There are lots of ways we can keep our dogs busy inside the house and rotating these ideas will keep things exciting and entertaining for our pets. From toys, to long lasting treats, to interaction with us we can find a way to tire them out for a day without needing the great outdoors.
There are several very cool puzzle inspired toys to offer your dog on days where you can't get them outside enough. The toys I am about to discuss are thinking toys, which means even though they are fun to play with, they require the dog to think about how to play with them. This mental stimulation is the key to tiring your dog out when they need to stay indoors for the day.
The Kong Wobbler is another fun puzzle toy, which encourages the dog to bump and knock the toy around in order to get the treats out. Once they figure it out, they can be entertained with this cool toy for quite awhile! Not only is it a treat puzzle toy, but it is also simply fun to play with! Dogs love batting it around, nose bumping it and making it roll!
Kong also has it's famous classic kong toy, which is a red or black rubber toy with the center hollowed out. This toy is best used when a liquid or pureed food is stuffed inside and frozen. Take peanut butter and yoghurt or cottage cheese and some broken freeze dried liver treats, fill the kong and freeze it! Freezing the kong will keep the dog working at the toy for quite awhile! This is a great opportunity to get some healthy probiotics in your dog while entertaining their nose and bellies!
The best kind of mental stimulation can come from training, so teach your dog a new trick or work on formal obedience in the house. Spin, shake a paw, formal heeling, perch work and similar complicated exercises will be both rewarding and entertaining!
There is a game called "find it" that you can teach your dog and use to entertain each other on a day indoors. You will take one of your dog's favourite toys and put all of the others away. Keep your dog in another room and hide the toy, then release your dog and tell him to "find it". The goal is to teach your dog to use his nose and eyes to find the toy, and the reward for doing so is either a treat or playing with you and the toy. Start off with very easy finds, where your dog can easily see it and get it. Then reward your dog immediately, making the reward fun and intense so that he knows if he finds it he will get a really exciting reward.
Even though we may not be able to provide our dogs with adequate exercise outside every day out of the year, we can always find ways to provide mental stimulation and a light version of exercise that will keep them happy and balanced. While there is no true equal substitute for physical exercise outdoors, we can make those days we are stuck inside the home enjoyable for our canine companions.
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