Dog Articles: Wellness

Indoor Games and Activities for Dogs

With cold weather comes the human urge to bundle up and take it easy by the fire. The nastier it gets, the more you may want to retreat into hibernation mode.

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dog laying on the floor surrounded by toys

People usually prefer to catch a movie marathon, cook their favourite meals or find activities that require as little time as possible as you run from your car to the warmth of a building.

It's a different story for your dog. Just because the temperature drops doesn't mean his energy drops with it. Your canine will still be bouncing off the walls, eager to go for his daily walk and more than willing to spend a few extra minutes outside no matter what the wind chill feels like.

While there are some breeds that cower from the cold, just like you, there are many that absolutely love it. Some dogs that thrive in cold weather even have more energy when winter hits.

As the snow falls, those breeds light up with excitement, and they just can't wait to burn off some energy in the chilly air.

However, when the weather’s frightful, you may not be as willing to spend extra time at the dog park or let your pooch run around and play fetch as if it were a nice summer day. While you certainly need to get outdoors with your lovable pooch for a little while, that most likely won't be enough to burn off all of the energy he’s stored.

Next time the temperature dips, try these indoor activities to prevent your dog from having cabin fever:

  • Hide and seek - Have your dog sit and stay while you find a place in the house to hide. The more twists, turns and stairs he has to climb, the better! When you have made it to a hiding place, shout his release command and wait for him to scour the house to find you. Be sure to have a tasty, strong-smelling treat with you to increase the incentive.

  • Learning games - Either work on a new trick or have him solve puzzle toys that dispense treats. Stimulating your dog's mind is just as important as exercising his body.

  • Tug of war - This classic game never gets old and, because it doesn't require much space, you can wear your pooch out even if you live in a small apartment. It’s sure to give your arms a good workout, too!

  • Doggy play date - Host an indoor doggy playtime with a friend’s pooch. While they may not be able to run around as much, they can still wrestle and socialize. Just be sure there isn't anything fragile around; you never know when playtime may turn into mess-up-the-house time.

  • Chew toys - Keeping a dog occupied with a chew toy or bone is a great way to help them relieve tension. Dogs of all ages enjoy chewing on things for stimulation and fun. You’ll have a captivated pup if the bone is extra tasty, too.

Whatever the outdoor weather may be, be sure to give your dog the attention he needs. Being cooped up all day can confuse and frustrate canines, so keeping them busy with games and stimulation can help you both make it through the deep freeze.