Even those dogs who are happy to spend most of their days indoors love nothing more than going out. Walks are the highlight of the morning, and chasing birds away in the garden provides endless joy. These times are also a lot of fun for you, their human, and are a great way to get a good workout.
However, many dogs hate the cold, especially when it is snowing. They want to spend all day indoors with you, even at the expense of their favorite activities. Some dogs really cannot handle the cold. Take a look at the answers to how cold is too cold for dogs to see if it is prudent to keep them inside. These days, with social distancing restrictions, you may have to stay inside with your dog anyway.
The problem is that they can get bored and agitated when cooped up. You need to know how to keep them occupied and give them the exercise they need. Here are 6 fun things to do with your dog indoors in winter.
1. Training boot camp
While your dog may be well-trained, they can always afford to learn some more tricks. Whether it is giving you a high-five, doing a somersault, or learning better self-control, you can spend this time becoming their personal trainer. You don’t need any particular experience or knowledge, either. There are countless videos online that will help you teach your dog new skills.
This is also a great way to bond with your dog even more, as you become totally in tune with his feelings and responses.
2. Play catch
Fetch may be off-limits, considering you don’t have the space you would outdoors, but you can play catch far more easily. Throw your dog’s favorite toy up in the air and they will instinctively try to catch it before it hits the ground. Give them increasingly more difficult throws, so that they continue to feel challenged.
3. Make them chase you
Your dog needs to exercise, even while staying indoors. And while you won’t want them tearing through the house at random, you can control their movement by making them chase you. Take a treat or a toy and show it to them. Then run away, around the room, up and down stairs, doing what you can to stay ahead of them. Eventually, they will catch you (or you can let them) and the game will start over.
4. Customized obstacle course
Use your organizational skills, along with your understanding of your dog’s skills and limitations, to build an obstacle course that is perfect for them. You may put chairs in the way that they can crawl under, create a makeshift fence for them to jump over, and a pillow fort they can jump into. Change it up every day to keep it interesting.
The classic tug-of-war does not require a lot of space. On the contrary, as long as you are tugging on something relatively short and compact, you will have loads of fun pulling each other around the room. Get toys that are specifically made for this game, so that you will not feel worried about their teeth and gums.
6. Treasure hunt
Dogs are instinctively good at sniffing things out and finding them, and they will go at the task with vigor. Therefore, a treasure hunt is the perfect activity to keep them engaged and having fun. Simply show them a treat or a toy and go into a different room while keeping them out. Hide it under a couch or in a corner, and then let them do their thing. They will enjoy the process and love the allure of a treat at the end.
You can have plenty of fun indoors with your dog – fun that will keep both of you busy and active. Spend this time getting more in tune with them, and your outdoor activities will be even more satisfying once the weather is back to normal.