2 Physical Ways to Exercise Your Dog Indoors, and 3 Mental Exercises for Dogs.
I live in Wisconsin, which means besides access to the best homemade deer antlers and an endless supply of cheddar dog treats, in the Wintertime here… its cold!
Now I can handle cold, and I love to play in the snow… but when it gets below 15 degrees (or when my mom screams “I can’t take it anymore! I am so sick of the cold!”) we forgo our daily walks and I am in need of a different way to exercise.
Grab my stuff off the counter when my mom isn’t looking?
Nope, but we typically do one of these 5 fun things instead.
Go to Lowes or Home Depot, for a Heated Walk Indoors.
I LOVE this way to exercise your dog! Because I get my walk, even though we aren’t outside. Lowe’s and Home Depot both allow dogs inside. Since they don’t sell food, its something they can allow. Me and my mom typically go and just walk up and down every aisle, I bet we get at least a mile and half in. At least a few times, one of the workers there give me a treat too! They LOVE when I come visit…saying things in those high voices, or calling me over to rub my belly. Now… my mom would warn you to make sure your own dog goes to the bathroom right before you go in… Me? I say “eh”, I say just poop in the floor in there. You know your mom will just clean it up anyway, and for the two time I did it inside, the workers there didn’t seem to care.
Go to Petco or Petsmart, for a Heated Walk Indoors.
This one is great too. While you don’t get the distance you do at the home improvement stores, there are aisles and aisles of great smelling stuff. Did you know that smelling things stimulates dogs’ brains kind of like going to “work” can stimulate yours? And just like “working” can make you tired, getting to smell lots of things is something our brains need, and another way to exercise your dog indoors and stimulate energetic pups like me as well. Plus, at these stores, there are aisles where, if your fast… you can grab a treat from an open bin before your mom or dad can pull your leash and take it away!
Play “Find It”, Hide Treats for Your Pup to Sniff Out
Speaking of sniffing and work, this game is one I absolutely love! My trainer suggested it to my mom once and told her to start by holding a treat in her hand and rolling it gently away form her while she said “Find It”, and I ran after to eat it! Then she threw it a little further away while saying “Find It” and finally, she put it behind something before she said “Find It” and I got to run right to it and eat it up! Ahhhh I love treats! Now the game has evolved to me sitting in a stay position while she hides 5-7 treats in the other room, then yells “Find It” and I come bounding in while she watches me search for them… only occasionally needing to give me hints when one is particularly hard to find. After a few rounds of this, I am happy to hop up on the couch and lay down.
The Blessed Raw Bone
Bones. Raw Bones. I’m pretty sure if there is a dog heaven it is filled with raw bones in all shapes and sizes. I love them! My mom gets them from the butcher counter at the local grocery store for about $1.50 each. Just half pound soup bones apparently, but they are a mental exercise for dogs that can keep a pup like me busy for over a half hour. And wow do I love to work on those babies!!! I have a special place I like to eat them. In my bed on the floor in the living room. After I’m done chewing on one, there are pieces of it stuck all over my blanket. It’s perfect for a little something to nibble on later. Oh, and filling a Kong with something and putting it in the freezer is great if you don’t have any more raw bones in the house.
Learn a New Trick or Practicing an Old One
Have you taken your dog to a training session and at the end the trainer said, “Ok everybody, your pups should be nice and tired after this!” That’s because learning a new trick or practicing an old one is hard work. But I love it! I have to concentrate, I have to listen, I have to stand or sit, or move a paw or roll over… but I always have to watch that treat. I never know what will happen next, but I can’t wait to find out! Nothing works are brains more than this mental exercise, and nothing tires us out like learning and working on tricks (or training).
Well that’s it. Actually, there is one more thing that tires out a dog… Writing an article.
Going to bed now guys, hoped you enjoyed this one.
Bark at you later!
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