Now more than ever, we’re spending more time indoors and so are our dogs. Keeping your dog fit is not only important for their health but it could save you needing to claim on your pet insurance.
So how can you keep your dog entertained while they’re indoors? We look at the best ways to keep your pet entertained—so they don’t resort to destroying the sofa.
Keep Your Dog Stimulated
Keeping your dog stimulated will help to tire them out and stop any behavior associated with boredom. You could try brushing up on their training – can they still sit on command? Do they walk well on the lead? You could even try teaching them something new like roll over, shaking a paw or waving. There are handy tutorials for these kinds of training exercises online.
If you’ve got a puppy, it’s a great idea to use this time to get them clued up on the basic commands and work on their toilet training. If you’re training your dog, try and fit it in before breakfast or dinner. They’ll be hungrier which means they’ll be more interested in your treats.
Only train your dog for a short time, around 10-15 minutes is suffice. That way they’ll be able to absorb everything you’re teaching them.
Then there are always games! Most dogs—puppies especially—will love to play. If they’ve exhausted all their usual toys, you could try making some out of household objects. For example, create a scent trail. Hide treats in different areas around the house and send your dog to go and find them.
You can make toys out of cardboard toilet roll tubes. Here’s a couple to start with:
- Put some treats in a loo roll tube and scrunch each end together so it’s closed. It should look a bit like a Christmas cracker. Give it to your dog and they’ll spend a while getting to the treats inside. Just a warning, this could make a mess!
- Use an old cardboard box and place the tubes upright in the box. Place a few treats in one of the tubes. Make sure there’s enough room in the box for your dog to move the loo rolls around and find the treats.
If you don’t want a living room full of cardboard tubes, you could try freezing some of your dog’s favorite treats in ice. They’ll appreciate this in hot weather. Depending on how much space you have, you could even try challenging your dog with some indoor agility sessions. Or take this out into your garden if you have one. When you’re playing with your dog, make sure you’re staying safe and avoiding any potential accidents.
Chews and Toys
If you’re not feeling creative, something simple like a delicious dog bone or even a tasty pig’s ear can keep your dog busy for a while. A good game of tug of war is always appreciated too. Food puzzles are another great way to keep your dog entertained. Fill the puzzle with your dog’s favorite treats or even their dinner. As your dog plays with the toy, food slowly comes out.
As much as our dogs need stimulation, they need quiet time too. For some dogs, they’d get this during your working hours. Make a den or quiet space for your dog to snuggle down in. This could be a good project for children. While your dog is in the den, give him some space. If you or your children want to play with the dog, try and encourage him out with a toy. If your dog doesn’t want to come out, just leave him to it.