Whether it’s storming outside or you’re staying in due to the coronavirus, being pent up can make you a little stir crazy. The same can apply to your dog if they’re used to running around and getting a lot of stimulation, and now they’re contained in a smaller area. The good news is that there are a lot of creative ways to give your dog some exercise while you’re stuck indoors. Figure out what works best for the space you have and your particular animal and have fun!
- Teach your dog to use the treadmill.
If you have a treadmill at home that you use to work out, you can actually let your dog join in the fun too. Start off at a slow speed to get them used to it, then gradually turn it up. It’s a great way to let your dog burn off some energy and run, or even just go for a long walk. Just be careful that you don’t tie your dog to the treadmill, and that you stay right next to them to supervise. There are also treadmills built specifically for dogs if it is something your pet really enjoys.
- Let them run the stairs.
Just as going up and down the stairs can tire you out, it can tire your dog out too. Have them stay at the bottom while you go to the top with a toy. Throw the toy down, have them catch or retrieve it, then run it up the stairs to you. A few times up and down will definitely get their heart pumping and muscles working hard.
- Play hide and seek.
This can be a fun activity for the whole family to get involved in. Have one person stay with the dog and everyone else go hide. Once they’re hidden, ask one person to call the dog’s name, and let the dog go find them. Repeat this process until each person has been discovered, then start over. You can also hide pieces of dog food or small treats around the house and let your dog go wild sniffing them out and enjoying the reward of finding each one.
- Create an obstacle course.
Dig that old hula hoop out of the garage, set up some make-shift cones, stack a few pillows, and build your own obstacle course inside. See if you can lead your dog through a maze, jump through the hoop, jump over the pillows or a broom handle, and crawl their way through a couch cushion tunnel. Get creative, but make sure you’re not asking your dog to do anything unsafe.
- Use puzzle toys.
There are a lot of different puzzle toys available where you can hide treats inside and your dog has to figure out how to get them out. This can keep their nose and mind stimulated during times when they may not be able to get as much physical exercise as they normally do.
- Play fetch, tug-of-war, or keep away.
If you have enough room (or can temporarily move some furniture around), gently toss a ball for your dog to catch or fetch giving them a chance to run and jump at least a bit. Using a hallway can work well too. Or, grab an old rope or dishtowel to play tug-of-war with as long as they don’t become too aggressive. This can be a great way to exercise their muscles and yours too! You can also toss a soft toy and both run after it together to see who gets there first, or play an old-fashioned game of ‘monkey-in-the-middle’ where your dog is in the middle.
Being stuck inside doesn’t have to mean not having any fun. Use your imagination to come up with fun activities you can do with your dog to keep you both active and entertained. Encourage your kids to think of things to do too. If you are headed out of town and can’t bring your pet along, contact Lake Wylie Pet Resort today to schedule their stay in our luxurious boarding facilities.