It can be difficult to think of ways to keep yourself and your pup entertained once winter comes around. When the temperature outside drops and rainfall turns to snowfall, not all of us are able to locate our inner Siberian Husky (or feral cat). The same goes for our non-Siberian doggies! That’s why we’ve put together this list of five fun, indoor activities for dogs and their owners to do together – none of which will expose you to the season’s uninviting elements.*
1. Create Artwork
Say hello to your new puppy Picasso! There are a variety of indoor activities for dogs that involve art projects you that you can do with your dog. These are sure to let house guests know who is your numero uno! With some water-based acrylic paint, a plastic tarp, a canvas, and your pal’s four paws, the two of you can create a painting of priceless worth. Not super keen on super abstract pieces? Then pretend it’s spring and make these adorable paw-print bouquets. Or if you dig being festive, whip out a sick paw-print vase of roses for Valentine’s day. Finally, if you’re a fan of improv, try making a pot of paw-shaped gold under a paw-print rainbow for St. Patty’s.
2. Doga (Dog Yoga)
Keeping your curious dog at a safe distance while trying out a new Jillian Michaels DVD can also be a struggle. So if you’re feeling restless and in need of some indoor exercise, why not try out pup-friendly yoga? Doga not only strengthens the bond between you and your companion, but can potentially help relieve stress for an anxious pup. In addition, it can teach your dog to become more comfortable with things like getting their nails clipped. And as doga’s popularity has grown, its accessibility has skyrocketed. Tons of instructional books and DVDs on practicing doga are available online. Help your dog reach dogi enlightenment!
3. Agility Training
If you have interest in building your own obstacle course indoors, The Bark can teach you affordable ways to DIY. This being said, there are many aspects to the world of agility training that make the hobby not simply limited to leaping hurdles and running through tunnels. One trick that has a lot of use in the agility scene is teaching your pup left and right. This can definitely come in handy if you happen to share a bed with your dog at night. Sometimes your furry pal will lay down on your side of the mattress, and it’s almost impossible to get them to move. Now all you have to do is say “left,” and Rover will scootch right on over. And if you’re particularly adventurous and feel confident that your dog’s weight and energy level aren’t going to compromise your safety, teach them how to jump into your arms! Indoor activities for dogs can benefit you both!
4. Brain Games
Playing brain games that place a strong emphasis on nose work is another one of our favorite indoor activities for dogs. As a result, these mentally-stimulating games will both reduce excess energy and prevent your pal from getting bored. Although there are a variety of puzzle toys available for purchase online or at your local pet store – such as this Tricky Treat Ball – there are loads of DIY tutorials available on the web that will enable you to further strengthen the bond between you and your dog. The muffin tin game is a classic and a great way to show your nose work rookie the ropes. To play, you place treats in a few of a muffin tin’s cups, then fill every cup with a tennis ball, and let your pup do the detective work.
5. Spa Day
And of course the best of all indoor activities for dogs is saved for last. Feeling especially relaxed after that nice long session of doga? Keep the chill flowin’ with a doggy spa day. Run the bath and add some all natural, non-toxic, hypoallergenic bubble bath that smells like vanilla and oranges. After that, suds up your pup in the tub. Toss in a rubber cheeseburger plus this squeaky cupcake and watch your pal have a water-bound smorgasbord à la Templeton from Charlotte’s Web.
It’s PUPicure time!
Maybe skip out on the nail clipping unless it’s absolutely necessary. Most dogs tend to despise getting their claws trimmed down to a non-hazardous state. (That’s not really what a doggy spa day is all about.) Instead, head straight to the fun part and purdy up those paws with some quick-drying Color Paw nail polish. Add a layer of this super opaque color to those adorable daggers and your pup is beyond ready for the dogwalk. Need a playlist? You’ll be good to go if you listen to this song on an endless loop.
*Pro Tip: If you want to give your furball a full-on Six Flags experience, try all of these activities in one non-boring sitting!