Phew, extreme heat, stay-at-home orders, rain, or a busy schedule can prevent dogs (and the people that love them) from adventuring the great Austin outdoors.
When that’s the case, what indoor activities for dogs can still give them the physical and mental workout they need?
Here are some of the best indoor activities for our beloved fur babies from our favorite local, family-owned pet store, Tomlinson’s Feed to prevent dog boredom when indoors:
6 Indoor Activities for Dogs
- Good ol’ Fashioned Play –
If space allows, chase your dog around the house, get into a game of tug o’ war with a favorite toy (a durable, tug toy), or play a game of fetch down a long hallway. These are dog classics for a reason- they get their heart going and they’re fun!
2. Indoor “Agility Course”-
Set up obstacles similar to that of an agility course: a tunnel, jumps, or weave poles. Get creative with items you already have in your home, such as a broomstick for a jump, couch cushions for a tunnel, and bar stools for weave poles. As your dog navigates through new obstacles, they will be challenged both mentally and physically.
3. Hide & Seek –
If your dog has a strong sniffer, this will be their new favorite activity. Hide some small treats (the stinkier the better – like these) in various places around the house and watch your dog be entertained and instantly rewarded for hours! Note: be sure to pick up the unwanted, unfound treats.
4. Puppy Playdate –
(A fun idea but advise practicing social distancing.) Invite another dog over for some playtime, which is great for both exercise and socialization. However, this is probably only ideal if you have smaller dogs and/or ample space for a little roughhousing.
5. Training –
This is a great time to pick up training treats or small-bite kibble from Tomlinson’s Feed for training rewards. Brush up on some tricks your pet already knows, or work on new, more advanced moves. But remember to only work on training as long as it’s fun for both you and your dog. Anything more can be counterproductive to learning.
6. Brain Games & Smart Toys –
Pick up a couple of brain-teasing toys for your dog at Tomlinson’s Feed. A Kong is a classic: fill it with kibble, seal it with peanut butter (xylitol-free, of course), and let them go to work! Hot day? Fill it with peanut butter, freeze it, and pull it out when they are ready for a frozen, delicious treat/game.
A Tomlinson’s staff favorite is Planet Dog’s Snoop toy. We fill it with freeze-dried raw morsels and watch our dogs’ nose, nudge, and kick it around the living room.
More Advanced: teach your dog the name of their toys and have them retrieve accordingly! This is tough, so start with one or two toys at a time. If you think your dog is a genius, try teaching them to count! Offer your dog two handfuls full of varying amounts of kibble, give them a command such as ‘small’, with the ultimate goal of them choosing the hand with a smaller quantity. Keep in mind that this game takes a little encouragement and a lot of patience.
For a complete pet summer heat survival guide, go to Tomlinsons.com to fetch all the tips, tricks, and all things pets.