Keep Your Dog Entertained Indoors this Winter
While our South African climate may be milder than those in the northern hemisphere, you can’t be blamed for wanting to spend more time indoors during the winter months. For those days when you don’t feel like getting out and about, here are some activities you can do with your dog, in your own home, that will entertain you both and stave off the boredom.
The Shell Game
The shell game is a fun, simple, interactive game for dogs. To play, you’ll need three identical cups and a treat. Let your four-legged companion watch as you place a treat under one of three cups. Once the treat is hidden, shuffle the cups around and let your pet ‘find the treat.’ The shell game complements high-quality dog food by providing mental stimulation and helps refine their problem-solving skills too.
Train Your Dog to Help Tidy Up
Why not teach your companion how to pick up and put away their own toys? Picking things up and putting them in the proper place is easy to teach, but the trick is to teach it backwards. Start with the last part of what you want your dog to do, then work back to the first step. This is called “backchaining”. You’ll need to hold a toy of theirs over a toy container. Tell your dog to take it, and when he does, give him the cue to “drop” or “leave it”, using positive reinforcement each time they get it right. This activity can help to build confidence and provides mental stimulation.
Create an Indoor Obstacle Course for Your Dog
To create an obstacle course inside your home, find objects around the house for your dog to jump over such as: rolled up blankets/towels, boxes, pillows, and sturdy stools. Then use your imagination and lay out a course. Your dog can jump over some towels, weave through their toys, and then lie down on a blanket. This exercise encourages your dog to focus while still having fun.
Arrange a Pet Play Date
If you’ve got friends with dogs that get along well with yours, invite them over for some play time. While you and your guests enjoy hot drinks and board games, you can designate an indoor area nearby for the dogs. Be sure to provide healthy dog food and lots of fresh drinking water and monitor their play just in case.
To support your four-legged companions’ cognitive growth, we recommend feeding them a nutrient-rich dog food like Field + Forest™ which contains rooibos extracts, to provide cognitive benefits such as improved brain and memory performance.