Rainy days can be tough on dogs that require several hours of exercise each day - their energy builds up and they release it the only way they know how: by looking for trouble.
A tired dog is a happy dog, so we've compiled some of the best brain games your dog can play when they're stuck inside or if you're too busy working from home to bring them for a long walk:
This one is simple, but if done the right way, will keep your pup entertained for a while! Plan ahead and grab all of your dogs favorite things - pumpkin, peanut butter, apple, dog treats, coconut oil, carrots - the possibilities are endless!
The goal is to create various layers for your dog to work through:
- You'll first want to plug the hole at the bottom of the kong using coconut oil or peanut butter.
- Cut up some fruit, veggies, or dog treats and stuff as much as you can in the kong. Once filled, we suggest taking bone broth (or even water if you don't have bone broth on hand) and filling the empty spaces with the broth.
- Seal the top of the kong with peanut butter, plain greek yogurt, or pumpkin. To make it even more exciting for your pup, you can stick a bully stick in the top!
- Take your filled Kong and let it sit in the freezer overnight - frozen ingredients make it last longer and give your dog an extra challenge as they try to work their way to the good stuff.
It's as straight forward as it sounds - give your cardboard boxes a second life by letting your dog destroy it! (Supervised, of course)
With the holidays coming up, it's likely you'll have new boxes at your front door everyday. Utilize the different box sizes by placing smaller boxes inside of larger ones and scattering treats or toys throughout. Just make sure to remove all tape, plastic, and shipping labels before giving it to your dog.
Snuffle mats are scent puzzles for your dog and can either be purchased online or made at home using just a few materials. You can find a tutorial to make your own snuffle mat here.
Once you have your snuffle mat, hide treats throughout it - the more hidden to find, the better! Your dog will have to use their brain and their nose to find each treat so it's safe to say this will tire them right out!
Muffin Tin Puzzle:
This game requires your dog to figure out where the treats are hiding in the muffin tin! All you have to do is:
- Grab a muffin tin and scatter high value treats throughout it - you can choose to place treats in all of the muffin cups, or just select ones.
- Cover every muffin cup with a tennis ball. For smaller breeds, this game can be done on smaller scale using a mini cupcake tin and mini tennis balls.
- Place the tin in front of your dog and let them find the treats!
Hide & Seek:
This bonding activity will keep you entertained as well! Play hide and seek with your dog by asking them to stay while you find a place to hide. Once you're hidden, ask them to come and see how long it takes them to find you! Depending on your dog's scent tracking abilities, this should be quite the challenge.