Dogs need exercise, regardless of the weather. In snow or rain, they still need mental and physical stimulation. That said, there are certainly some days where the weather may be too hot, too cold, or the precipitation too blinding to exercise your dog as you might otherwise like. On these days, it’s helpful to have on hand a variety of ideas for ways you can provide your dog with boredom relief in the comfort of your own home. Here are a few ideas you may find helpful!
1. Food Dispensing Toys – Food dispensing toys are invaluable boredom busters. While rubber Kongs are classic toys and can be stuffed with a great variety of treats and tasties, in the last few years the food dispensing toy market has greatly expanded and there are lots of new and exciting products available. Nina Ottosson has a fantastic (but pricey) line of durable puzzle toys which are dishwasher safe and feature a number of difficulty levels. A less expensive (and slightly less durable) alternative is the newly available Aikiou toy. Other options include: Kong wobbler, Kibble Nibble, Busy Buddy toys, Orbee Treat Spot toys, Tug-a-Jugs, and Buster Cubes.
2. Kibble Hunt – If you place your dog’s kibble in a food bowl, chances are the bowl is empty within 15 seconds and the dog gazes up at you upon finishing as if to say, “is that it?” You can put that food to work for you by making your dog hunt for it with his nose. Instead of dumping the food in his bowl, consider crating him while you hide small piles of food in the house then release him to “kibble hunt.” Initially, make the piles very easy to find. As your dog gets better at this game, practice hiding the food in more difficult spots.
3. Tug and Fetch – Tug and fetch are classic dog games that do not require a lot of room. Hallways tend to be great for fetch games, and tug can be played virtually anywhere.