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10 Rainy or Snowy Day Indoor Activities For Dogs

http://awentherapy.com/two-therapists-talking-t-shirts-be-the-first/ February has not been kind when it comes to weather. Here in Georgia, the weather has been dreary and cold—it’s been cloudy and/or raining most of the month. Other areas have it much worse, and I know many folks who’ve been inundated with snow for weeks now, or stuck indoors because it’s just so cold outside!

visit this page Unfortunately, our dogs don’t tend to change their energy levels when play time or walk time is hampered by enormous snowdrifts or torrential downpours. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, your dog has to find a way to release his excess energy—and hopefully not in a way that includes chewed shoes. So when the weather is looking rough and your pup won’t stop begging for playtime, here are some indoor activities for dogs you can turn to.

Learn Some New Tricks

A rainy afternoon can be the best time to brush up on tricks your dog already knows, or to teach them a few new tricks they might not know. All you need is a handful of treats, and an idea of what you want your dog to learn. Here are ten great trick ideas to get your started, and another six trick ideas you may want to consider for a reactive dog.

Try Out Scent Work

Your dog’s nose is extremely powerful, and doing scent work at home is a great way to get your dog’s mind working on using that sense to the fullest. How do you do scent work at home? You play find the treat! Put your dog in another room, then take a few treats (the stinkier, the better, to start off with) and hide them in spots your dog can reach, or places they can stick their nose into. Release your dog, and give him a cue like “find” is you’re hoping to turn this into a regular game. The cue will eventually teach your dog that it’s time to use that nose! At first, you may need to lead him a bit, but eventually he’ll learn the game.

This kind of scent work is not the same as professional scent work, where dogs are trained to seek out a specific smell. To do that kind of scent work, you’ll have to contact a professional!

Play Hide & Go Seek

Playing hide and go seek works on the same premise as the find the treat game, except you use toys instead of treats. Show your dog the toys you’re hiding, then put him in another room while you hide them. If he already knows the cue to “find” then this game will work along the same lines as before. If not, you may need to lead him as he discovers the game.

If your dog has a very good grasp of stay, and can do it for a longer period of time, you can play hide and seek with people too! Give your dog the stay command, and go hide in another room, then let them come find you! Be warned: dogs are pretty great at hide and seek.

Run An Indoor Agility or Obstacle Course

With a few props, you can create an indoor agility course for your dog to go through. This works their body, and their mind. Set up some chairs for them to weave around, or to crawl under. A broom set between two chairs can work as a pole to jump over. For smaller dogs, you can use ottomans for them to jump on and give a sit, the possibilities are up to you!

Play Keep Away

If you’re not interested in setting up an obstacle course, and there are two people in your house, you can get a great game of keep away going with your pet. Take a soft toy that you’re comfortable throwing in the house, and throw it back and forth between the two of you, letting your pup run the distance each time. Usually, we’ll play this game with a few toys, making Topher perform some commands before he “wins” a toy. While he plays with his prize for a few minutes, we find another toy and become interested in it instead. When he follows suit, the game begins again.

Teach Them Take It, Drop It

If it’s just you and your pup in the house, you can play a game with just the two of you and teach some new commands at the same time. The “take it” and “drop it” commands are two great tools to have in your list of dog tricks, especially when it comes to initiating or finishing play time. Here’s a great video from Victoria Stilwell on how to teach these two commands in the form of a game.

Give Them A Puzzle

Puzzle toys are a great way to keep your dog busy if you’re busy with something else. When it comes to getting your dog interested in a treat ball or a puzzle toy, you might have to use some pretty enticing treats. Some dogs, like Topher, will take any treat and always go after  puzzle toy if there’s something in it. Others won’t be interested in the challenge, so you’ll have to interest them into working the puzzle by using a higher value treat.

Don’t have a treat ball? There are ways to make puzzle toys at home. Hide treats under an upside down muffin tin, inside plastic bottles, wrapped up in blankets, or inside cardboard boxes. It doesn’t need to be fancy, it just has to keep them a little busy!

Make Mealtime A Challenge

If your dog does enjoy a good challenge, consider making their meal more of a challenge to get them working. Sometimes we’ll put Topher’s food inside a two liter bottle with holes cut in it, and Topher spends the next hour working for his dinner—rolling the bottle across the floor as kibbles drop out of it. You can hide their food in bowls around the house for them to sniff out, or meter it out via treat balls.

Make Some Homemade Treats

Okay okay, this suggestion may not make your dog tired, but it’s a nice activity to do when it’s gross outside, and your dog will love you for it. Plus, we have a variety of super easy treats, that you probably already have the ingredients for.

Give Up And Go Outside

Sometimes, if you can’t beat ’em, you join ’em. Put on that raincoat (or parka) and just go play in the rain. Sure, everyone may need a bit of a shower afterwards, but even ten or fifteen minutes of active play time outside can make a world of difference in your dog’s energy level. And then you can both take a nice nap.

Lucy Bennett

Lucy is a writer, artist, and Hufflepuff currently living in Atlanta, Ga. When not making things, she enjoys costuming, tabletop games, and digging in the dirt.

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