Games to play on a rainy day!

Sometimes the weather keeps us from getting our dogs out which can leave them with some extra energy. This extra energy usually ends up getting them into some sort of trouble. There are some great alternatives you can utilize in order to keep them busy and to set your beloved furchild up for success. A tired dog is a good dog!

1. Stuffed Treat Toy

One easy way to occupy your dog’s mind and reward them at the same time is with a stuffed treat toy. There are many things you can stuff inside such as peanut butter, wet food or even a blended up homemade mixture. The internet is filled with ideas and recipes of varieties for allergies and to ensure you’re not adding too many calories to their diet.

*Helpful Tip: Putting a stuffed kong in the freezer will help it to last longer! This can also benefit teething puppies!

2. DIY Snuffle Mat

Putting your dog to work in a fun way can easily burn some of that energy. Allowing them to use their nose to find goodies in an array of fabrics can be a great way to build confidence in your dog! You can always purchase a Snuffle Mat but if you’re crafty they’re easy enough to make at home & there are plenty of ideas online of how to make your very own!

Puzzle games

Allowing your pup to work towards finding a treat is rewarding and takes brain power. You could always purchase a puzzle feeder game for your dog but you could also just get creative with things you may already have! A muffin tin & some tennis balls go a long way in just one of many DIY puzzle games you can create to keep your pup busy.

4. Hide & Seek

Ah yes, a good ol game of hide & seek could be just the perfect game for a rainy day. Not only is it rewarding for your pup to find you, but it is a great exercise to create a successful recall in a fun way. Hide & seek can also involve finding their favorite toy or treat!
How to get started:

  • Ask your dog to sit/down out of sight to prevent them catching onto your hiding spot.(You can also have another family member keep the dog in place to prevent “cheating”.) Keep the initial hiding spots relatively simple until your dog begins to catch onto the game.
  • Utilizing a release or “find” command can help to structure this game & to let them know the game has begun when hiding a toy. If it is yourself that is hiding from your dog, you can call their name or a command word like “here” to help them out. (Keep in mind that this game helps to utilize scents also so you won’t want to give too much away verbally.)
  • ALWAYS celebrate a dog’s win! This will keep your dog encouraged and engaged in the game. You can utilize praise, belly rubs, treats or toys-whatever he values most!
  • This can be a fun game for the whole family! Take turns hiding from the dog vs holding the dog to engage everyone at home. Do keep in mind you won’t want to reinforce any unwanted behaviors like jumping on people, scratching, climbing or excessive barking.

5. Play WITH your dog!

The ultimate choice, space providing, is playing fetch or tug with your dog. You’ll want to be sure this is done in a safe area to avoid any damage to floors or breakable items but you can always get creative! Hallways can be a great option for fetch.

6. Interactive Dog Feeder

Make your dog’s meals more exciting(and last longer). If you have a dog that likes to scarf down their food, this is the best way to slow them down. Utilizing these feeders engage your dog in a very rewarding brain game. There are different types of interactive dog feeders that can be simple or more challenging. They also come in all shapes and sizes.