Guide to Keeping Your Dog Entertained in Winter
It is not just during the Winter months that we Irish have to keep our pets indoors due to inclement weather. Unfortunately, it is raining far more than it is not. This means that our poor pets get soaked, get cold, feel uncomfortable and then bring in all that mucky, wet joy indoors to their owners and several shakes later, the whole house is in a state. They are thrilled to be in but you are out with the mop and other cleaning utensils.
Recent studies have also shown that just because dogs have thick coats, this does not mean that they do not feel the cold just like us. Our skin is also waterproof but there is a reason why we wear clothing, and then put another layer on when we go outside!
It’s disappointing for you and your dog to be stuck at home. We can all agree that an active dog is a happy dog, but even if you are unable to take your dog out as much as you’d like, there are still many things you can do at home to keep them engaged and entertained. For information on how to keep your dog entertained indoors, see the recommendations below.
Activity requirements for dogs
Dogs need mental and physical activity to stay active, healthy, and content. Walking, running, and playing are all forms of physical activity, whereas many diverse things can stimulate the mind.
Whether tracking scents outside, paying close attention during obedience training, or trying to extract kibble from a puzzle toy, intense mental concentration leaves a dog exhausted but content.
When a dog isn’t given enough mental or physical stimulation, they frequently find other ways to release their pent-up energy, including chewing on their owner’s socks or damaging furniture. Because of this, it’s crucial to provide your dog lots of mental and physical stimulation.
1. Your dog needs a new trick.
Give your dog a new trick to learn. The options are unlimited, whether it’s shaking a paw, finding out what the name of a favourite toy is, or burrowing under a chair!
Cleanup is a wonderful trick to try. First, ask your dog to pick up one of their dog toys, carry it to a box, and drop it to demonstrate what “put it away” means. Once they can accomplish it with merely the command, you can advance to dispersing the toys throughout the room and having them pick them up and put them away one at a time.
2.Let them see how things are outside
Dogs enjoy relaxing near the window. Create a safe area for your dog to view out of the window if you can, and if you feel like doing so, leave the window cracked so they may take in the sights and noises of the outside.
3. Learn the names of your dog’s toys.
It’s easier than it may seem to teach your dog the names of their toys. If you indulge your dog with lots of toys, this can be a fantastic activity. Start by playing with one item and giving it a name while you do so. Then, ask your dog to fetch a certain toy by name, and lavish them with praise when they do. While playing with the particular toy, you may also use treats or a clicker to reward your dog while stating the toy’s name.
In the end, test your dog’s ability to choose a specific toy from a collection of toys by name. Once they are familiar with the name, try to move on.
4. Every day, conduct brief sessions of obedience instruction.
Dog training offers excellent mental stimulation. Review every command you’ve given them before using positive reinforcement techniques, or add a new one.
If you want to make sure that all of your dog’s orders are deeply ingrained in their memory and that they can always recall the right action when necessary, it’s helpful to devote at least 5 to 10 minutes every day to training, regardless of how experienced your dog is with obedience.
5. Change up your dog’s toys.
Dogs enjoy novelties, much like kids do. You may make your dog’s toys appear much more intriguing by spinning them!
For a few days, store some of your dog’s toys in a cabinet, then switch them out to offer your dog something fresh to play with.