As much as we want the best for our pets, we can’t exactly give them perfect weather every day. The fact of the matter is that rain or shine, your dog needs daily exercise and mental stimulation. (Fortunately, there are several ways to wear out your dog without even leaving the house.)
Don’t let dreary weather keep you and your pup from having fun. Read on for 10 of our favorite ways to keep a dog occupied and entertained on a rainy day!
1. Play Hide and Seek
Depending on how well-trained your dog is, you can try instructing him to sit and stay in another room, or simply plan to sprinkle treats around the house while he’s napping. Whichever method you choose, hide some of his favorite treats (or even chew toys) around the house while he’s not watching. Once you’re done, instruct your dog to seek out his hidden treats for a tasty reward.
You can even try playing a version of the game where your dog finds you! Instruct him to “stay” while you find a hiding spot. Once hidden, call for Fido to come find you, with plenty of treats and praise as a reward.
2. Blow Bubbles
Who doesn’t love blowing bubbles? If you’re cooped up indoors, bubbles are an easy way to provide some entertainment and exercise. As Fido chases and pops bubbles, he’s also moving and stretching his muscles.
Make sure to use a bottle of non-toxic bubbles. You may even be able to find dog-friendly bubbles that come in tasty flavors!
3. Play Puzzle Games
Interactive puzzle toys are a great way to stimulate your dog’s brain and keep his mind sharp. You don’t need the fanciest new pet gadgets to provide a fun, enriching experience for your dog, though.
Try some DIY puzzle games with your dog using items you already have lying around the house. For example:
The cup game: take three cups, and hide a treat underneath one of them as your dog watches. Rotate the cups so your dog has to figure out which one contains his treat. Modify the game according to your dog’s abilities—this could mean allowing him to knock over the cups to find the treat, or teaching him a new pointing trick.
The towel game: sprinkle a few treats onto an old towel, and roll or fold it up. As you do so, place more treats between the folds so your dog has to nose (or paw) through the layers to get to his treats.
The ball game: place some treats in a muffin tin or egg carton, and cover them with tennis balls, ping pong balls, or anything else that fits. See how long it takes for your dog to find his treats.
4. Build an Indoor Agility Course
If you have room in your home (ideally, a garage or basement), set up an indoor obstacle course with objects you already have at home: boxes, pillows, chairs, blankets, brooms, etc.
There’s no one right way to build an agility course. Get creative with whatever you have lying around so your pup can jump, weave, and climb through his fun new obstacle course.
5. Play Tug-of-War
Tug-of-war is a great interactive game that allows for some quality time between you and your pet. Plus, grabbing and shaking a rope or soft toy is a great outlet for your dog’s instinctive prey drive.
Through games like tug-of-war, you can also teach your dog commands like “drop it” or “be gentle.” If he’s becoming too aggressive or possessive, though, it may be time to take a break.
6. Pamper Your Pup
Sometimes, a rainy day calls for an at-home spa day (for you and your dog alike). While your pup may not be able to use your face masks, there are several ways he can indulge in a sPAW day.
While your dog is calm and relaxed, conduct a home health check, checking for any abnormalities in his skin, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, paws, and more. If brushing is a relaxing experience for your dog, you can try doing it at the same time.
Don’t forget to brush your dog’s teeth, too!
7. Watch Fido’s Favorite Show
When your dog cuddles up with you on the couch while you binge your favorite show, he’s just happy to be part of the experience—he doesn’t necessarily know what’s happening on the screen.
Try switching things up and turning on some dog TV… and by this, we mean Youtube videos of nature and animals, making sure the volume is turned up. Not every dog is interested in nature videos, but it’s certainly worth a try to see if your dog gets mesmerized and does that adorable head tilt.
8. Trot on the Treadmill
If skipping the daily walk is simply not an option for your energetic dog, you can try putting him on the treadmill. While this isn’t suitable for every dog—especially those with joint and mobility issues—a trot on the treadmill could be a good form of exercise for a dog with excess energy.
Make sure to keep the treadmill on walking speed to avoid injury, and always monitor the situation closely. Too slow is better than too fast.
9. Practice New Tricks
A rainy day is a great opportunity for a simultaneous bonding and training session with your dog. Basic dog commands are a great way to keep your dog under control, strengthen communication between dog and owner, and give your dog a confidence boost.
Find a quiet, low-traffic area of your home. Start by reviewing familiar commands to establish a sense of structure; if he already knows the basics like “sit” and “stay,” you can try advancing to more complicated commands like “shake” or “roll over,” or even something more advanced.
Remember to know your dog’s limits and keep training sessions short and sweet to maintain a positive association.
10. Go Outside
Who says “rainy day” and “indoor day” are synonyms? If your dog has a raincoat (or even some adorable rain boots) and doesn’t mind getting wet, you can certainly spend some time splashing around in puddles together.
Just keep in mind that you’ll probably need to clean up afterward with a bath, especially if the ground is muddy. If your pup is already overdue for a cleaning, you might as well let him romp around in the rain before the inevitable bath.
Whatever the weather, you’ll want to do whatever you can to keep your dog feeling happy and healthy year-round. In addition to exercise, fun activities, and quality bonding time, your dog can also benefit from dietary supplements. PetHonesty’s Best Sellers 3-Pack combines our most popular, vet-recommended soft chews to boost your dog’s skin, coat, joints, and immune health.