We’re all busy — busy, busy, busy, and sometimes we can find it challenging to give our dogs enough exercise and stimulation. Now with the hot, rainy season coming here in Florida, many days when we get home from work, the storms are firing up and we can’t get the dog out for a walk. Here are some ideas to give your dog something to do.
Of course, one of my favorites, and my dog’s, is the Bark Busters Game Changer. Personally, when I come home and know I need to get some things done before taking my dog for a walk, I fill it up with treats and let him go to town. If your dog’s kibble is small enough, you can even put the whole meal in the toy and let the dog entertain itself while eating dinner. It’s actually heavier than you would expect and requires a bit of effort to play with. And, it’s a great way to get your dog to slow down while eating.
As you can see, my dog Rizzo really enjoys his. You can get one for your dog here: https://www.globaldogcompany.com/gamechanger
Kong Toys: You may have seen these in the stores, or your dog even has one, but may not play with it much. It might not be too interesting to dogs unless there’s something in it. Kong sells a paste you can put in it, but it’s just as easy, and probably cheaper, to put a little bit of cream cheese or peanut butter around the inside, stick some treats or kibble to it and FREEZE it. Yes, freeze it – so it will last longer. Great for a summer treat. Kong also supplies various recipes on their web site. Check it out here: https://www.kongcompany.com/recipes/
Fetch: Many of our homes here in Florida have long hallways somewhere in the house. Playing fetch indoors is a great way to bond with your dog and tire him or her out. If your dog doesn’t play fetch, here’s an easy way to teach the game. I use the Kong Squeaker balls for this. As you can see, they come in several sizes, so there’s sure to be a size that’s right for your dog.
Use 2 Kong Squeaker balls or 2 of some other exact same toys that squeak. Toss one of the toys and encourage your dog to get it. Once he has it in his mouth, encourage him to come back to you and when he gets close, start squeaking the toy in your hand and say “drop it” over and over until your dog gets excited about the toy in your hand and drops the one in his mouth. Immediately throw the one in your hand, do not try to pick up the one on the ground until your dog is chasing the one you just threw. This teaches the dog fetch as well as “drop it” and he learns that if he drops the toy you will throw it again so eventually you only have to use one toy.
Other things to do indoors: Bark Busters has a great handout on other things to do with your dog inside to have fun and keep busy. Check is out here: https://www.barkbusters.com/repository/tips/Indoor_Fun(clr).pdf