In the winter we generally spend more time indoors due to the lack of sunlight and cold temperatures.
If you have a dog, do you find that your dog gets bored, into mischief or starts misbehaving during our long cold winters?
While us as humans can call or text our best friend, start a new book that was highly recommended or eagerly watch the next episode of our favourite show on Netflix, our dogs rely on us for providing entertainment. And if they get bored and have nothing to do, that’s usually when they get into trouble.
Use the time spent indoors to your advantage and use this time to bond with your dog and to develop mental and physical skills with these 4 games you can play with your fur friend simply using common objects that you have at home:
Hide a Treasure
Engage your dog’s amazing sense of smell with this fun game.
Dig into your Tupperware cabinet and grab 4 or 5 plastic containers or a few small boxes. Place them upside down on the floor and put a prize beneath one of them, such as your dog’s favourite treat. You can guess the rest. Once your dog starts sniffing around, and they find which container the treat is under, congratulate them with clapping and positive encouragement and reward them with the hidden treasure.
Find The Toy
This game is similar to the “Hide a Treasure” game, but rather than hiding a treat, you hide a toy.
This game is compliments of releasethehounds.ca and they suggest that in order to make this game extra special you don’t use just any toy. You should save one toy just to use for this game.
They also suggest that once your pet finds the toy, you ask them to give it to you, to practice the “Give” command and you reward them with a cookie and then give them back the toy as a reward for their efforts.
As your dog gets good at this game, make it more challenging by adding more boxes for your dog to search under for the toy and use containers that need to be opened rather than flipped over.
Hide and Seek
Who didn’t love playing hide and seek growing up?
Well your fur friend will love playing this game too! Plus, it’s a good way to practice “Come”, when they’re called to find you! Make sure to reward them with lots of praise and a treat when they find you.
As your dog becomes better and better at finding you, involve all the members in your household and have them find each of you and make some of the hiding spots tricky. Your whole family will be sure to love this game and the warm laughter will brighten up your cool winter days.
With more time spent indoors, it presents a great opportunity to practice obedience training and commands such as come, sit, stay. You may think this doesn’t sound like much fun for your pet, but don’t forget that your pet’s emotions often mirror your emotions. If you are upset they get upset. If you are happy, then they are happy. Make obedience training a fun and positive experience while teaching them important skills.
A Final Tip
These games will stimulate your dog mentally and physically plus they will be fun! But, always remember, when playing any game with your dog, try not to let them get frustrated. Like humans, if they get frustrated, it may become difficult to get them excited about playing new games in the future. Make it a fun and positive experience.
Visit the American Kennel Club website for more ideas on "Great Indoor Games To Play With Your Dog" and Release the Hounds for “8 Fun Games to Play with Your Dog”.
If more time spent inside this winter generates some unsavory smells, try our Pet Odour Eliminator (ESOE). ESOE is an animal safe natural odour suppressant and stain removal product formulated to eliminate odour resulting from urine and feces and is safe to use on carpet, in kennels, litter boxes and more. ESOE is highly concentrated and must be diluted in water - add 4 oz of ESOE to 4 litres of water. Learn more about our Pet Odour Eliminator here.
American Kennel Club, "Great Indoor Games To Play With Your Dog"
Release the Hounds for “8 Fun Games to Play with Your Dog”