Keeping your dog entertained can be a challenge. Keeping your dog entertained during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic presents a new list of hassles. Most of us have had the experience of ignoring a pup only to regret it later when they have torn through our homes and belongings.
But come rain or quarantine, there are still ways to make sure your furry friend is receiving the attention and stimulation they need. We’ve gathered 5 Petminded-approved indoor activities that will keep your dog chomping at the bit and you from chomping at the bit.
Play Hide and Find Treats
Nose work games are a great way to tire out your dog by letting them use their natural gift of scent. Grab your dog’s treat of choice and have them watch you place them around the room. Give your pup the go-ahead to “find the treats,” and encourage them to catch ‘em all. Don’t forget to lavish your pup with praise each time they find one. When you think your dog has grasped the meaning of “find the treats,” you can level up the game by having them stay in another room while you hide the treats. Feel free to hide treats in spots that will really challenge your dog’s smelly senses, like under an area rug.
When in doubt, the stuffed kong never fails.
You’ve probably seen one before you knew what the name for it. The Kong Company’s classic chew toy is a favorite of dogs and their humans. Stuff one of these oblong-shaped toys with their favorite treats. Peanut butter is a popular option. Playing with a Kong gives your pup something to work for and keeps them occupied while you do your thing.
Teach your dog to turn tricks with the shell game
Have your dog watch as you place a treat under one of three cups. Shuffle the cups around while encouraging them to “find the treat!” This game gives your dog plenty of mental stimulation and supports their ability to problem solve.
Teach your dog to clean up their toys (yes it’s possible!)
If you store your dog’s toys in any sort of container, it’s possible to teach your pup to put them away themselves. It’s another method that’s great for mental stimulation. Additionally, teaching your dog new skills boosts their confidence. If your dog knows what “drop it,” means have them pick up their toy and once they’re standing over the container, give them the “drop it,” command. Lavish them with praise when they get it right and then repeat the process. Play this game consistently and your dog will soon be able to pick up after themselves.
Give them a doggy massage.
We pet our dogs every day. It’s something we do so often we don’t even think about it. So why no level it up and make it a real massage. A nice massage can soothe both you and your pup. It also helps with things like circulation, muscle tension, and anxiety. Dogs know that these are super special pats filled with extra love and care
There are plenty of great resources online to show you just how to rub your pup safely and comfortably. Do a youtube search for dog massage or even reiki.