How quickly summer turned into cold, wet and wind. We went from long walks after work to me begging the dogs just to go outside to do their business. They love snow…. hate the rain.
And now that I have a puppy again, it’s hard to find ways to keep him entertained and active in the house. The two older dogs are quite content just to curl up with their blanket and get cozy. But Bailey is always looking for ways to play. I loaded up on new toys and he’s fallen in love with a purple French Bulldog squeaky toy. Maybe he thinks he’s getting even with Pippa when he shakes it. Revenge girl friend.
If you’re looking for ways to keep your dogs active while stuck inside, here are a few ideas that always seem to work.
Puzzle toys are always good at mental stimulation. The treats are hidden and they have to think to find them.
Interactive toys are also a great way to keep them busy. A Kong full of frozen peanut butter will keep dogs busy and engaged. You can make it even more stimulating by hiding them around the house to be found. Hide and seek is a fun game to teach.
Another game that Bailey loves is tug of war. The Frenchies are not so fond of it but the puppy is a tugger. And the good thing about tug toys, you can do that and still watch TV. It takes zero concentration on your part. There are a variety of tug toys from ropes to rubber toys. Lately, we’ve been playing tug (by accident) as I try to put my socks on in the morning.
In Bailey’s eyes, anything is a toy.
Another option is an obstacle course inside. Pippa has her “zoomie” course through the house that she runs almost daily. It’s almost like she becomes possessed, then takes off running. Now the other dogs follow her and it becomes pure mayhem. They run, I laugh. And if I really want them to get in some laps, I take the baby gate down and include the steps to the lower level. A few laps and stairs means the panting comes a lot sooner.
Games they love and we have to keep an eye on them to stop include pull the toilet paper off the roll, shoe keep away and chase the vacuum cleaner. I’ve found redirecting bad behavior to something acceptable is the best way to accomplish that. Exchange the toilet paper for the squeazy Frenchie toy and we’re all happy.
So until the rain turns to snow and outdoor play becomes easier, creativity will be our best friend.