When it's raining cats and dogs (or even snowing) it can make it a real problem for getting out with your dog for your daily dose of exercise. If the rain isn't too heavy you can both brave the elements with a weather proof coat. But when the weather is really frightful and your dog can’t do more than dash out for a quick toilet stop, you’ll want to be prepared for some fun indoor activities. Here are some fun indoor activities to keep your pet fit and active no matter the weather.
The original stair master
If you have a flight of stairs in your home that are safe to go up and down quickly, you might consider doing a few laps with your dog. If your dog is typical, he will follow you both up and down if you call him to -- if for nothing else than to see what you are doing “up there” and “down there.” If your dog is reluctant, have some training treats on hand to give him when he reaches the top and bottom of the stairway. If you are not so keen to be running up and down the stairs, you can try sitting at the top of the stairway and tossing a ball or toy to the bottom so he can run down to get it and bring it back to you. You may even want to consider switching it up and throwing the ball up the stairs for a bit.
Hitting the hallway
If you have a long hallway, you can clear away any tables or other obstacles and turn the space into a dog run. A long hallway makes for an especially perfect space for playing fetch with a favourite ball or toy. It's even better if you have another person who can join in at the opposite end of the hallway. There are truly few other ways to make your dog happy while helping him burn off calories at the same time.
Hide and go snack
Use a treat-dispensing toy or play a game of hide a seek using treats. Start by keeping your dog in one room while you hide treats in another. Then let him loose to find all the hidden goodies. Make the treats fairly obvious to find in the beginning so he understands the game, and then work up to more elaborate hiding places.
Set up an obstacle course
Setting up an obstacle course for your furry friend is a great way to challenge him mentally and physically. The best part is you can do this with many can use so many things you have around the house such as chairs, cushions, blankets, hula hoops and much more. Create a tunnel into which he can run and other small obstacles over which he can jump over. But remember to always encourage your dog and reward your dog when they complete an obstacle.
Make mealtimes more stimulating
There are many ways to stimulate your dogs mind and body without venturing outdoors. Offer meals in a feeding toy or interactive feeder rather than just a food bowl. Studies have shown that dogs enjoy their food more when they have to work for it. This will also slow down those dogs who tend to "woof" down their meals.
Practice new dog tricks indoors
There are countless tricks and training lessons you can do from the comfort of your own home. Start with a simple dog trick like "stay" or "shake," and work up to something more complicated like "roll over." These tricks will result in good behaviour and help you and your dog bond. Keep training/trick sessions to about 15 minutes or so, ensuring it stays fun for everyone.
Organise a play date
Doggy play dates are another great way to keep your dog entertained and active. Invite over a friend’s with a dog over and if they get along well let them hang out for a couple of hours. To make it even more fun give them a couple of squeaky or tug toys to encourage interactive play.
So for this winter, when the weather makes it impossible for your dog and you to go have a walk outdoors, try one or more of these tips indoors to make sure he stays fit all winter long. These activities are all good ways to help keep your pet happy, healthy and entertained throughout the winter season.