The current situation across the world has thrown pet parents a few challenges. We’re not able to get outside and exercise with our dogs as much as we’d like. But that doesn’t stop Fido from jumping off the walls – our pups are none the wiser! So it means we need to get creative and think about new ways we can burn off that excess energy at home. Here are our top 5 indoor exercises for dogs.
Play hide and seek
This classic game is a great way to get the whole family involved. And is an excellent mind and body work out for your pooch. Have your dog sit and stay while you find hiding spots around your home. Then each of you call out ‘where am I!’ Your dog will have a ball scurrying around the house to find their favorite people. It’s also a good idea to offer a treat when you’re discovered to ramp up the interest and excitement.
Find the treats
Dogs love using their nose, and scent games provide a great mental workout. Start by tossing a treat close to your dog and say the words ‘find it’. Then gradually throw the treat further away each time. When your dog seems to understand the word, take them outside the room while you hide a few treats. Then let them back in and encourage your dog to find them. Eventually you can use your entire house as a giant scavenger hunt.
Fetch doesn’t have to be strictly limited to outdoor play. All you need to do is use a soft toy and set aside any breakable items in the area. A long corridor in your home would be perfect for a game of fetch. And if you want to make the game a little more energy zapping, throw the toy up the stairs so your dog has to run up and down to retrieve it. Bear in mind, this isn’t advised for young puppies or older dogs with joint problems.
Dogs love to be mentally stimulated and puzzle toys are the perfect choice for this. There are plenty of brain games you can buy online that hide and dispense treats. They require your dog to use their nose and mind to figure out how to uncover those tasty morsels. But you can just as easily make your own at home. For example, hide treats inside old toilet rolls and close over the ends. Or sprinkle treats onto a flat towel and roll it up.
Teach tricks and training
Use this time indoors to brush up on old skills or teach a new trick. Most dogs love learning new skills and enjoy the bonding experience with their owners. It’s also a great time to iron out any potential behavioral problems your dog may have. You could teach your dog some basic obedience if they’re not clued up already, like sit, lie down, stay or come. Or for the more advanced pooch, inject some fun by teaching play dead, speak, wave or sit pretty.
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