GAMES TO PLAY WITH A DOG DURING ISOLATION
The mental and physical health of your pup is always important. Given the current situation with most people having to self-isolate at home, the health of your dog is more important than ever. Even though your time outdoors may be limited, there still are fun and easy games you can play with your dog at home. These are three or our favorite games to play with your dog at home!
GOOD OLD FASHIONED FETCH
As far as games goes, playing fetch with your dog is as simple as they come. Fetch is a safe an engaging game to play with a dog indoors if you take a few extra precautions.
- Make sure the area you plan to play in is free of anything your dog may run into by accident. Hallways are a great place to play since furniture and other decorations are generally limited in these areas.
- Use a soft ball that won’t damage anything. There are several types of foam balls that are perfect for indoor fetch. They are easy for your dog to grasp, and even if they do bounce into the wall or furniture, there won’t be any damage.
- Limit the time you play inside. Playing fetch indoors or outdoors is always great exercise for your dog. However, when you are playing inside the ball is not being tossed as far, and your dog will have a burst of energy chasing it. Like other High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), it’s important to take regular breaks.
THE CUP GAME
As we said before, both physical and mental exercise is important for your dog while they are inside. One of our favorite games to stimulate your dog’s mind and critical thinking skills is the Cup Game. To play this game you will need three solid color plastic cups or containers and one of your dog’s favorite treats. When you are ready to begin, turn the cup or container upside down and hide a treat underneath. Mix up the containers, and let you dog try and find the prize! If he picks correctly the first time, he gets the treat! Reset the cups and have him try again if he does not pick correctly on the first try.
If you never have played a game like this with your dog, you may want to show him you are hiding a treat under the cup. This can help acclimate him to the purpose of the game faster, and help him understand there is a reward if he chooses right. Also, you may want to consider using just a few pieces of dog food as the “treat” instead of an actual dog treat. This way, you can play longer without having your dog intake too many treats.
TUG OF WAR
Playing tug of war indoors with your pup is one of the best ways to provide physical and mental exercise while having a ton of fun! There are many benefits to playing this game with your dog that include:
- It’s a great form of HIIT that also in incredibly mentally stimulating
- The game helps you bond with your dog.
- Your dog can build confidence when you let him win.
- Playing tug of war actually prevents other destructive chewing behaviors.
When you play, make sure you have a long, strong rope. The rope should be easy for your dog to grasp, and far enough away from your hands to prevent any accidents. This particular toy should only be used when you want to play the game and hidden from view at all other times. It’s also very helpful for your dog to know a “release” command prior to paying this game, so you are in complete control at all times.
GAMES TO PLAY WITH A DOG INDOORS
There are countless games to play with a dog inside, but the most important part to remember is to have fun! Although it’s not ideal that many people have to be isolated at home, it is an opportunity to spend more time with your pup. By consistently engaging with them in a meaningful way, you’ll ensure they stay in shape, both physically and mentally.