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With the nights starting to draw in it is likely the rainy and cold days will be on the increase and the last thing you will feel like doing is taking the dog for a walk in the dark and the rain.
But all good dog owners know that dogs still need that regular exercise and entertainment, no matter what the weather might be doing, so here are some ideas for having indoor fun with your dog on those cold rainy days.
1. Teach him some tricks
Days indoors are great for doing some dog training so why not start working on teaching him some tricks to perform for the family. Or if you don’t like dog tricks, then work on any behavioral issues which he might have and spend time training him to behave better, while you have his captive attention.
2. Take him out somewhere under shelter
If it’s raining then take your dog somewhere that’s under cover, like the shops, so he still gets to stretch his legs without getting covered in mud or you getting soaked in the rain.
3. Set up an indoor mess-free digging area
If you have a dog which likes digging in the mud, you can create a much cleaner indoor version for him to play in. You can use a baby ball pit for your dog to wade through to find treats.
Or if you don’t have one, just set up an area with lots of old blankets or his favorite dog blankets. Hide the treats underneath so the dog has to dig through them to get to the treats at the bottom.
4. Turn your dog into a search dog
Hide treats around the house and get your dog to go and search for them and sniff them out. You might need to train him to do this by hiding it fairly nearby to start with, and then try it in different rooms of the house.
Don’t hide the treats somewhere that you wouldn’t want your dog to be digging through, like your best shoe boxes, and don’t forget where you hide all the treats, so you can retrieve any your dog doesn’t find. You don’t want to have horrible smells a few weeks later from gone-off dog treats you forgot about.
5. Set up a photo station
If you have an amenable dog and you also have bored children stuck indoors then try setting up fun photos, getting the dog to do tricks and strike poses with the children, to see who can take the best family selfie with him.
6. Toys that come with treats
Dogs love playing with toys and they love treats even more, so why not combine the two? There are many toys and puzzles which release treats for dogs once they work them out so try a couple out with your dog. Once he works out how to release the treat it will keep him entertained for hours.
7. Use your stairs
A sure fire way to tire your dog out is to make use of your stairs. Throw a soft ball up the stairs and get your dog to race after it, fetch it and bring it back down to you. Then throw again. After a few rounds of this you will have a very tired dog.
8. Chase the rabbit
Depending how energetic you are and how big your house is, tie a favorite toy on the end of a string and run around the house so your dog can chase after it with you. If you attach the string to a pole you can also hang the rabbit in key places, making your dog work to catch it. This will tire out both you and your dog rather quickly.
9. Create an agility course
Again, if you have the space indoors you can create a quick agility course, by using sofa cushions and items of furniture, or you could invest in the real course materials if you wanted to take it to the next level.
10. Play games with your dog
Use some of the old-fashioned games indoors, like fetch using a soft ball so you don’t break anything, or create a tug of war using some old rope as well. This will help you to develop better bonds with your dog as well as giving him lots of exercise opportunities.
11. Take your dog to an indoor park
Some cities now have indoor dog parks set up just for this purpose so if you are really fed up and your dog is desperate to burn off some energy, head out to an indoor dog park.
That way your dog can play and meet other dogs without getting soaked and muddy, and you get to leave the house without having to be miserable and fed up standing in the rain.
12. Give your dog a pampering day
If your dog is bored then why not try a nice pampering session. Some dogs enjoy a relaxing massage so try learning some techniques to help your dog to relax. Or treat him to a session down at the dog grooming parlor to get your pet looking and feeling his best, ready for when the weather improves enough for him to go out and show off his new look.
There are many fun ways to keep your dog entertained during rainy weather and if it comes down to it, dogs don’t really mind the rain as much as we do so you could always just put on your wellies and rain coat and go out for a run around the park.
About the Author: Elaine is the founder of In Your Dog House Gifts, the UK’s leading marketplace for British designers of quality dog-themed products. IYDHG are dedicated to supporting small independent designers and have collected a fantastic variety of their unique and stylish gifts which can be found in one place, ultimately creating a seamless shopping experience for dog lovers.