If you own a dog with seemingly endless energy, you probably need to find ways to keep your furry friend active throughout the day. If you don’t, your pooch may “invent” his own fun “activities” out of your shoes, books, furniture, or anything else that can possibly be chewed on. While a quick run or time in the dog park may help alleviate some of your dog’s energy, rainy weather limits your options dramatically. Fortunately, there a few things you can do indoors that may keep your dog mentally and physically in shape (read: out of trouble).
1. Stage funny photos: With all of the commands, running around, and strange positions necessary to get the perfect shot, taking some funny photos can be a great way for you and your dog to both get tired out. You may want to try staging your dog doing something human, like typing on a keyboard, or wearing a pair of glasses and looking at an old text books. No matter what idea you choose, your dog will get plenty of attention, you’ll get some funny pictures, and both of you are sure to have a great time.
2. Food-dispensing toys: There are several food-dispensing toys dogs adore (or at least love what’s inside, but that’s what counts, right?). Such products — Kong immediately jumps to mind — are great not only for rainy days, but whenever your dog is getting antsy or hyper and you need a quick distraction. Simply throw some food inside, and let your dog roll, gnaw, and bob it all around the room until he gets tired or there is nothing left inside. With dog obesity a major issue, please remember to administer treats and snacks responsibly.
3. Dog bowling: If you have kids, dog bowling can be a great activity to involve them in too. First, gather as many empty two-liter plastic bottles and milk jugs as you can — these will be the “pins.” Then, go into a long hallway or other area of your home where there’s enough room for your dog to run. Stand all the pins at the end of the room in a bowling-alley triangular formation. Finally, grab a tennis “bowling” ball and roll it toward the pins. If your dog likes to chase, he will probably go flying after the ball and knock over the pins. Set them back up and see who can get the most strikes.
4. Teach him a new trick (or just brush up on old ones): Dogs get more than physical exercise when they’re outside — they get mental exercise too. Working on training can be a great way to help keep them mentally active, even if they’re stuck inside. Whether you are teaching a puppy to sit, or just brushing up on some commands, if you push your dog’s abilities, they will probably get tired out pretty quickly.
5. Go outside: Dogs are waterproof, so don’t let a little rain scare you from taking them out. If they’re still full of energy after the first four suggested activities, maybe it’s time to throw on a raincoat (or not) and head outside. Whether it’s a quick walk along your normal route, or putting on some boots and for puddle jumping, they may have an amazing time splashing in the great outdoors; however, the time you spend cleaning them up after going outside may be less than amazing.
Don’t let a little rain stop you and your dog from getting active. From canine bowling and puddle jumping to funny photos and food dispensing toys, there are plenty of things you can do to get your dog some mental and physical exercise, no matter what the weather.