With the wet season upon us, one of the most challenging things dog owners will face is how to get their dog’s energy out during a rainy day. There are great indoor activities you can do to not only keep your dog mentally stimulated, but help to expend some of that excess energy that can often lead to destructive behaviors.
Use the Nose. Nose games are a great way to expel extra energy, both mentally and physically. Pick your dog’s favorite toy or treat, and “hide” it in in a relatively conspicuous area. Send your dog to find the object and reward them when they reach their target. As your dog gets better at the game, start by hiding items in separate rooms where they are visible. Encourage them to use their nose to search out the object. You can increase difficulty by hiding the object in more challenging places like cupboards, in areas with additional rewards like other toys, or in outdoor areas, assuming weather permits!
Food. Interactive food based toys are a great way to keep your dog busy. Any type of puzzle toys helps your dog learn how to use their brain to obtain a reward. A great way to make your own is to take water bottles, remove the labels and the tops, and string them together towards the top end and tie them off so they hang. Place treats at the bottom of the bottles, and your dog will have to figure out how to turn the bottles upside down to get their snacks out!
“Place treats at the bottom of the bottles, and your dog will have to figure out how to turn the bottles upside down to get their snacks out!”
Tricks. Teaching your dog new tricks is also a great way to keep not only your dog, but yourself entertained on those cold, wet days! Create a list of fun tricks you’d like to do with your dog. YouTube is a great resource for some fun, unique tricks with visual examples to help get you on your way.
The key to maintaining your sanity and your dog’s during the winter seasons is ensuring they have things to keep themselves busy! Get creative with ways to engage your dog and work them both physically and mentally, and enjoy the pleasures of having a well-worked pooch!
Marie Aymard joined the Bay Area K9 Association after years of working with dogs in San Francisco. She has experience working with dogs of all sizes and temperaments and is driven to help each and every dog reach their highest potential. Her background is in psychology and animal assisted therapy.
If you enjoyed this post, you should read “Never Say This To A Dog Owner” here.
Do you have any cold weather tips to keep your dog (and you) sane? Share below!