You have been faithful about taking Fido on walks every day since the vet has told you he needs to lose a few pounds. But now a big snow storm is rolling in and it looks like you won’t be able to walk him for a few days. Does this mean you should stop exercising all together? Absolutely not, it is still very important that you pup gets physical and mental exercise every day. Here are some activities that you can do indoor with you dog that will stimulate them daily when you can’t go outside.
Hide and Seek:
This game gets your dog moving around the house without throwing a ball. Put your dog in a separate room and then take your dog’s favorite toy or a couple pieces of his/her daily allowed kibble and hide it in the another room. Start by placing the toy in an obvious place that is easy for your pup to find. Let him out of the room and tell him to seek. (You may have to show him/her where you hid it the first couple of times). Once he finds the toy or kibble praise him with tons of affection. Take her out of the room again and hide her toy or kibble again, continue to make the hiding places harder and harder until your dog is a hide and seek pro. You can also play this game with people instead of toys. Have someone help you distract your dog while you hide. Once hidden call your dog and tell him to seek. Once he finds you give him a piece of kibble and lots of affection. Note: If you use all of your dogs allowed dinner do not feed him that evening. He does not need any extra food just because you fed it in a different way.
Command stations are a great way to stimulate your dog mentally! Set up different stations around your house, and mark them with a sign that has a command written on it. Walk your dog from one station to the next and make them do the command that is on the sign several time. Reward him/her with praise or a pieces of their allowed daily kibble.
Create stepping stones out of bath mats or none slip rugs and place them around the house. Start with the mats very close to each other. Place you dog on a leash and have him walk on the mats rewarding him every time he goes from one mat to the next without stepping on the floor. Slowly increase the distances between that mats making him have to leap from one to the next. Use caution not to extend the mats too far out.
Indoor Obstacle Course:
Use objects such as empty drawers, broomsticks, pillows, cushions, hula hoops, and cardboard boxes to create and obstacle course around your house. Have your dog weave, jump, tunnel, navigate, and crawl through your obstacles.
You can also do some gentle warm-ups before doing work out with your dog. You can do this by putting him/her on a leash and walking around you house, make sharp, slow turns around doorways, and walks up and down steps. You can also help work your dog’s core muscles by having him sit, lay down, and then stand back up repeatedly.