Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Sometimes it is just too cold to be playing outside with your dog, but Fido still needs exercise and entertainment. So what do you do with your dog when you’re confined inside? Anyone who loves dogs knows that there are many ways to interact with your dog indoors, but to actually get some exercise and expend some of his canine energy may require a little more than having him lie on your cold toes to keep them warm. Well, maybe that is just me; my favorite thing about winter is a warm dog to cuddle with! For the rest of the time, here are some indoor activities you and your dog can enjoy together.
A tennis ball or a chew toy can be used in a fun game of indoor fetch with your dog. If you don’t have a lot of room, don’t worry – you aren’t going to actually be throwing the toy. It may take a few times for your dog to understand the game, but once they catch on they’ll be just as eager to play indoors as they are outside. Call your dog and show him the tennis ball or chew toy, then either roll it across the floor or hide it behind you. Your dog will be excited to either chase it across the floor or bound around you to try to get it from you.
Tug of War
Knotted ropes are a great deal of fun for indoor play with your dog, and all you really need is a small area that isn’t cluttered or surrounded with breakables. This helps your dog work off some energy and build up some strength as well as letting him interact with you and have your attention.
Okay, so training may not sound like a fun time for your dog, or for you. But when your dog is cooped up inside, the one-on-one interaction will keep him from getting bored and adopting a bad habit. Work on a new trick or challenge your dog with some indoor agility training. Try an indoor obstacle course or create a musical canine freestyle routine, and be sure to have plenty of CANIDAE Snap Bits™ treats on hand to reward your pooch for their hard work. There are plenty of training activities you can have fun with when you are indoors with your dog.
It is common knowledge that any time you interact with your dog it’s enjoyable for you and for the dog, but it can be emotionally and physically beneficial for both of you as well. Using your imagination and finding creative ways to interact with your dog will make those cold cooped up days go by much faster. I look at winter about the same way the children in the Cat in the Hat book looked at a rainy day. I can sit around and stare out the window and wish for sunshine, or I can have a lot of fun inside while I wait for spring.
There is still plenty of cuddle time and lots of lazy evenings with a dog lying on my feet or 50 pounds of furry love planting herself in my lap for a belly rub. But I can tell when my dog has had enough lying around and wants to play, and I indulge her with these and other indoor activities. Summer will be here soon enough, and then I can spend an afternoon outdoors tossing a ball for my dog and wishing for my nice air conditioned home. But as a responsible pet owner, I know that in any season it’s important to do what is best for my dog, whether in the heat or cold.
Photo by Michal Osmenda
Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie