Running out of ways to keep you and your dog busy while stuck inside? We've put together a list of fun and easy indoor activities to help you and your dog combat cabin fever. Keep reading below for more!
BOREDOM BUSTERS BELOW
Sit stay and heal.
This simple phrase often used to teach dogs to sit at attention and wait for further instruction, has now become many of our realities in light of COVID-19. Practicing safe social distancing means that we have to sit and stay home for the time being and creatively adjust our daily routine tasks, from what we eat to how we entertain ourselves. But what does this mean for our dogs?
For those of us lucky enough to be in quarantine with our canine this brings with it a whole new level of outside-the-box thinking to help prevent canine cabin fever and to avoid bored behavioural issues. But with it also comes an opportunity to have fun indoors while finding new ways to bond with your pet.
PLAY HIDE AND SEEK
This classic game is a fun way to exercise mind, body, and dog - plus if you have children it’s a great way to get the whole household involved in the play!
How It Works: Simply start with your dog in a room, separate from where you plan on hiding. Instruct your dog to sit and stay (this is a great way to practice this command!) and then proceed to find a hiding spot, such as behind a door. Once in position call out to your dog and wait for them to sniff you out! Start easy and increase the difficulty to really test your doggie detective and don’t forget to reward them with treats or praise!
LEARN SCENT WORK
Practicing scent work with your dog allows them to exercise mentally and physically while also allowing them to have fun following their nose to a yummy surprise! All you need are boxes, reward treats and a food motivated pup!
How It Works: Start by offering your dog two boxes, one with a treat and one without. Depending on how resourceful your dog is, you might want to leave the box open slightly at the top. Have them find which box has the correct treat, reward and repeat! Gradually make it more challenging by adding more boxes, spacing them out or by flipping the box over, so your dog must figure out how to get the treat out. This is a great indoor activity and will keep any dog entertained as long as there are treats to be sniffed out!
Another way to keep your dog mentally stimulated is to test their memory using treats or toys! Similar to the scent test, finding find ways to make your dog work for their snacks, meals or toys is a great way to challenge and stimulate your pup! We have provided an example below but you can adapt this game using similar items around your home.
How It Works: Grab an empty cupcake baking tray and 12 (or as many as you have) tennis balls. If tennis balls will be too distracting use another cover item instead! Place treats or pieces of your dog’s kibble into some but not all of the baking tray’s cups, and cover all of the cups with the tennis balls. Show your dog the tray and see how long it takes for your dog to move the right balls to find the hidden food. Each time you play, change where you place the treats in the baking tray and eventually change out the tray for something else to keep them engaged.
LEARN A NEW TRICK
One of the silver linings to being in quarantine is being given the opportunity to learn new skills and hobbies, and the same goes for our dogs! There’s no better time than now to teach your dog a fun new trick! This can be a fun way for your dog to engage with you, while using their brain for things that are outside of their natural behaviour and routine. Plus, you’ll have a cute video to send to friends and family once mastered!
Here’s an online video that easily shows you how to teach your dog “Wave” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3_QnUuVadEIf you’re looking for something more challenging a simple Google or Youtube search will provide you with limitless options and resources.
TIME CONSUMING TOYS & TREATS
Looking for a fast and easy way to distract and stimulate your dog while giving yourself time to work or do chores? Look online for toys, treats or games that will help keep your dog busy for longer periods of time. Search for toys and treats designed for long periods of play, such as super chewer toys, antlers, Kongs and large dog-safe bones. An easy option is stuffing a treat dispensing toy, such as a Kong, with unsweetened, natural peanut butter or pumpkin puree and freeze!
Treat Tip: Chopped up dog-safe fruit, veggies or cheese work as a great alternative. Cut larger chunks to make it more difficult for your pup to remove and be mindful of the quality and quantity of treats you are feeding in addition to their regular diet.
GO FOR A DRIVE
For days where it’s just too nice to be inside but socializing isn’t an option, consider taking your dog for a drive. It’s no secret that dogs and car rides go together like peanut butter and jelly! You and your dog will appreciate the change of scenery, the sun and the carpool karaoke! This is also a great way to help socialize puppies or rescue pups by exposing them to the sights of other dogs and people while still staying safely inside your vehicle.
ALWAYS THE RIGHT TIME FOR SNUGGLE TIME
At the end of the day nothing is better than a comfy cuddle with your canine. Staying busy and entertained is important to both you and your dog, but so is taking the time to relax and enjoy one another’s company! We all need time to unwind, and many of our dogs love the opportunity to lounge with us so grab a blanket, put on your fave show and enjoy the simplicity of a quiet night together.
We hope that this list helps inspire ways in which you and your dog can fight boredom with a little creativity and a lot of love! Wüfers is here to help you and your dog have fun while staying connected during COVID- 19.Click here to browse our selection of cute cookiesand consider using our treats as a new and exciting alternative reward during your canine quarantine activities!