It’s raining outside.
You’re having a duvet day.
You need to do the housework.
For whatever reason, sometimes we just stay in. At times like these, it’s still important to make sure your dog is being entertained to replace lost walkies time and prevent him from becoming frustrated.
Below is a great list of things you can do indoors to keep your dog both entertained and engaged. They are interactive, look after your dog’s welfare and best of all, let you stay in your pyjamas if you want to.
Yes, toys! In fact, it doesn’t need to be a toy. Old cardboard boxes, balls of scrunched up paper or a water bottle filled with rice will do just as well.
To really keep your dog entertained, make sure you rotate toys on a daily basis so boredom doesn’t set in. Try hiding toys in a cardboard box with towels over the top so your dog has to work for playtime!
2. Dog Treats
Or, as we call them, t-r-e-a-t-s because saying the word out loud immediately results in a VERY excited dog.
Treats will totally engage your dog. Make your dog sit outside a room whilst you hide treats, use them as rewards for following commands or buy a treat dispensing toy for them to play with. There is nothing more persistent than a dog worrying a ball that leaves chewy morsels in its wake.
Chewy, rubbery and robust, Kongs are great at entertaining dogs for longer periods. Freezing peanut butter inside a Kong gives your dog a lovely dogsicle to keep him occupied for hours at a time.
Alternatively, use them for a game of bouncy fetch!
4. Play Dates
Doggy play dates are excellent for entertaining your dog. If you have neighbours or friends with a pooch, invite them over for a catch up and let your dogs chase and play with each other until their heart’s content.
Play dates are also a pretty self-sufficient way of engaging your dog, meaning that you can interact with them as much or as little as you like.
Grooming is a great way of engaging with your dog. Why not go a step further and give him a home spa day?
A bubble bath followed by a pedicure and hairdo will give you ample opportunity to interact, even if the main entertainment for him comes from seeing you in wet clothes and covered in dog hair.
Indoor training is a great way to keep your dog entertained. Training never finishes for dogs and even basic commands can always be worked on more.
Mental activity is just as engaging as physical activity for dogs, with as much effort being spent on 10 minutes of thinking as a 20 minute walk. Wear your dog out by teaching him new tricks, no matter how old he is.
7. Doggy Music
Music made FOR dogs, not BY dogs, that is. How bad would that be?
There is a big range of different podcasts and music albums made specifically for your dog. Some relax and calm using pan pipes and gentle river sounds whilst others make your dog’s ears prick up in interest at the sounds of birds chirping, doorbells, dogs barking and ice cream trucks.
Quite often, the tracks can be better than what is in the charts so there’s nothing stopping you getting down and boogying with your buddy on your own indoor dance floor.
8. Hide & Seek
This is great fun and a brilliant way to get your dog moving and thinking at the same time. Make your dog stay or wait somewhere whilst you go and hide yourself behind the curtains for him to sniff out.
A word of warning though, only do this if your dog has smarts or you could find yourself sitting in an airing cupboard for two hours.
No, I’m not talking about sticking a retro Jane Fonda workout VHS on the TV to entertain your dog for an hour (mainly because dogs in leotards NEVER look great).
Instead, playing tug of war gives your pal a good chest, jaw and shoulder exercise session. A game of fetch will tire out those legs and general jumping, bounding and twirling around the house with your dog will give BOTH of you a workout and is plain good fun.
Petting and hugging is a great form of entertainment for both you and your dog. Most dogs love being stroked or tickled or having raspberries blown on their tummies. Maybe that last one is just mine…
A fabulous way to step it up a gear is to give your dog a massage. Not only can this calm a frustrated dog but it also gives you the opportunity to have a good feel around and spot anything out of the ordinary.
There are a multitude of ‘how to’ guides out there on how to massage a dog and you never know, perhaps YOUR dog will be the first one to learn how to do it back! Or maybe not.
There you have it. A list of great things to do with your dog indoors to keep him happy, entertained and engaged. Most of them won’t cost you a penny, can take as long as you like and all will make you closer to your best four legged friend.
Image credits: Paul via Flickr
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