When the skies are not sunny and long periods of rain keep dogs indoors, many will display signs of boredom. Even the overflowing box of toys seems unappealing.
What’s a dog parent to do?
Here’s 12 Ways to Help Entertain Your Dog on Those Rain-Soaked Days:
1. Singin’ in the Rain
Channel your inner Gene Kelly and grab your umbrella, slip on your rain slicker and boots, and enjoy a walk in the rain! (Don’t forget your dog’s raincoat, too!) If your dog wants to splash in a puddle, go right ahead and splash in one, too! You can always towel off when you get back home. Just think of the laughs you’ll share together!
2. Bring the Outside Inside
If your dog is busy snoozing all day, why not wake him up to a fun game of indoor Fetch or Tug o’ War? Grab one of her stuffies and use it as the indoor “ball” or tug toy (stuffies are much safer on the furniture and windows).
3. Born to Run
If you have a hallway, close all the room doors and voila! You have an instant indoor exercise run, which is great for letting dogs release those pent-up “zoomies!”
4. Work-Out Time!
Does your dog love to run an agility course? Set up a smaller indoor version right in your hallway, living room, or playroom! Remove anything breakable and slide any coffee tables or furniture to the side, then set up a tunnel and plastic cones used from backyard agility courses, and watch the fun!
5. Switch Things Up
If your dog has a bin filled with toys, but seems uninterested in all of them, switch things up a bit. When my daughter was young, she loved stuffed animals. I’d let her have several out at a time, and then after awhile, I’d swap them out for another batch, hiding the previous batch away in her closet. It was like she had new toys each time! The same goes for our dogs.
6. Tricks and Treats Time
Tricks and treats are not just for Halloween! If the skies are gray and rainy, it’s a perfect time to teach your dog a new trick, or review ones he already knows, no matter the age. And always remember to reward with praise and a treat! Nothing says, “good job” more than some happy pets and a tasty morsel of a reward!
7. Whip Up Something Good
Dogs love treats and they love to smell. Why not hit the kitchen together and whip up a delicious smelling homemade batch of dog biscuits, letting your pup be the taste tester. Bye, bye gloomy day!
8. Pick a Peck of Puzzles
Who doesn’t love a good puzzle or two or three? Including our dogs! The puzzles that have various shapes or compartments that hide treats or kibble pieces inside, really give our dogs mental stimulation as they figure out the best and fastest way to get to the treat.
9. Paws the Limit
A rainy day is a great time for some arts and crafts. Why not create some cool doggie artwork featuring their very own paw prints? Spread out some newspaper in a designated area, grab some white paper and non-toxic children’s paints, and simply dip their paws in the paint and “stamp” the prints on the white paper, let dry, and then mat and frame. You can also let your dogs each tap into their inner artist by letting them “paint” their own creation by holding the paper while they move their paws over it! A framer for sure! (Just be sure to wash off the paws when done)!
10. Smile for the Camera
We all love our dogs and think we have the most beautiful dog in the world. Why not highlight that love with an indoor photoshoot. Set up a background, bring in some props and/or costumes, and have fun photographing your dog. The bonus is you’ll have a wonderful memory album at the end of the day, too!
11. Let’s Chat for Awhile
Get comfy with your dogs then pet them; massage their ears and paw; talk about the weather, their toys, what’s cooking, who the newest squirrel on the block is, etc. Don’t be surprised if you get a few woofs back! Dogs so enjoy the one-on-one time spent with their loved ones.
After all the fun, there’s nothing more relaxing than listening to the rain pitter-patter on the window pane and simply curling up to take a nice, cozy nap, like your dog, with your dog!
Nothing says love more than that precious human-canine bond. So, the next time the meteorologist predicts a wet and stormy forecast, rest assured you and your dog will have plenty of things to do indoors to chase away those rainy day blues!
Dorothy Wills-Raftery is an award-winning photojournalist and author of EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy; the FiveSibes™ Tales children’s books What’s Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy and Getting Healthy With Harley: Learning About Health & Fitness; and Buddy, the Christmas Husky~Based On A True Holiday Miracle books (ArcticHouse Publishing), as well as the international FiveSibes blog, based on the lives of her five Siberian Huskies. Her work has also appeared in American Pet Magazine, Ruff Drafts, The Sled Dogger, and Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine. Dorothy is the writer and host of “The Sibe Vibe” Dog Works Radio show.” Named “Best Author” in 2015 & 2016 by Hudson Valley Magazine and all four books named “Best in Print” by American Pet Magazine, Dorothy is a 5-time Dog Writers of America Association “Excellence” nominee, winning the prestigious Maxwell Medallion in 2016 for her writing. An official International Purple Day® for Epilepsy Ambassador since 2012 and a volunteer case manager for The Wally Foundation-Canine Epilepsy, Dorothy is the creator of the FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness campaign inspired by her own epileptic Husky, Gibson. In addition to her Siberian Huskies, Dorothy shares her home with her husband, daughter, son-in-law, and new grandson. You can follow Dorothy and her FiveSibes on Facebook at FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K9 News & Reviews, on Google + , Twitter, and Instagram (@FiveSibesMom).