Tips to Keep Your Dog Happy Indoors Over Winter Months
As the colder weather rolls in, people and pups alike will be spending much more time indoors. Colder weather and shorter days can definitely lead to some restlessness. So how can you keep your pet (and yourself) engaged and busy? Coming up with endless boredom busters can be exhausting and seemingly impossible. Bored dogs tend to get into trouble, so check out the following tips to avoid tedious, havoc-ridden winter days.
Indoor Socialization + Exercise
Just like people, dogs benefit from other dog interaction and physical activity!
Indoor dog parks can be just as fun as outdoor parks and also provide protection from the elements, leading to a freeze-less, mud-free play time for your pup. Usually, you’ll have access to thousands of square feet of frolicking space for your dog (depending on the facility). Let your dog get some zoomies out while you socialize with other pet parents, keeping the winter blues at bay.
Don’t have a local indoor dog park or have a dog who doesn’t do well in group settings? Schedule a more intimate doggie playdate with a friend! This is another great way to spend time with a friend and get your pup socialized and active in a much more low-key environment.
Keeping your dog mentally fit is just about as important as keeping them physically active! There are plenty of ways to get your pup engaged and challenged in the house.
Do you remember the “Shell Game”? Usually, this game is a sneaky way to swindle people by tricking them out of their money. While you can still use sleight of hand when playing with your pup, this version of the game is much more wholesome and entertaining for all parties! Simply place a treat or small toy under one of three overturned cups/bowls etc. and swap the position of those cups, then let your dog guess which one is hiding their reward!
Dogs are often food-motivated, so using interactive treat or feeders, playing “find the treat” or other similar games will help ease boredom.
Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks
Whether your pup is old or not, they can definitely benefit from some basic obedience training refreshers or learning new tricks!
Teaching your dog tricks is a great way to bond and spend time with your pet, plus it can be a great way to make your pup a more productive member of your household! Teach them some fun and entertaining tricks, or useful tasks – teach them how to put their toys away after play time, how to fetch the mail or your shoes etc.
You can even teach them some of your favorite childhoods games like Hide and Seek or Tug of War… which is a great segue into our next winter wonderland boredom buster…
Even in smaller houses or apartments, there are sometimes spaces to play games with your pet. Indoor fetch in hallways or stairwells is great! You can even use household items or furniture to make your own DIY agility course for your pup! Challenge them to complete the obstacle course and reward them with plenty of treats and pets when they cross the finish line!
“Petflix and Chill”
Another wonderful way to spend lazy winter days with your dog is to just curl up on the couch and do absolutely nothing. Pups enjoy spending time with family and will likely appreciate the extra cuddles and pets.
Still getting outdoors time with your dog? Be sure to check out our tips for Dog Safety in Cold Weather!