age your dog is, a great way to spend time bonding and interacting with them is learning some new skills! In fact, older dogs may actually be easier to teach than young puppies since they're less energetic and may be better at focusing and following commands.
What are some fun tricks you can work on at home? Teaching your dog to shake is always a great place to start! If you've mastered this, you can move on to high fiving. Other fun ideas are teaching your dog to recognize their toys by name, weave between your legs, or even turn on the lights (if they're tall enough)! There are plenty of dog training tools you can use to assist you in your training sessions as well.
3. NOSE WORK GAMES
Another great rainy day activity is any kind of nose work game! What does "nose work" mean? This is any game or activity that involves the dog using its sense of smell. There are many benefits to having your dog practice their nose work skills. It allows them physical and mental stimulation, helps them gain confidence, and gives them a fun and rewarding job to do!
One great nose work game is "find the treats." This game involves you hiding treats around your house and allowing your dog to find them. You may want to start small and easy, sticking to one room and not putting them in any challenging spots. However, as the game progresses, you can make it increasingly difficult by hiding the treats in other rooms or places that you think may be harder for your dog to find. You'll also want to teach your dog a command such as "find it!" or "find the treat!" so that they know when they can start searching.
4. OBSTACLE/AGILITY COURSE
Just because your dog can't play outside doesn't mean they can't get a little exercise indoors. Try setting up an obstacle course or agility course in your home if you have the space. You don't have to make it elaborate – just something that your dog will be able to enjoy! You can use items around your home such as boxes, broomsticks, couch cushions, and chairs that your dog can easily jump over, climb under, and weave around. Just be sure that you allow enough space for your dog so that he or she doesn't crash into anything or knock anything over!
5. INTERACTIVE TREAT TOYS
One more great idea for keeping your dog entertained on rainy days is giving them a new interactive treat toy to play with, like the JW Twist-In Treats (shown above)! These are great for pet owners who are a little busier and want something that will keep their pet entertained while they can get some work done. These toys are essentially puzzles that your dog has to try to solve to get to their treat. There are many different types of interactive treat toys, so grab a few for your pet to try out! Just be sure to keep an eye on how much they're eating so that you don't accidentally overfeed them.
Don't let bad weather get in the way of having fun – there is plenty you can do indoors. The next time it rains, try out one of these fun activities or games with your dog! They will not only keep your pet happy and entertained, but it will also allow you to spend some great bonding time together.
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