Not only are we in the depths of Winter, but we’re in another lockdown too. Never before have we spent so much time indoors. Staying in the house doesn’t have to be boring though and there are many things we can do to make the situation we’re in seem a bit brighter. As pet owners, we have at least one thing that some others aren’t lucky enough to have and that is company! Our dogs offer companionship and love at all times and it has been most appreciated during the pandemic.
We thought we’d compile a list of fun things to do with your dog at home, to help keep you and your four-legged friends occupied and exercised during the latest lockdown. We have fun activities for play as well as some others for downtime. Take a read and make the most of lockdown with your pets:
Play Indoor Games With Your Dog
One of the things we worry about most is getting bored of being indoors. But there are so many things we can do to keep our brains active and our minds occupied, including things we can do with our beloved canines. We’ve come up with a number of indoor games to play with your dog that we think you and they will enjoy!
Play a Game of Find-the-Treats - One of the easiest games you could play is Find-the-Treats. You could hide them in a number of places to make the games super exciting. You could start by hiding them in your dog’s favourite KONG and watch them try to lick and tease them out. Then you could get more creative with your hiding places - perhaps pop one under a cushion, or even in another room. Try to use treats that have a strong scent to give your dog a helping hand. It’ll be fun for both you and them and they’ll get a tasty reward for their efforts.
Play a Game of Tug-of-War - One of the drawbacks of extended time indoors is that your dog can end up with lots of unused energy. A game of Tug-of-War could be the ideal game to play to help them expel some of that pent-up excitement. Find a suitable tug toy for your dog’s size (we have many options in our shop!) and enjoy a game of tug with them. It can be a really useful training method too and can help redirect any inappropriate use of their teeth.
This game is especially good for larger dogs in small spaces who may be used to running off energy outside.
Play Indoor Fetch - You may think that games of Fetch are only suitable outside, but that isn’t necessarily the case. If you have a long hallway or a staircase, you could use a soft throwing toy to play a game of fetch indoors. The Chuckit Indoor Play Ball is just one toy that would be ideal, but there are a few plush toys that would be suitable too.
If you have a small dog, you may find you can play this in the living room, but larger dogs may well need that staircase or hallway!
Set up an Indoor Obstacle Course - If your dog rather likes an adventure, then why not try setting up an indoor dog assault course for them? All kinds of things that you may find around your home could be used to set up a mini obstacle course for your dog. You could use pillows, boxes, a laundry basket, the stairs etc. Anything that your dog could jump over, or crawl through like a tunnel (a box with both ends open perhaps?) will make a great obstacle. It may take a little training to get them to do some of the tasks, but it will be rewarding for both your dog and you. Make sure to have some good quality training treats for their good behaviour!
Play the Shell Game - You have probably heard of the Shell Game or Cup Game. The game with three cups and a ball or other token where the cups are swapped around, and you have to follow the one with the token inside? It can be surprisingly difficult! Well how about swapping the regular token for a dog treat and play the game with your dog? It may take a little bit of training for them to get the ropes, but with a bit of time they’ll soon be having loads of fun trying to work out which cup has the treat!
Brush Up On Your Dog Training
Whether you have a little puppy or an older dog, there is always something you can be teaching your dog. The saying may go, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, but actually it’s never too late to teach your dog something new. A spot of training will give you both something to focus on and may be lots of fun. Plus, we always relish any chance we get to spend a bit of bonding time with our pups!
Teach Your Dog a New Trick - One of the simplest things you could do is think of a trick that your dog doesn’t already know. It could be learning to roll over, to kiss, to shake paws or to spin. There are loads of great videos online that will give you a helping hand. So, get those training treats ready and prepare a new trick or two to impress all of your friends when lockdown is over!
Teach Your Dog to Tidy Their Toys - You could take you dog’s training one step further and train them to do something practical, like tidy their toys. All that time spent in the house probably means your dog’s toy box contents is more often than not all over your floor! Well this could be the perfect way to get your dog involved with the chores. They’ll probably enjoy the time spent learning and it’ll mean one less chore for you to do. Again, there are a number of video tutorials and ‘How-To’s online. Take a look and start your dog on their cleaning journey!
Chill Out With Your Dog
After all of these games and activities, you might find you’re both more tired than on a regular day outside of lockdown! We think you deserve a rest and to put your feet up whilst your canine family members snuggle up to you on the sofa. You’ve earned it!
Watch a Movie or Catch up on Netflix -There’s nothing better than reclining on the sofa with a cup of tea, to watch a film or tv series. Whether it’s Netflix or Disney Plus, there are loads of new things coming to our TV’s all the time. Whilst your dog may not want to watch the latest movie, they’ll love snuggling up to you on the sofa, especially after a challenging day learning new things or defeating an obstacle course. You might even find something animal or pet related that will get your dog’s ears pricked.
With that in mind, have any of you seen Pooch Perfect yet? The show where dog groomers compete to be crowned the best groomer. It’s a fun show where the groomers are given a challenge to groom a certain breed of dog or give a certain type of cut. We think your dog might just enjoy this one as much as you do!
We hope we’ve given you lots of ideas to keep your lockdown lives active and enriched. If you need any help in selecting some new toys or treats for you indoor games, do get in touch. We’re more than happy to help in any way we can.