If you are a little blue because of all this rain, you are not alone. I feel you. It’s hard to get motivated to go out and walk your pup when you have to balance an umbrella whilst picking up poop, not to mention the aftermath of a wet dog that needs to be towelled off. And, if you have a Berner, or any other large breed dog like I do, you’re going to go through a lot of towels. You can just imagine the wet paw prints on your just cleaned floors after you let him out to do his business or the household damage when your dog gets BORED from being inside all day! Rainy days are not fun for anyone, but maybe we can learn from “The Cat in the Hat” and still have “good fun that is funny” without having to go outside or spend lots of money! (Hey, you read Dr. Seuss to your kids enough, you start rhyming…) Of course, if you’ve read the book, than you may want to avoid certain hijinks, especially if the clean up crew includes you.
Rainy days don’t just affect us but our pooches social life as well. With the Toronto Islands under water and events like “Pampered Pooches” being cancelled earlier this year, it is understandable if your little friend was feeling a bit blue too. What to do, what to do? Well, I perused Google to get suggestions for rainy day activities with your pup and chose ten that I liked the most. There are many more suggestions, and feel free to come up with more, or variations, of your own! The goal is to keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated to avoid having them chew on shoes or your walls. Many suggestions involved trying to teach your furry friend something new or brushing up on some manners, which requires treats. I tried to stay away from those, because, hey, I know when I get bored at home on a rainy day, food is not the answer. If it’s going to rain like this all summer, we don’t want to end up with tubby puppy, especially for the winter. On the other hand, it may be difficult to get your buddy to do something new without a little incentive, so try mixing up treat activities with non-treat activities. Moderation is key!
10 Indoor Activities for You and Your Pup
Ok, so my first suggestion here actually involves a treat, but, maybe, substitute a healthy organic snack for these special occasions. Kongs are very popular with pups and can entertain for long periods of time.
2. Tug of War
Who doesn’t like a good game of tug-of-war? This is Titan’s favourite! There are plenty of rope toys that are great for this and it keeps them active.
If you let your dog go up stairs in your home then this is a great exercise where you can utilize your home to play fetch. Toss a ball up the stairs and have your dog fetch it and bring it back down the stairs!
4. Shell Game
I think this is more of a cat game that has been adapted for dogs. It’s the old “where’s the ball?” game. Using three containers hide a treat (or ball) under a cup and get him to guess where it is.
5. Doggie Massage
If you’re anything like me, maybe you just want to keep cozy and relax when it’s soggy outside. Remember, your buddy just wants to be with you, no matter what you’re up to, so don’t discount the entertainment value of a doggie massage or an extended belly rub. It feels good, it’s relaxing and lets them know you are there, ready to love. After, chill out and watch a movie together.
6. Puzzle Toy
These are great for mental stimulation. An example is the muffin/tennis ball game. All you need is a muffin pan and a few tennis balls. Get your pup to place the balls in the pan!
7. Shaping Games
Shaping techniques are a series of little steps that help your dog build a particular behaviour. Using a clicker, you can teach your pup to refine their manners or teach them a new a trick.
8. 101 Things to do With a Box
If you have a box lying around, you can use a clicker to get your pup to investigate, climb in and out, turn over, push, paw and drag the box.
9. Obstacle Course
If you’ve got the room, get creative and create an obstacle course to entertain your four-legged Olympian! Under, over, across, jump and chase! Change it up once they’ve mastered it so that they don’t get bored.
10. Chasing Bubbles
I did not know this but I guess dogs love chasing bubbles. Apparently, they even make bubbles that are flavoured especially for dogs. You may need to catch a few yourself to show your dog that it is safe. If you use the regular non-toxic bubbles that you would use for your kids, just make sure that your dog does not ingest too much because it can still upset their stomach. As well, make sure to wipe down their faces so that the soap does not irritate their eyes.
I was partly sold when I saw this bubble catching video with the baby laughing! It made my day 😀
Here’s hoping the rain lets up so that our furry friends can run around free or maybe taking a swim in the lake on a sunny day. But until then, stay dry and try out some of these indoor activities. Do you have a creative indoor game you like to play with your pet? Let us know