We've reached that point of the year where it feels like it's been winter forever. This is also when you and your dog may start to get a little stir crazy. It's not like you two are getting to walk, play or socialize outside as much. But there are some fun, indoor alternatives to help beat the winter boredom. Here are five ways to entertain your dog inside during the colder months:
One of the easiest and simplest ways to entertain your dog indoors is with toys. Rope toys for pulling and tug-of-war will make your pup exert extra energy, while squeeze toys that make sounds will continually intrigue him or her. The possibilities are practically endless. Just remember to switch up or rotate toys regularly to continue piquing your pup's interest.
Pro Tip: Think about buying toys that are blue, yellow and green because those are the colors dogs see best.
2. Brain Games
Along the same lines, brain games are also a great way to entertain your dog inside. These include food-dispensing toys, nose work toys (like snuffle mats), the shell game (when you hide treats or kibble under one of several cups, shuffle them around and have your dog try to find where the food is), among others. Problem-solving games like these will keep your dog mentally stimulated, which helps prevents boredom.
We've found snuffle mats to be exceptionally good at providing mental stimulation with the added benefit of slowing down fast eaters. Here is our favorite.
Who says fetch is just an outdoor game? There are plenty of ways to play inside, you may just need to control your arm strength. Throwing around tennis balls, rubber toys, frisbees, and even their kibble will make your dog exert some extra energy and keep them from getting too bored.
4. Play Date
Another effective way to beat the winter boredom is to arrange a play date for your dog. By inviting over one of their buddies (canine or human), your pup will be able to get that extra energy out. It will be both physically and mentally stimulating for your dog, as well as provide some important socialization. Just make sure it's someone they get along well with!