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Summer might be on its way, not that you’d know by the amount of rain we’ve had lately, but the wet weather looks to be here to stay for a little while longer.
So, how does that affect our dogs?
While we’re committed to giving our dogs plenty of exercise come rain or shine, how many of us can actually say we spend enough time outside with our dogs during bad weather?
We might brave the rain to give them their daily walk, but we’d definitely rather be inside.
Fortunately, there’s lots of activities we can do inside to stimulate our dogs and give them plenty of exercise.
From a tug of war to dog toys and dispensers, here’s how to keep your dog entertained on those wet and windy days.
1.Tug of war
Not only will a game of tug of war keep your dog occupied during a rainy day, it will allow them to exercise their natural instincts. It also gives them an outlet to burn off any energy if you’re unable to go outside.
There may be some concern about encouraging aggression, but played in the right way, it can also help to teach your dog about rules and boundaries.
There are lots of toys you can buy to play this game, including both rope and rubber varieties.
This Ruffer and Tuffer toy from Pets at Home also doubles up as a way of cleaning your dog’s teeth and massaging their gums.
A game that will give your dog’s brain a real workout, hide their favourite treats around the home for them to find. It’s a great way to put any scentwork training into practice as they use their super-sensitive noses to sniff out the prize.
This will really get them thinking, and the more you play, increase the difficulty of the hiding places to stimulate them further.
You could also leave a trail to follow by touching the treat on surfaces leading to the hiding place.
3.Stuffed Kong toy
Simple but effective, what dog doesn’t love Kong toys? Especially when there are treats stuffed inside.
Encouraging their natural instinct to play, these toys offer mental and physical stimulation.
They come in all shapes and sizes, including the Classic Kong Chew Treat.
Not every home will have the space to pull this off, but use your imagination. You don’t need huge obstacles for your dog to navigate, maybe a pile of books, some shoes or some pillows.
Taking your dog around your custom course will be heaps of fun for both of you.
Fetch inside? You might automatically be worrying about your valuables but what we mean by this is a more docile version of the game, perhaps with a soft cuddly toy instead of a ball.
And of course you will need quite a bit of space, so ideal if you have quite a large home or a room that’s not too cluttered.
Throw the toy for your dog to retrieve and bring back to you.
But be warned, this game never gets old and your dog will probably want to play for hours.
Puzzle toys will keep your dog not only physically stimulated, but mentally too.
This Trixie Activity Gambling Tower is a game of strategy consisting of a tower with three cones where small treats are placed. With practice, it is possible for your dog to pull the trays by using the loops to receive their reward.
Graded as a level one in terms of difficulty, this game is ideal for beginners of all ages.
If your dog has mastered ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘paw’, a rainy day could be a great time to try to expand their repertoire of tricks.
You don’t need to be an expert in dog training, just remember to reward them with treats.
Not only can you show off your pup’s new skills when out in public, it will also help to keep your dog stimulated.
8.Puppy play date
While our dogs love our company, and we theirs, sometimes a new face could be all it takes to keep them entertained. And when we say face, we mean the canine kind.
Does your pet have any doggy friends you can invite over for a play date?
You’ll need to keep a close eye on your dog to make sure they are comfortable with their new companion, if they get overexcited, you may need to step in.
9.Hide and Seek
Who doesn’t love a good old game of hide and seek?
This can be done with you, or their treats. Make sure they see you or their treats, then encourage them to stay while you find a good hiding spot. They can then use their exceptional noses to sniff you out.
Make sure you reward their find to positively reinforce scentwork training.
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A game that never gets old no matter how old you are, your dogs can get involved too.
Simply grab some of their favourite treats and place them in one hand, then get your dog to choose.
This would probably work with most treats - biscuits, chews, rawhide...as long as they’re small enough to conceal.
Want to see how it’s done? Watch this video to see the moment an adorable Pomsky knew she’d messed up.
Who knew that dogs would love bubbles just as much as the children?
If you’ve not yet got the bubbles out for your dogs to chase, you really need to give it a try.
They might take a bit of reward-based persuasion as first to realise they are allowed to pop the bubbles, but with some encouragement, it’s a game that will provide hours of fun for the both of you.
Standard bubble mixtures are fine around your four-legged friends but you can also buy dog-friendly bubbles like this electric bubble gun complete with peanut butter, PH level, non toxic bubbles.
12.Make some doggy treats
While this one won’t actually keep them busy, they’ll definitely reap the rewards of your efforts and it will give you something to do on a rainy day too.
We love this super-easy sweet potato recipe - there are only three ingredients.
13.Cuddles on the sofa
So it might not keep them well exercised but who doesn’t love a bit of cuddle time on the sofa with their furbaby?
And I’m sure our dogs love this quality time just as much as us, especially when it involves some belly rubs.
14.Doggy pamper session
Depending on how your dog reacts to bath time, this can either be a quick activity or a day-long test of endurance.
But if they have been out in the rain then one thing is for sure, it’s definitely going to be needed.
With the right tools, you can even turn their wash into a spa-day experience with a massage.
If you’d prefer to leave the pampering to the professionals, a rainy day could be a great time to take them to the groomers. Your dog can even get a blueberry facial. Whatever next?