Does January leave you and your dog with cabin fever? With the short days, cold weather, and snow storms, you may find it harder to do outdoor activities with your dog. Try these fun indoor activities to keep your dog active and mentally engaged.
1) Learn New Tricks.
That old adage that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? It’s not true! With the right motivation, your dog will love learning new tricks. Whether it’s a basic you never got to, like “shake” or “roll over,” or something more complicated, the mental stimulation of learning something new will get your dog’s brain off the great outdoors.
Want to get creative? Try teaching your dog a sequence of commands. You could also teach unusual commands like “through,” where your dog must walk between your legs. My dog loves “knock it over,” where he sits on command and then knocks a card over on command.
2) Cure Cabin Fever With Hide N Seek.
If your dog is good at a sit-stay command, get them to stay until you find a good hiding spot. Then release the hounds and let them look for you! Or, have a friend or family member hold the dog back and then command them to find you after you hide.
You can also play hide and seek with treats. Scatter them around and let your dog put his hunting instincts to good use.
3) Read Together.
Stimulate your dog’s mind with a book she can understand! Plus, the dog can paw at or lick the fabric book without damaging it. Check them out and select your dog’s favorite words here.
4) Cure Cabin Fever With a Puzzle Toy.
There are a lot of options out there for dog puzzle toys. My dogs love the Kong Wobbler, for example. But you can also try a DIY-ish option. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to buy a holee roller ball like this. Then cut some fleece strips or scraps and shove them inside the ball, along with some treats. Your dog will love tearing the fleece out to make the treats fall to the ground. Save the fleece and use it over and over again!
5) Run Together—Inside.
Okay, this might not work so well if you have big dogs. But for me and my little ones, running together back and forth down the hall or up and down the stairs is a great workout for me and them. When you just can’t get out for a good walk, this is a great way to exercise!