You may think it’s no big deal, but being cooped up inside with no mental or physical stimulation is bad news for your canine friend. It can cause anxiety and negative behaviors such as scratching the walls, chewing furniture, raiding the garbage, or barking. Moreover, it’s also likely to exacerbate preexisting health or behavioral problems.
Yet when the weather’s not so great, what to do? Vigorous outdoor exercise is ideal, but if it’s not an option, there are plenty of ways to keep your dog stimulated at home.
To keep your dog active indoors, be creative
Only because you can’t go outside doesn’t mean your dog’s only option is to just lie there. One example of a fun and healthy way to get some exercise indoors is to improvise an obstacle course. Right in your living room (or basement or garage) you can arrange household objects and guide your dog over, under, through and around them. You can even drape a blanket over an object to make a tunnel to run through.
Keeping your dog’s games varied is important. You can play tug of war, provided you have enough space. If you have a set of stairs with carpet runners on them, playing fetch up the stairs is also great exercise.
And if time is of the essence, there’s a wide variety of tech toys for dogs, such as our own Mia robot, that can help you keep your canine friend busy and stimulated all day long.
Give your dog a sense of purpose
Dogs love having a sense of purpose; no matter how silly some tasks seem to us, they can go a long way towards staving off boredom and its attendant problems. “Fetch the slippers” is an old classic, but really fetching anything will do.
If the task happens to have some use for you, so much the better. You can train your dog to put your socks and underwear in the laundry hamper, bring your shoes in their proper place, or even push the chairs into the desired arrangement. They love to help!
Let them play with food
There are lots of ways to use your dog’s appetite to keep them from getting bored. Because dogs are natural scavengers, you can hide pieces of kibble in nooks and corners and watch your dog follow his nose until he finds them all, then repeat.
Or, you can use a solid, hollow toy (Kongs are great for this) and hide food in it. A peanut-butter-filled Kong can keep a dog occupied for an hour. Fill it with wet food and then freeze it to prolong the reward as the food thaws.
With the considerable variety of options available to keep your dog stimulated and happy indoors, there’s really no need for bored dog syndrome to go on. Try some of these today, and you’ll see what a difference it can make in keeping your dog active indoors!
MEET MIA, YOUR DOG NEW FRIEND
MIA is an autonomous robot that entertains your dog and even dispenses treats! MIA will reduce your dog’s separation anxiety and barking, increase its exercise level and make its day more fun!