8 Indoor Enrichment Activities During Winter

Just like us, our furry friends crave a mix of physical and mental workouts. While outdoor adventures are unbeatable, we know it can be hard to keep up with daily walks as the days get shorter or in poor weather conditions. Luckily there are plenty of indoor tricks to keep your dog active and engaged.

Food Puzzles, Lick Mats or Dispensing Toys

Beat the boredom with mentally stimulating and entertaining items that challenge them to work for their treats.  Treat dispensing products provide exercise and can be especially effective for dogs with separation anxiety.  Just be mindful of their calorie intake which varies by age, size, lifestyle and breed.

Training Exercises

Enhance your dog’s skills and strengthen your bond with regular training exercises. Practising basic obedience commands like sit, down, shake, come and stay keep them sharp and well-behaved. Teach them new tricks like spin for rollover for extra athleticism they can show off to their friends at the dog park!

Playing Hide and Seek

Engage your dog’s natural instincts and bring out your inner child with a fun game of hide and seek. Have your dog “stay” and start by hiding in an easy location and call your dog to you.  When they find you, praise them enthusiastically. Then ramp up the difficulty by choosing harder hiding places. Give hints if they’re struggling so they don’t get frustrated and lose interest.

Treat Scavenger Hunt

Keep your dog active and entertained as they search for hidden goodies. Create a scavenger hunt around your home using a variety of your dog’s favourite objects such as toys or treats – the smellier the better! Let your dog sniff the object before you hide it and give the command “find it”. To make it more challenging by hiding items in another room.

Scent Work

Tap into your dog’s powerful sense of smell with scent work activities, which provide mental stimulation and a rewarding challenge. Create a scent trail to unleash their inner dog-tective skills with a series of boxes or containers with toys hidden inside. Have your dog follow the trail with their super-powered nose.

Indoor Obstacle Course

Set up an indoor obstacle course using household items to keep your dog physically active and entertained.  You can make a course out of the things in your house such as books, pillows, broom handles, paper towel rolls, boxes or stools to create courses and mazes.

Arrange a Playdate

Arrange a playdate with a fellow dog owner to provide your pet with social interaction and fun, even in winter. Invite a trusted friend’s dog or arrange for them to visit a doggy daycare centre for some fun social time.

Doggy Spa Day

Treat your dog to a relaxing doggy spa day complete with a warm bath, grooming and some extra pampering to keep them cosy and happy. Depending on your dog’s preferences you can select a host of treatments such as their favourite dog shampoo, a relaxing massage, a head-to-toe brush and nail clipping.

And remember, your friendly Cleveland Vet team are here to provide expert advice if you would like to discuss enrichment ideas or products, or if you have any behavioural concerns.

Let the indoor adventures begin!

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