It’s been a year of changes.
New rules have us all spending a lot more time indoors…
That means less walks, less time outside, and more time stuck in the same room. All This extra energy your dog has pent up can become a problem.
And you might be wondering what you can do about it.
That’s why, we’ve put together this post for you.
To show you the tips and tricks you can do with your dog to have an amazing time together indoors.
Not only will these keep you both amused for hours on end, but will help keep your dog fit and healthy.
But First… Make The Most Of The Time You Have Outdoors
Even during these unusual times, it is important to get out everyday for exercise.
Making the most of your daily walk with your dog is a great way to burn off their excess energy and keep them happy.
Whether you both prefer a quick walk around the block, or a longer hike, mixing up your route each day can be a great way to change your routine and keep your dog entertained.
It’s also a chance for your dog to get some socialisation outside of the home, as you will meet many dogs and their owners in popular walking spots.
How To Entertain Your Dog Indoors
While daily walks aren’t going anywhere, some dogs might be used to more daily exercise than this.
This means it is important to come up with ideas to entertain your dog indoors throughout the day and use up their excess energy.
Luckily, we’ve got some suggestions to help you out…
Attention: Do You Have A Puppy?
Playing indoors with puppies can be different to adult dogs. That’s why you may want to check out an earlier post we did this year just for them.
‘Hide and Seek’
If your dog eats dried biscuits, instead of putting them in a bowl, try scattering them around your house or garden.
This will encourage your dog to use their sense of smell to hunt their food.
Start by scattering the food over a small area, then as your dog gets better spread it out further to make it even more challenging.
You could even hide food under things, such as cushions or plant pots. This will encourage your dog to rummage around and try to find the food.
This game could keep your dog entertained for hours and provide them with lots of stimulation on days where they might seem bored.
Activity feeders are a great way to stimulate your dog if they’re spending more time indoors than usual.
They can be picked up from most pet shops (currently still open) or picked up online.
Some, like Kongs, can be filled with wet food or peanut butter and given to your dog to chew.
Others help your dog use play to release their food.
You can even make your own activity feeder using materials you already have at home.
One idea for this is a ‘destruction box’.
To make this, fill an old cardboard box with toilet paper, tissue paper or or anything else your dog can tear up safely. Then pour some food and treats into the box for your dog to search for.
Frozen treats are another great brain game for your dog.
To make them, take one of their favourite treats, place it in an ice cube or ice lolly tray filled with water, then freeze it.
Your dog will have tonnes of fun waiting for the ice to melt and revealing a delicious treat for them to enjoy.
Tug Of War
If your dog is well trained, tug of war can be a great way to help them use up all that extra energy they might have from staying inside.
Make sure you use a proper tug rope, as these are designed to withstand the strength from your dog’s mouth.
Move any furniture that could get in your way, and start the game.
Expect lots of playful growling and tail wagging, but take a break if your dog gets too excited.
Fetch is a game that can easily be moved indoors, and can provide your dog with lots of entertainment and exercise.
If you have a long landing or entrance hall, this can be a great space to play.
Just make sure you choose a soft toy that isn’t going to damage any furniture or walls.
Put In Some Training Hours
Does your dog know all their basic commands?
Or are there some cool party tricks you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t had time to teach them?
Now is the perfect time to put some hours into training with your dog.
This will use up some of your dog’s pent up energy and will also be useful in the long term.
Another great training exercise is to teach your dog the names of their toys. Give each toy a name and ask them to “fetch teddy” or “ball” or “dolly”.
Eventually your dog should get the hang of which toy is which and this can make a great game.
You could even teach your dog to put their toys away at the end of the day. It would save you a job!
How To Keep Your Dog Settled When Things Change
The chances are that your dog has experienced a few changes to their routine over the last few months.
Working from home and home schooling means that the whole family has probably been around much more than usual.
While your dog might have enjoyed the company, all the extra noise and bustle in the home could be an unwelcome change if they aren’t used to it.
This might be especially true if you have children who haven’t been able to get outside as much and have lots of extra energy.
And aside from this, dogs don’t always enjoy changes to their routine.
Because of this, it’s important to let your dog escape from the hustle and bustle and have some relaxation time.
Creating a safe space for your dog in your home is important.
If your dog uses a crate, this can be a ready made solution.
Make sure your dog’s safe space is filled with blankets and their favourite toys. You could also include a piece of your clothing to help them settle.
This should be somewhere quiet, where they can escape the noise and go to sleep if they want to.
So when you’ve had your fun for the day, they can head to their spot and chill out without any extra stress.
Making The Most Of It…
With a bit of creativity, spending more time indoors with your dog doesn’t have to be difficult.
The most important thing is to come up with ways to help them use up some of their extra energy.
And to give them a space to chill out if things start to get too hectic for them.
By keeping your dog’s needs in mind, you can make the most of the time you spend together… both outdoors and indoors.