A lot of us have been spending more time at home than we ever have before and if you’re feeling a little bored in the house, there’s a good chance your pet might be feeling the same way. Beat this boredom with some of our favorite ideas on how to keep your dog entertained at home:
- Obedience Training: Obedience training improves the quality of life both for a dog and their owner. It is also a great skillset to practice while at home as it provides mental stimulation for your pet and strengthens the bond between the two of you. Whether your dog is a Barkefellers University alumni or a training novice, this is a great opportunity to brush up on that training homework or teach your dog some new skills. If your dog has no previous training experience, we recommend enrolling them in a Barkefellers University course as this will provide you and your pet with a strong training foundation as well as the appropriate resources to continue your training beyond the classroom. Please click here to learn more about our training programs.
- Hide & Seek: Hide & Seek isn’t just a game for children and is a great opportunity to practice your dog’s “sit,” “stay,” and “name recall” commands while also getting in some exercise. Get the whole family involved for some real fun!
- Scent Work: There are many online resources that teach the foundations of scent work, but the basic idea is taking boxes and putting treats in some while leaving others empty. You then teach your dog how to sniff out the boxes with treats in them, and you are able to gradually make the challenge more difficult by covering the box with a lid, flipping it over, or making more difficult routes to reach the correct boxes. Scent work is an excellent skillset to practice with your dog as it provides mental stimulation and positive, treat-based reinforcement while showing off one of a dog’s strongest features – their nose!
- Fill a Hollow Toy with Goodies: This may be the one time where playing with your food is considered a good thing. Hollow toys such as Kongs that you are able to fill with different treats and foods for your pet are awesome as they provide a mentally stimulating snack and turn your dog’s mealtime into a brain game. There are many recipes you can find online if you’re feeling inspired to move beyond the classic peanut butter filled toy, though this is still always a great choice.
- Interactive Games: Keeping your dog entertained doesn’t have to be too complicated, as they will simply be happy to spend time with you. So interactive games, such as the classic fetch or tug-of-war, are a great way to strengthen your bond with your dog and provide them with some exercise.
- Provide a Viewing Window: Ensuring your dog has a window to look out of provides them with a simple form of entertainment that they will truly enjoy when you can’t spend time with them yourself. Dogs love patrolling their “territory” so consider placing a mat or doggy bed near a window your dog can reach or make a window safely accessible for them if you do not have any close to the ground. After all, windows are the original “doggy TV!”
As always, if you want to treat your dog to a day out of the house, please remember that Barkefellers is open through curbside pick-up and drop-off and we would love to spend the day with your four-legged family member, whether for lodging, daycare, training, or grooming!