Dogs are not high-maintenance creatures. Most are satisfied with a bowl of food, a long nap, and the occasional stroll around the neighborhood. However, even the most laidback pups can get bored.
Restlessness in dogs can result in behavioral problems and possible health risks to your pet as it tries to find ways to alleviate boredom. It is important to remember that dogs require physical and mental stimulation to lead fulfilling lives, just like humans.
Rainy days can make finding things to do with your pet is harder. Fortunately, there are ways that your dog can stay busy at home. Check out some of these rainy day activities for dogs to prevent boredom.
1. Teach Your Dog a New Trick
There is no better time than a rainy day to practice some basic training exercises. Your dog may also know simple tricks like “sit” or “shake,” but there’s always more to learn. Choose a new trick and practice in short sessions throughout the day. Good options include spin, rollover, play dead, walk backward, bow, or bark on command.
2. Play Hide and Seek with Treats
No dog can resist a tasty treat. Hide and seek can be an excellent game to play with your pup as dogs have a superior sense of smell. Hide your pet’s favorite treat somewhere in the room and allow your pet to sniff it out. Of course, if he finds the treat, allow him to enjoy his reward.
3. Play Hide and Seek with You
Owners can get in on the fun too. Instead of hiding a treat, hide yourself and let your pup come and find you. No matter how good your hiding spot is, it won’t take long for your dog to sniff you out. Once your pet finds you, offer up a treat or lots of praise for a good well done.
4. Give Your Dog a Food Dispensing Toy
Encourage independent play by giving your dog a food-dispensing toy. These toys can be easily found at most pet stores and offer a compartment or cavity to place a piece of food or treat. Your dog will then have to work hard to figure out how to get the food from the toy.
5. Buy or Make Your Own Puzzle Toys
Puzzle toys can provide your dog with hours of fun and entertainment. There are plenty of puzzle toys on the market, but you can make your own with common household items. For example, place tennis balls in the cups of a muffin pan and hide a treat under a couple of the balls. Your dog will then need to remove the balls to get the treats.
6. Socialize Your Pet with Friends
Rainy days are a great time to socialize your pet. Invite a friend over to spend time with you and your pet. Ensure that your friend is comfortable with this activity and that your dog does not show signs of aggression. The more people your pet meets and interacts with, the more social he will become.
7. Give Your Pet a “Job” to Do
Pets like to feel useful and love the praise that comes with completing a job for their owners. Teach your dog to help out around the house by completing simple chores, such as fetching the newspaper, picking up his toys, or bringing items to you on command. This will of course, take practice but can be a fun journey for your pet.
8. Build a Sandbox Where Your Dog Can Dig
Many dogs enjoy the act of digging and burying items; however, most dog owners do not want their backyard dug up. Building a sandbox will allow your dog to do what he loves without creating a mess in the yard. Best of all, children’s play sand is safe for pets and very inexpensive.
9. Stuff and Freeze a Kong
A Kong stuffed with food and frozen can be a tasty treat for pets, especially on warmer days. This activity will also keep your dog busy for hours as he strives to get every last piece of filling. You can stuff many things inside Kongs, such as canned dog food, peanut butter, mashed banana, canned pumpkin, or cottage cheese.
10. Have a Puppy Playdate
Many dogs enjoy the company of other pets. Consider scheduling a puppy playdate with a friend who has a friendly and well-socialized dog. Be sure to supervise the animals as they play. While your dogs play together, you can catch up with your friend and have a fun afternoon of chatting.
11. Spend Some One-on-One Time
Most dogs are just happy being with their human companions. After a long day of fun activities:
- Cuddle up on the couch with your furry friend.
- Provide some belly rubs as you relax and watch a movie together.
- Choose an evening snack that you both can enjoy, such as carrots, plain popcorn, blueberries, cucumbers, or watermelon.
Preventing Boredom in Dogs on Rainy Days
Rainy days can be dull for dogs who like to frolic outdoors. Fortunately, dogs and their owners can do a wide variety of activities indoors that can entertain for hours on end. Avoid boredom and destructive habits by trying some rainy day activities with your pet.