Cold. Wet. Rainy. Snowy. Being outside in winter weather can tend to be miserable and staying cooped up indoors isn’t always so much fun either. The same is true for your dog; outdoor playtime might decrease dramatically or indoors your pup may not be stimulated enough. However, BestBullySticks.com thinks winter months can force us to be creative with our day-to-day routine. We’ve come up indoor playtime activities for the winter months because, after all, your dog still needs exercise.
Hide & Seek
Throw a treat to your dog and while they’re gobbling it up, run and hide in a different part of the house. Your dog will want to come find you if you have more treats and will tire your pooch out in the process. Use small, low calorie treats like Fruitables or Purebites.
Scavenging & Dinner Games
Remember your dog is a scavenger by nature and enabling these characteristics can stimulate both mind and body. Use a puzzle food bowl or a hollow dog toy like a Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Snoop with frozen food to challenge your dog while he eats. You can also hide treats around the house and have your dog track down their location.
Indoor Agility Course & Training
A homemade agility course can test your dog’s navigation skills and stimulate brain and body. Use chairs as weave poles, using a broomstick over a couple buckets or holding a hula-hoop in your hands as a jump can make for a fun and rousing playtime. Winter can also be a great time to have dedicated training time with your dog. Want to teach your dog to high-five, shake or roll over? Use your regular outdoor playtime and substitute it for training. Your dog will emerge into Spring as a well trained pooch!
Chances are your dog has an entire arsenal of toys that he plays with on a regular basis. Use these toys for a great indoor game of fetch, tug or keep away. Other variations can include tossing a toy up the stairs and having your dog run up them to fetch and run down to retrieve. You can also simply walk around your house at a fast pace. This will get Fido curious and he’ll become excited and follow you around. If you have a larger dog, play in a basement or garage where your dog has plenty of room to be a little rambunctious inside.
Outings & “Innings”
If you can’t necessarily go outdoors for a romp in the yard, take your dog on an outing. Take your dog to the local pet store, or for quick walk down the block. Find a Fido-friendly coffee shop or store or take your dog to a friendly drop in at the vet. Consider a trip to a doggy daycare so your dog can interact with other dogs in an indoor environment.
Invite your friends over to your house for an “inning.” Dogs can get excited when new people are introduced to your home and will want to play. Your dog will get extra socialization and get lots of praise and playtime with others.
Your dog has a natural inclination to chew, and chewing can tire a dog while being beneficial to their dental health. Give your dog an all-natural bully stick, a long lasting Himalayan Gold Dog Chew or a durable Elk Antler.
When your through playing your indoor games, make sure you give your pooch some one-on-one time. Belly rubs and snuggling on the couch is a sure way to let your dog know you love him and enjoy spending time with him.
These tips will ensure your dog gets all the exercise he needs while staying in the warm comfort of your home! However, your dog still needs fresh air and sunshine, so next week we’ll cover Outdoor Winter Play Ideas for Your Dog!
How do you keep your dog active and engaged during the winter months? Share your tips and tricks in the comments section below!