Living in an area where weather doesn’t always allow for outdoor play can be challenging, but with a little creativity, you’ll be having fun in no time. Whether you’re looking to tire out your hyperactive dog, or just have a fun play session, there are plenty of things you can do to turn a rainy day into an active one. Not to mention, your dog will appreciate the novelty of a new activity.
Here are my top four go-to activities for fun on a rainy day.
A little mental exercise goes a long way, so finding activities that challenge your dog’s brain is key. Interactive toys are a great way to tire your dog out and help him learn in the process. Puzzle toys help your dog problem solve and that takes a lot of mental energy. Kong makes several stuffable toys you can fill with your dog’s favorite treats for him to work on getting out, as does PetSafe. You can also find various puzzle toys, like this one from Ethical Pet.
A Game of Find it
Find it is one of my favorite games to play with my dog – rainy day or not. I first discovered this game when I realized my dog wasn’t really using the full capability of smell that he had. I started teaching him to use his nose by hiding treats around the house, just out of eyesight – under pillows, around corners, under furniture, etc. When he realized he had a nose, he was unstoppable. Our game quickly evolved into complex hiding spots, keeping him busy for a long time, and leaving him ready for a nap.
A trip to the pet store
If your dog’s social skills are up to par enough for a trip to the pet store, this is a great way to have some fun on a rainy day. The pet store is full of smells from other dogs and critters, toys, and treats. A few laps around the store and through the isles, maybe some new treats, and you’ll be leaving with one happy dog.
Learning a New Trick
In the day-to-day hustle and bustle, it’s easy to get comfortable with your dog’s vocabulary of tricks. But let me tell you, there is an endless supply of new tricks to learn, from the most simple tasks, to complex combinations of tasks, and everything in between. Learning a new trick can be fun for both you and your pet. Not to mention, it requires a lot of brain power on your dog’s part, so if you spend a half-hour working on learning a new trick, you’ll have one tired pup on your hands. Do that a couple of times during your rainy day, and not only will you have a tired dog, but a smarter one too!
No matter how many toys my dog has, he tends to favor a few at a time. And just like that, the favorites change. But one thing doesn’t change: new toys are the best. I’m pretty sure my dog would spontaneously combust with joy if I brought him a new toy every day.
Anyway, I like to sneak off with Berkley’s toys when they become the less desirables, and I put them in a closet. On a rainy day, voila – new toy! I’m sure he recognizes it as an old friend, but after a long period of absence, novelty has been restored.
Another thing I like to do is buy those multi-packs of holiday toys – you know, the stockings with all the little christmas-themed toys stuffed into them, and the like. Pull out one of those on a rainy day, and it’s like Christmas all over again!
If you live somewhere that makes playing outside difficult, don’t be discouraged – there are plenty of ways to have fun with your dog on a rainy or cold day. Don’t be afraid to get creative, and pay attention to what your dog likes to do. Indoor obstacle courses, doggy play-dates, hide and seek, you name it – the possibilities are endless. How you do you play with your dog on a rainy day?