Beat the Rainy Day Blues!
The weather may be a bit dreary outside, but don't let that stop you from playing with your dog! Rainy days may make us feel like we have limited energy, and our dogs can sense that. This in turn can cause them to feel tired or want to laze about, too. Sometimes the rain's coming down so hard it just wouldn't be smart to take your dog outside. You might think it's best to wait until it slows down, but...
Your dog needs exercise. If he/she doesn't get enough stimulation during the day, they can be full of restless energy that's going to be bad for their health and well-being. One thing every dog loves is playtime! Some dogs are more playful while others are more relaxed, but they all will enjoy a game or two! Therefore, we've found 5 games to exercise your dog indoors on a rainy day. Engagement and proper brain health is extremely important to keep them alert and healthy! It should be noted that all dogs need regular walks, but these games are great alternatives on a day when the weather doesn't cooperate. They can also take place of walks for dogs who are especially energetic.
1. HIDE AND SEEK
We loved playing hide and seek as kids, and dogs seem to love it too! All dog breeds have a search or tracking impulse. German Shepherds, Beagles, and Bloodhounds are especially great at this game! Hide and seek will stimulate a dog's cardiovascular system when played repeatedly, but it will also be great for engaging their minds. It's also a great game for older dogs who have some difficulties with getting out and about. If your dog knows the command "go find it" or "go find your toy/ball," they will have all kinds of fun with hide and seek. For those who don't know that command too well, the dog will pick it up fairly quickly. An excellent way to play is to have your dog stay in any room while you find a place to hide either their favorite treat or toy. Be sure to put it in an easily accessible spot! Go back to your dog and let them into the rest of the house, prompting them with vocal cues of "find it!" Also encourage them when they are near the "prize" letting them know when they are too far away with other words of your choice. Your dog will love using their tracking senses with this game!
2. TRAINING TIME
A perfect way to engage with your dog and maximize play time on a rainy day is to work on training. This can be fun with your pet while helping you encourage discipline and great behavior! There are several training routines you can use to keep your dog busy inside. Work on reinforcing basic commands such as "sit," "stay," "give," and more, or find a new trick to teach them!
What dog doesn't love a great game of fetch? Well..we know some that might, but that's okay too. Some breeds have more of a chase instinct while others enjoy the retrieval, but regardless most dogs will fetch toys with a little encouragement. While playing fetch indoors, make sure you're not in an area where something expensive can break! If your house or apartment has a hall or long room, that would be best. Use vocalizations while playing this game to encourage a playful mood! Hopefully they will return the toy, but if not, encourage your dog to hold the toy and then reward them with a treat. Always use positive reinforcement!
4. TAG YOU'RE IT!
This is always a fun game which will give your dog some physical exercise for the day. It's also a good way to train your dog to come to you when ask. There are several ways to make tag interesting!
The easiest involves you, another person, and your dog. Sit with your dog in the middle of the room. You and the other person should stand at either end of the room with some treats. One at a time, each person calls for the dog and rewards when they follow the command properly. You can also play tag with just yourself and your dog, but it's a bit trickier. It involves training your dog to stay in a room by his/herself while you go to another room and call for them.
Another way to play is by turning the game into chase! Call your dog's name as you run into another room. This way you can turn the game into exercise for you and our pet!
5. OBSTACLE COURSE
Last but not least, make this rainy day much more fun with an obstacle course! You can make a course with anything you chose. Laundry baskets, stools, chairs, boxes, whatever works! Train your dog to go through each, and they will be sure to get a good, fun workout. This might be a bit more challenging for some, but you'll also help your dog build up the confidence to feel brave and super smart!
Overall, rainy days can give us and our pets the blues. However, you can liven it up with these fun indoor games. On the other hand, if a rainy day falls on a workday, don't fret! We love having indoor play days during daycare here at Stream Valley! Your dog can even spend the day making new friends too. If you're curious about our daycare options, give us a call at 703-723-1017, or visit our daycare webpage at https://www.streamvalleyvet.com/daycare. We'd love to help your dog have a fun-filled day!