With spring finally here you can finally start heading out to the beach or park for a picnic and nice game of fetch with Fido. While there are sure to be sunny skies ahead, there’s also bound to be days when the clouds roll in and you are stuck inside with your pooch looking for something to do. Don’t let Mother Nature stop you and your pup from enjoying the day. Read on for 10 Clever Rainy (or Snow) Day Activities to Keep your Dog Busy!
1. Brush up on those command basics. Spend some quality time with your pup working on those basic commands; sit, stay, heel, down, come, off, and no. Entice your dog with treats and turn training into a game.
Spend 15 minutes a few times in the day to work on these basics. It will stimulate your dog’s brain and give him something to do.
2. Play a classic game of tug of war. Does your dog find joy in exercising her jaw? Then break out the good and trusty rope toy for a game or two of tug of war. It is a great way for you to get an arm workout in while stimulating your dog’s brain and tiring her out.
3. Set up an indoor agility course. If you have the space and your pup is especially high energy try setting up a homemade agility course. Use broom handles and chairs to create a jump and even laundry baskets to create a pause table. It’s a great way to burn off energy and teach your dog some commands along the way! Here is a great article by Bark Magazine with some fun ideas for indoor agility obstacles.
4. Use treat toys. There are a ton of fun treat and food dispensing toys out there these days including the snuffle mat, Kong, and more! These are great to occupy your dog and stimulate his mind. Plus, he'll be rewarded for working out the puzzle.
5. Stage funny photos with your pooch. Try staging your dog doing something human like baking treats in the kitchen or typing on a keyboard. Try dressing up your pup in a fun outfit from The Woof Warehouse. There’s doggy wizard scarves, stylish bandanas, dapper bow ties, and more!
With tons of command usage, running around, and different positions necessary to get the pawfect shot taking funny photos with your pup is a great way for you and your doge to get tired out.
6. Play a round or two of hide and seek. This was a childhood favorite and now your dog can enjoy it too! There are a few ways to play.
- Put your dog in her kennel or in a different room and hide treats around the house for them to find. Let your pup out, show her a treat and sit back while she seeks the treats. If you haven’t played this game before you might want to have some treats in plain sight so your dog has some success in the beginning and then you can encourage them to keep looking for more. This version is especially great for dogs that love scenting games.
- You can do the same process as above, but with your dog’s favorite toy(s) instead.
- Hide yourself and then call your dog’s name once. Wait for him to come find you. This is a great version to get dogs excited about coming to you at the sound of their name. It’s basically training and play at the same time- a win-win!
7. Play a game of stair fetch. If you have a dog that loves to play fetch and stairs in your home play a game of stair fetch! Simply toss your dog’s favorite fetch toy to the top of the stairs for her to retrieve and return to you at the bottom of the steps. This is a great way to tire out your dog a lot faster than the usual hallway fetch!
8. Treat your little guy or gal to a puppy pamper session. Turn your day indoors into a puppy spa day! Although dogs stretch on their own, canine massage has great benefits such as increasing circulation, releasing endorphins, and reducing stiffness. For a basic massage for beginners start by applying slight pressure with your palms as you would normally pet your dog. Try massaging the pads of his paws with some Watson’s Pawesome Paw Balm.
Massaging paw balm on the pads of your dog’s feet not only conditions and softens them, but gets your dog more used to having his feet touched and handled. Take note of where your dog enjoys the massage and areas he may not be enjoying as much. For more information on doggy massage check out this article by ModernDog here.
9. Play the shell game. This is a simple and yet fun game that will mentally stimulate your dog’s brain and helps her work on problem solving skills. To play the game put a treat under one of three cups. Shuffle the cups around and encourage her to “find the treat.” Here is a video example of the game.
10. And once you’ve run through all the above activities snuggle up with your pup. After a long day of indoor fun there’s nothing better than a bit of relaxation. Andy and I do this with Watson every night, so when 10:30pm rolls around Watson hops on the bed and waits for our cuddles.
No matter what you decide to do on a rainy (or snow) day you and your pup are sure to have a great time!