We are fortunate enough in our beloved South Africa to not suffer much from ice-cold winters…but there are the odd times we end up in bed for an entire weekend to avoid the icy temperatures!
With these cuddly indoor days, our poor pooches tend to have to go along with these lazy days and lose out on their usual day to day activities they so enjoy. What we are left with are bored and frustrated furkids who end up turning to other things (like shoe chewing!) to entertain themselves!
Here are a couple of ways to keep our dogs entertained and far away from boredom…and our shoes!
- Treasure Hunt! Besides the fact that they will be getting their favourite things – TREATS! – an activity such as this is bound to provide the mental stimulation that their usual day to day activities might lack! Not sure how to start? Simply start with a ‘pick the hand’ game – place a treat in one hand, hide behind your back, swop the treat around (or don’t!) and bring your hands back in front of their noses. With a little nudge to whichever hand, they will get the gist of it soon enough, and then it’s time to spread the game to the rest of the house! Hide treats on their bed or near their toys, somewhere they are bound to gravitate to eventually!
- Similar to a treasure hunt, there is always ‘what’s under the cup’. This may be a little simpler to get your pooch in to, and again very mentally stimulating! Just grab some plastic cups or containers that aren’t translucent, pop a treat under one of them (3 containers or cups should be fine), show your pooch the treat, and then move the cups around, the rest is simple enough!
- Hide and Seek – this game works just as well with your loyal doggy companion than anyone! You’ve seen the videos on Youtube, now its your turn!
- Despite what some might say, your dog is never too old to learn something new – some studies have shown that our dogs appreciate being put to work. By teaching them a simple chore in the house, you are giving them another purpose other than the sole giver-of-smooches! Some ideas could be picking up their toys and putting them in one central place, using a key phrase such as “clean up!”, or loading the washing machine by passing mom clothes.
- Complete a refresher course on their basic obedience commands – this can only help your pet gain those skills you may have been a little too easy on lately.
- Learn to give your doggo a massage! A massage does wonders for your dog just as it does for you. Google some easy to follow articles or videos on how to administer a relaxing and soothing massage. This can also be used on those dreaded thunderstorm nights, or in any situation you find your pet is especially stressed in.
- A last and rather funny suggestion is bubbles! Teach your dog the joy that is chasing bubbles. Cheap and fun, blowing bubblesto your dog’s delight is bound to get them moving around and the whole family laughing!
While a good old game of tug-oh-war is always an option, why not give these new and quirkier ideas a shot. Take this down time as an opportunity to grow your bond with your pet. Who knows – you both might walk away having learnt something!
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