Today, Tuesday 20th June 2023 here on the east coast of Australia. Lows of 5 in Brisbane, 4 in Sydney & Melbourne, 3 in Hobart, -3 in Canberra! Makes me shiver just writing it.
As the winter chill sets in and the raindrops fall, it can be quite a challenge to motivate yourself and your pupper to brave the crisp, cold air for a walk. Because I get it, if you're doing the 9-5 hustle that leaves the coldest, darkest parts of the day for the walks. Not ideal.
If your dog is anything like our Pepsi they hate the rain too. The thought of wet paws and a cold nose is too much fo him to bear!
If you're missing the daylight on those shortest winter days, it's just too cold and wet to head out, how do you keep your dog exercised and entertained? There are plenty of exciting indoor activities that'll do the trick. In this blog, we'll explore five fun-filled ideas that will make staying inside just as exciting as a run around the dog park.
1. Hide and Seek
It's not just for humans! Turn your home into a playground of discovery with a game of hide and seek. Hide your dog's favourite toys or treats in various rooms and encourage them to find them using their keen sense of smell. Start off easy and work your way up to different levels of difficulty. This activity not only provides mental stimulation but also strengthens the bond between you and pooch working as a team.
2. Brain Teasers
Challenge their canine IQ with interactive puzzle toys or treat dispensers. These toys require your dog to figure out how to access the treats hidden inside. You can create DIY puzzles for a fraction of the cost using everyday household items such as toilet rolls, old cereal boxes, folded up/knotted towels, egg cartons and knotted old t-shirts. Lick mats with peanut butter are also a yummy way to occupy and reward your dogs smarts.
The beauty about puzzles and brain teasers is that they also buy you a bit of time to duck out and keep your dog entertained when you're not home.
3. You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
Learning never gets old. Winter is the perfect time to teach your dog some new tricks or reinforce their existing training. At 3 our Louis has learnt how to hold gaze with Mum even when there is distractions about. And at 7 Pepsi has learnt how to stand up on his back legs for a treat.
Spend some quality time together working on commands like sit, stay, or even more advanced tricks like roll over or play dead. Training sessions provide mental stimulation and give your dog a sense of accomplishment. If your dog is food driven then you'll want to reward them for their learning with some yummy dog treats.
4. Create an Indoor Obstacle Course
Fun, fitness and adventure combined! Dogs love to explore new places. Invent a new space and experience in your home using everyday objects like pillows, chairs, and blankets to create jumps, tunnels, caves and more. Guide your dog through the course, encouraging them to jump over hurdles, crawl through tunnels, and weave between objects. This activity provides physical exercise, mental stimulation, and helps burn off excess energy.
5. Play Date
Socialise and have fun. Invite a furry friend over for a puppy play date. This allows your dog to socialise, play, and burn off energy with a compatible canine companion. (And a you can have a chin-wag of your own). Ensure a safe and supervised environment, provide plenty of toys, and watch the fun unfold as they engage in games of chase, tug-of-war, and wrestling matches.
They might even snuggle up together like these two after they're all tuckered out.
Here's a few tips from us when brining a puppy play date to your house for the first time:
a) When introducing dogs to each other for the first time or if it's the first time a puppy pal is coming into your pooches space, it's recommended to do so outside. It provides a neutral territory, reduces stress and territorial behaviours, allows for better control and supervision, offers distractions and stimulation, and facilitates neutral scent exchange.
b) Put your dog's bed during on a puppy play date. It helps prevents territorial behaviours, reduces the risk of potential conflicts over personal space, promotes neutral interactions among the dogs, and allows them to focus on play and socialisation rather than guarding their resting area. Oh, and I forgot to mention pee. I guarantee you one of the doggos is going to say "that's mine"by marking their territory. So pop it away and save yourself a trip to the laundry.
Winter doesn't have to mean choosing between freezing your butt off and boredom for your dog. By incorporating these indoor activities into your routine, you can keep your furry friend entertained, mentally stimulated, and physically active during those cold and wet months. Remember, a happy and engaged dog is a healthy dog. So embrace the indoors and make this winter a season of fun-filled adventures for you and your partner in crime.
Same goes for your pooch. They feel the cold too. Keep them warm and dry with a well fitted layered dog coat. Outback Tails Natural Canvas Dog Coats will keep your dog safe from the cold and wet, and stays nice and snug with adjustable neck and chest straps. Here is our friend Archie rocking his today. Soaking up those glimpses of sunshine that we got here in Melbourne.
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