There are many reasons we occasionally need to stay indoors when normal playtime or walks outside isn’t possible. Sometimes it’s safety for us, our pets, or both! It can be due to an injury on our end or our pets, weather that is too hot or cold, poor air quality or something else!
No matter the reason, we all need to be prepared for those moments when we can’t play or walk outside like we want to. Here are some great ways to keep your pup happy AND safe!
- Try to find stairs or a long hallway or space to play fetch. If you can combine it with training you’ll be working the dog physically and mentally. To combine with training: when the dog brings the ball back, ask for a sit & ‘drop it’. If they’re unwilling to drop the ball or item, have a second item to trade or trade with a treat, then toss the ball again.
- Don’t feed out of a bowl. Put all food into a puzzle for them to get it out. If you don’t have one you might be able to create some with water bottles, muffin tins & cookie sheets. The muffin tins and cookie sheets will make the dog eat a bit slower, if you put food pieces in an empty water bottle, they’ll have to figure out how to get the pieces out of the water bottle to eat.
- Train. By providing training sessions- mental stimulation can go a long way in tiring them out. Work through sits, downs, puppy push ups, recalls, and putting them on leash inside to practice walking. It’s great practice for you and them! Dog doesn’t need training? That’s OK… they’re still benefiting from the practice and if you prefer you can teach tricks instead of manners. Is there something that’s been bugging you that your dog does? Perfect time to start working on it!
- Set up an obstacle course of couch cushions, laundry baskets & books/magazines/pillows. You can set up a walking course to go around gallon water jugs or juice. Set up boxes and ask your dog to get in and out…. Or put in 2 paws only. Have fun!! Be creative!! Going over, under, around, up, on & through!!
- Get your kids in on the fun! Put the dog on leash and have the kids and dogs go through the obstacle course (just not at the same time… safety first!) Have your kids train the dog under your supervision. Have your kid kick a large ball or toss a ball to your dog for them to chase or retrieve. Play hide & seek - have your dog stay on leash with you with you while your child hides and then starts calling the dog… you can help your dog “find” your child and have your child give your dog a treat when they find them.
- Make frozen kongs, pupsicles or special treats. Once frozen it takes your dog much longer to work through it and it provides enrichment through chewing and to figure out how to get the goods out!
We also have online courses you could get started with! You can call or email us anytime to get going with an online program.
The important thing is to stay safe and have fun! I could have listed 100 things! Go to our facebook page and tell us your favorite ways to have fun with your dog indoors - pictures are even better!