Do you live in a part of the country where your dog freezes their tail off during certain seasons? That’s ruff! Getting your pet some fresh air is likely a big priority, but you may have no choice but to keep those outings short and sweet in the winter months. What should you do the rest of the time to ensure your dog is never bored? (Unsure if your dog is “bored”? Click here for surefire signs.)
Here are 10 indoor activities to keep your pup happily busy when the weather is too cold.
Play fetch inside the house.
Is your furry friend feeling cooped up? Don’t worry, your pup can still have a ball (or toy) with a game of indoor fetch. You can do this dog activity in the hallways, stairways, basements, or living rooms. Just be sure to have enough space and avoid playing near anything that might break or get knocked over in the excitement.
Set up a scent game.
Unleash your dog’s inner detective! Create a scent trail using new toys with strong smells. Or set up a series of boxes or containers with the toys hidden inside. Then have your dog find them with their super-powered nose. When they complete the game, shower them with lots of praise.
Teach your dog new tricks.
This is a great way to keep your dog entertained and mentally stimulated when it’s too cold to go outside. You can either work on basic obedience commands or train them to be a party trick pro. It’s a win-win situation: your dog gets some brain exercise, and you get to brag about your furry genius.
Play hide and seek with your dog.
First, tell your dog to stay. Then, do your best to sneak away and hide somewhere in the house. Once you’re good and hidden, give your dog the signal to come to find you. They’ll have a blast sniffing around, trying to track you down like the super sleuth they are.
Have your dog “hunt” for food.
Want to keep your dog busy and still have a doggone good time? Hide some of their favorite treats around the house and make them go on a scavenger hunt. But if your dog is a treat-finding machine, up the difficulty level (or just hide more treats).
Set up an obstacle course.
For this indoor activity, gather items you already have around the house, such as pillows and blankets. Then create fun challenges for your dog to navigate. Have them jump over and crawl under obstacles or retrieve objects and bring them back to you. And don’t forget to reward them for being a good sport (even if they eventually demolish your canine adventure zone).
Engage in interactive play with your dog.
Here’s a guaranteed way to get those tails wagging. Try using a laser pointer to get them chasing that elusive red dot. Just remember not to shine it directly into your dog’s eyes. You can also grab a flirt pole and playfully swing the toy or the lure attached to the end.
Schedule an in-home pup spa day.
What better time to do grooming tasks than on a cold day when your dog is stuck inside? Brush their hair, trim their nails, and treat them to a massage while you’re at it. They’ll love the extra attention and feel like a brand new dog after a little pampering.
Play tug-of-war with a rope toy.
Get ready to engage in a fierce battle of wits and strength with your four-legged friend! Be warned — they may not play fair. They might try to use their cute puppy dog eyes to distract you or use sneaky tricks to get the upper hand.
Give your dog a puzzle toy or food dispensing toy.
Why not make mealtime a little more challenging for your pooch? A little mental workout while they chow down won’t hurt. Not only will this dog activity help keep their brains sharp, it’ll also prevent boredom.
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Cold weather can’t rain on your parade (unless it’s literally raining, and you were planning a parade, but don’t worry… try these cold weather activities instead.) Spring is right around the corner, and there will be plenty of fresh, warmer air to be had. For now, get as much fresh air as the temperature outside allows, and use this list of fun dog activities to do with your best friend.