Throughout the year there may be times you need to leave your dog at home alone for longer than you would like. Or perhaps it’s too cold/ hot for long walks that give him adequate exercise and stimulation. During these times it is important to replace his regular walks or interaction with you, with something just as exciting.
Games At Home
Even when your dog is getting lots of walkies, it’s still worth ramping up their at home fun to more than a brush and a cuddle so they get a really good level of mental stimulation, which is just as important as physical exercise. Playing games with your dog will also help you bond with them, which is great for pooch as it will make him ever more loyal and more likely to respond to any training techniques you need to do with him. So although the game may seem like general fun at the time, it will come in handy in the future. Whether that’s when you need your dog to listen to you as you stop him approaching another dog, another animal or dangerous terrain, or when you’re reassuring him if he becomes nervous for any reason.
Making It Up
Of course you can invest in plenty of toys to aid play with your dog, but it’s worth remembering that some of the best games you can play with your dog will be completely made up and cost absolutely nothing. For example; any game that plays on their strong sense of smell will entertain them – perhaps you could place treats in scrunched up newspaper or under various items like cardboard boxes and cushions. If you have a particularly big box, you could get inside it and call your dog from inside, they will love this new ‘puzzle’ and love trying to ‘find you’.
Treat Toys For Self Entertainment
When you’re short on time, are leaving pooch for longer than usual or when you need to be getting on with another task and don’t have time to play, you will want to use some self entertainment toys. Dogs are great at playing alone and the general arsenal of self entertainment toys for dogs are treat toys. These can be balls which the dog pushes around to get the treats to fall out, or different shaped toys which hide the treats inside releasing them as your dog interacts with the product. Some treat toys even have more ‘intermediate’ levels of play, where you (the owner) can change the ‘difficulty’ of the toy depending on how much stimulation you think your dog needs.
If you’ve run out of ideas for homemade entertainment for your dog, it’s a good idea to invest in some interactive toys.
Consider trying out different games that work different areas of your dog’s mental agility, so you know play time is providing them with different skills and working different areas of their skillset. You will find the toys come in different levels of difficulty as well, so you can chop and change not only the type of stimulation your dog is getting, but how much stimulation they are getting depending on what they need at the time. Toys like the Karlie Doggie Brain Train is a great example of this type of toy, available to order now at www.digbysdogplanet.co.uk along with lots of other interactive dog toys your pooch will love.
Play With Your Dog At Home
Playing with your dog at home, whether that’s with a homemade game, treat toy or interactive toy, will benefit both you and your dog. Your dog will get physical exercise, mental stimulation and they will bond with you enabling them to trust you and follow your commands when you need them to. If you are going to be leaving your dog for a few hours or they are missing out on their normal walk, playing with your dog at home or providing them with entertainment is extremely important. Dogs are so intelligent and will notice a change to their routine, which can cause stress and anxiety which in turn creates bad behaviour patterns. Even if you’re leaving your dog for a few hours try to make sure they have plenty of self entertainment so they don’t get bored and are distracted from your absence.