Top 5 Indoor Activities for Your Athletic Dog
It’s that time of year! The leaves are changing color, and the temperatures are getting cooler. Some places may have already received some heavy rain or snow! If you have an athletic dog, it may be challenging to keep them indoors when the weather doesn’t permit outdoor activity.
We recently shared a post about Treibball, or Urban Herding, which is one indoor activity alternative for your athletic dog, but we thought it would be a great idea to put together a list of our top 5 favorite indoor activities for dogs.
Make it a Puzzle Day
Puzzles have always been my favorite rainy day activity, and now my dog can join in on the fun! Dog puzzles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so there are a couple of things to consider when buying your first doggy puzzle. Firstly, make sure the toy is durable enough for your dog, and secondly, if your dog has never tried a puzzle before, you might want to consider the puzzle’s level of complexity. The last thing you want is for your dog to get frustrated and no longer want to play with the puzzle.
Turn Meals into an Interactive Game
Slow feeders, or bowls, can help your dog burn extra calories while eating their breakfast or dinner. Rooney and I have tried the Buster Dog Maze bowl like this one from Amazon. I don’t use it for every meal, but when Rooney hasn’t been able to get his normal amount of exercise, the slow feeder can prove to be a good mental activity. If you don’t have a slow feeder available, and you are still looking for a feeding time activity, you can do a Kibble Hunt. As explained by Dogster, you can put your dog’s meal into little visible piles around the house while they wait patiently (some more than others) in their crate.
Put their Nose to Work
Nosework can be a rewarding exercise for athletic dogs. As a matter of fact, Rooney will be signing up for nosework classes this fall! Although many nosework activities and competitions happen outdoors, there are indoor nosework activities and challenges as well. For a complete description of the activity, check out this video from my fellow Evangelist Kris Crestejo.
Play a Good Ol’ Game of Tug-O-War
Tugging can be fun and stimulating for most dogs. Adding some additional weight to the activity can help with muscle building and increase the intensity of the exercise. Rooney has a Tuggo toy that he just loves. The Tuggo can be filled with water that increases its weight. The increased weight will allow your dog to play by themselves, OR it will increase the challenge of playing with you or other dogs in the household.
Muffins to the Rescue
If the weather is already poor, and you are stuck inside, you can use a muffin tin and some tennis balls to provide your dog with a fun activity. All you have to do is put a treat in the muffin tin slot then cover it with a tennis ball. The full setup includes 12 tennis balls so that the muffin tin is full, but as many as you can find will do in a pinch. Many blogs or articles that reference this game encourage you to use a very smelly treat so that your dog can detect it through the tennis ball.
The key to indoor activities is to provide your dog with plenty of mental stimulation and activity so that they get the appropriate exercise on a dreary day.
Have you tried any of these games with your dog? Which ones are their favorite?
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