During the winter months, keeping your pooch happy and entertained is no mean feat, that’s for sure. The cold winds and icy roads can stop us from embarking on our usual long walks, meaning that your dog will need other distractions if they are to remain happy.
When canines spend a lot of time cooped up indoors, it makes them more sedentary by nature, which can result in them gaining excess weight, as well as even becoming depressed.
To keep this from happening, we’ve compiled a list of things that you can do to keep your dog busy and having a jolly good time.
Play games indoors
You can play fetch with your dog in the basement or in the hallway - or any large room in your house that allows them to pick up some speed.
You can also play tug of war with your pup within the confines of your home - this requires minimum space, which is great if you live in an apartment.
You can hide small treats all over your home and coax your dog to go find where these are hidden. You can also play ‘Hide and Seek’ as most dogs love this simple yet effective game, not to mention it will also strengthen your bond with your beloved pet.
Another benefit is that your dog will follow your commands more effectively, so this one is definitely worth a shot.
You can also make your dog play chase within the house by tying a soft toy at the end of a rope and pulling it across the floor. Much like cats love this sort of toys, you’ll find that dogs are also pretty fond of this insanely simple game too.
If your pooch is young and healthy and doesn’t have any issues related to their hip, you can throw a toy or a ball to the top of your stairs to give them their fair amount of exercise. Just pay attention to their energy levels and make sure that you aren’t overdoing it.
Invest in a dog-friendly treadmill
If you have a treadmill at home, it will work perfectly for your dog providing you are there to observe them to ensure they don’t sustain an injury. To keep your dog in a fit and healthy state, getting them to hop on the treadmill is a fantastic idea.
You can gradually increase the speed if they seem to be enjoying themselves and they may even end up running on it. But remember to increase the speed slowly.
Don’t tether your dog to the treadmill at any point or compel it to keep walking when it’s clear they are no longer enjoying the experience. If your dog doesn’t enjoy the treadmill, find an alternative form of exercise.
Training and tricks
Experiment with some new training methods or continue practising commands you have already previously taught your dog. Teaching your dog some new tricks is a great way to keep your pet entertained, but it has the added benefit of better behaviour too.
If your dog has mastered the basic tricks already, try teaching it a new one. For instance, you can teach it to pick up its toys and place them all in a basket. Whilst it might take a little time to teach this one, you’ll reap the benefits at a later point. That’s for sure.
Most dogs find it exciting to learn something new, not to mention it’s a great way to bond with your pup. If you are looking for ways to form a better bond with your dog, invest your time into regular grooming sessions.
Doga is catching on real fast as it helps individuals to strike a balance between their relationship with their doggo and their workouts. So for the fitness freaks out there, this one definitely comes recommended.
As the name suggests, doga is practising yoga with your dog, either as your partner or as a prop. While dogs might not be adept at performing all the poses, its an activity that you can do together and surely enjoy.
Gyms for dogs
Dog gyms are gaining popularity all over the world. You can enrol your pooch in a gym that’s closest to you and be rest assured that it is getting its daily dose of exercise.
These gyms have a variety of activities that will keep your dog on its feet. Some dog gyms have indoor dog parks and swimming pools too! They’ll barely be able to keep their eyes open by the time they are finished.
Outings with your pooch
Scout for dog-friendly stores in your local area and have a doggie’s day out hopping from place to place.You can visit pet stores and buy a new set of dog clippers for your four-legged buddy.
Look for any dog related events that might be happening indoors nearby - you might even find your precious pet discovers its new best friend.
Doggie daycare is perfect if your dog gets along with other dogs pretty well, not to mention it’s a great option to keep your dog fit and active in the cold months.
Be sure to tour the daycare centre first so that you know your dog will be comfortable in the space. In fact, if your dog struggles to be around other dogs then it is worth trialling doggie daycare as socialising with other dogs is often the answer to this common problem.
There’s no end of ideas when it comes to having fun with your dog indoors and these tips are a great place to start! To find out more about how we can be of help, get in touch with our friendly team today.