Whether it is pouring outside, a heat wave sweating out the country, or a self-mandated quarantine, keeping your dog entertained while stuck inside the home can be quite challenging.
Our canine companions love their daily walks and know exactly when it is time to break out their leash; pet owners have very whiny and persistent animals on their hands if they are a second late
From the classic tricks to the more complicated puzzles, here is a list for you to keep your pet happy and healthy while staying indoors!
5 Ways To Keep Your Dog Active Indoors
1. Agility and Exercise
High energy dogs thrive off from intense exercise sessions and even the laziest dog can have a sudden burst of energy every now and then. Setting up a designated exercise area for your dog in the house is best so you do not have to keep moving around furniture. Not only that, but you can also keep more valuable items away from the area because we all know how wild dog zoomies can get!
In this area, you can work on small agility tricks like jumping over or crawling under your legs with your puppy pal. Use a low height to avoid muscle strain. Puppy push ups are another great way to keep your canine’s shoulders and core fit. All you have to do is the Sit and Down command, in short repetitions, to do this exercise. Make sure to reward them generously and keep exercise sessions brief by 10 to 15 minutes.
The lack of mental stimulation can leave a pup anxious and fidgety, which can lead to destructive behaviors. These behaviors can include the dog excessively licking or chewing his paws or lashing out on furniture and people. While exercising your pet can tire him out physically, but can it mentally?
Fortunately, there is a service for dog owners called DOGTV, where you can play specially created media for dogs to enjoy while their owners are away. While it might seem strange to have a television channel just for your pet, it is a great way to keep a dog feeling less lonely while you are out and about.
DOGTV might not cater to your pet’s sense of smell, it takes advantage of their sense of hearing and sight. Their videos include soothing music, a variety of noises that are interesting while stress-free, and human voices saying positive affirmations, such as “good boy!” and “yes!”
Using this program is especially good for dogs with separation anxiety as it helps them get used to sounds they might not hear from the comfort of their home. Not only that, it benefits our furry friends by keeping them entertained while us humans work at our desks.
Keeping your pet occupied with puzzles not only helps keep their mind sharp, it keeps their nose and paws working. A variety of different toys allows your pet to have a unique experience with each. Rubber or stuffed toys that are designed with hideaway pockets in them are great for smaller dogs that like to dig for the hidden treats; their smaller mouths make it easier for them to dislodge such treats in a stuffed toy as a larger dog might rip the plushie apart in one go. More complex puzzles with small sliding doors or wobble toys with multiple compartments so treats are difficult to get out are great brain teasers for your pet. They have to work extra hard to solve their treat puzzle, leaving more time for yourself to get chores done.
4. Hide and Seek
This game can be played one of two ways: with treats or people. Depending on how much your dog loves you when compared to food, both versions are great ways to entertain your pup.
• Treat Version
You are going to get their favorite (dry) treat that can easily break up into smaller pieces. Keeping your pup out of the room, hide the pieces in obvious places if this is the first time playing this game with them. Once hidden, allow your dog to smell your treat hand and they will instinctually go to retrieve their food. As this goes on, hide fewer treat pieces in more difficult places (not too difficult because we don’t want any injuries or breakage of valuable items) to create more of a challenge.
• Person Version
Much like the treat version, except you are going to be hiding yourself. Have your canine sit in a different room in the Stay position before hiding yourself in the next room over. Call them out of their Stay position and continuously call them until they find you. If this is the first time playing, make it very easy for your dog to find you the first few times. As you continue to play, call them less and less so they have to find you by scent and where they last heard you, making the game more challenging.
5. Learning New Tricks
The tried and true way of keeping a dog entertained is through teaching. Going over learned tricks to keep up with their manners is a good place to start before heading into more complex commands. You can also assign hand commands with verbal commands so that you can signal to them through visuals only to Sit, Stay, or Lay Down. Keep these training sessions short (5 to 10 minutes) as some dogs can become frustrated easily when learning something new.
How will you keep your dog entertained while you are away at work? Also, how will you keep your dog entertained when you are now a remote worker because the coronavirus has you making the switch? We suggest turning on DOGTV — it’s a great companion whether you’re home or away!
Guest post by: John Woods, founder All Things Dogs, Dog Breeds, Training and Behavior