Rainy Days Ahead!

Well, we’re forecasted to get some rain and cooler temperatures over the next few days here. That means that walking the dogs will be less enjoyable and playing frisbee outside, going to the creek and out for hikes are unlikely to happen.

So, what do you do to keep your dog physically and mentally fit when the weather isn’t permitting getting outside to exercise? There are a lot of things that I do to keep the dogs happy while being cooped up indoors.


  1. Working on the peanut ball. I like to work on Thalia’s core and balance using a peanut ball. I can have her sit, stand and ‘sit pretty’ on the ball. With Angus, it’s simply a weight shifting exercise to promote him putting more weight on his bad knee, which we are trying to strengthen.

2. Scent-based games. There are a few different scent-based games that you can play with your dogs. The first is, “Which hand?” Hide a treat in one of your hands. Make a fist with both hands and present them to your dog. Ask, “which hand?” and have the dog let you know which hand they think the treat is in. If they guess right, give them the treat! Similarly, you can play the shell game. Get 3, or more coloured cups/buckets and put a treat under one of them. Have your dog sniff the cups/buckets and identify which one they think the treat is in. If they identify the correct one, give them the treat. Then, simply get another treat and shuffle the cups/buckets around. Lastly, place pieces of kibble or treats around the house. Allow your dog to go on a treasure hunt and track down all the goodies.

3. Do a little obedience work with your dog! A 10-15 minute mental workout can be exhausting for your dog! So, why not take the opportunity to brush up on your dog’s skills/manners, or teach them a new trick! Depending on the amount of skills your dog knows, you can do something referred to as, “doodling”. Doodling is something that I often do with Thalia and it really helps keep her on her toes and focused on me. Doodling is issuing quick, spontaneous commands. With Thalia, it might look like, “Sit, stand, down, heel, finish left, around, front, heel, down, sit, stand etc….”. This keeps things fun and quick paced for your dog!

4. Kong Wobbler. My dogs have a Kong Wobbler and absolutely love it! You can unscrew the bottom and fill it with treats. The dogs have to push the Wobbler over a certain way in order for it to dispense the treats. Check it out here: http://www.petsmart.ca/supplies-training/toys/kong-wobbler-trade-treat-dispenser-dog-toy-zid36-9900/cat-36-catid-100118;pgid=NmJwEzbPWNBSRpcQPFeR5YCP00002ml8bhXD?_t=pfm%3Dsearch%26SearchTerm%3Dkong+wobblersfd

5. Puzzle toys. Angus LOVES puzzle toys. He has a few that we play with regularly. This is another way to provide your dog with a mental workout. Similarly to the Kong Wobbler, the idea is that the dog has to figure out the correct way to get the treat out of the toy. One in particular that Angus has, is different flaps that he has to lift with his nose to be able to get the treat out.

6. Shopping trip! Take your dog out to some pet-friendly shops. This will be enjoyable for both you and your dog and will reinforce proper socialization. This is also a good opportunity to practice those obedience skills with distractions.

7. Hall ball! Get your dog’s favourite ball and have a game of fetch in the hallway.

8. Tug ‘o war. Have a game of tug with your dog. This is good exercise and also a good chance to practice that, “out” command!


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