As the snow has fallen and temperatures have dropped the thought of taking Fido outside to play seems less and less appealing. For you and your pet’s safety, it may be better to find some activities you can do indoors that will still help to stimulate your pet’s mind. Here are just a few things you may want to try.
Spending a little time indoors is the perfect opportunity to work on your pet’s training. Whether you are trying to teach your pet to walk up and down stairs or focusing on basic commands such as sit or stay, this may be a great way for the two of you to get in some good training. Do you have a treadmill in your home? You can also work on training your dog to walk on the treadmill. This will offer a great exercise outlet for your pet on days when the weather is less than ideal for walking outside.
Solve the Puzzle
Rather than just throwing your pet’s food into a regular dog dish, why not try to feed them using a feeder puzzle? These puzzles are great. They help stimulate your pet’s mind and also help to slow down their eating. We actually use this method within our shelter to keep our dogs focused and entertained. There are many types of puzzles out there and you will have to just test to see what one works best for you and your pet. Don’t want to mess with puzzles? You can still make feeding time a little more challenging. Hide your pet’s food in a different part of the house and help them search and find it. If that is too challenging you can leave a little trail of food leading to the main dish, but it will at least keep them on their toes.
Do you have a nice long hallway? Why not toss a ball to your pet? Playing fetch with your pet will help them burn off a bit of energy and will also be a fun activity for you and your pet. I would recommend using a ball that doesn’t have too much bounce. You don’t want it bouncing off your walls and potentially knocking down pictures or other decorations on your walls.
Grab some chairs, pillows, boxes or other household items and create a mini agility course for your pet. Walk them through it using a lead and as you go through it a few times start picking up the pace. Not only will you give your pet a good workout, by making them focus on your commands and the course in front of them will keep them stimulated mentally, too.
Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded in 1902, it is the largest and most established “no-kill” animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call 937-268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org.