Ensuring your pup is exercised to the max can be challenging, particularly during the cold and wet winter months when going outside is far from ideal. The same is true in the summer, as you need to guard against the risk of your pooch getting heatstroke. Some dogs also get bored if you take them on the same walk day after day, so mixing things up is really important. With that in mind, this article introduces five super fun games that your puppy will absolutely love.
What’s the ideal amount of exercise for a dog?
Several factors influence the amount of exercise your dog needs, including their size, breed, age, and characteristics. Small dogs like Yorkshire terriers only need a thirty-minute walk every day, while bigger dogs like labs require between one and two hours of daily exercise. Ultimately, you need to think about the breed and personality of your dog before deciding how much exercise to give them.
If you under-exercise your pup, you will find that they misbehave as they have so much pent-up energy that they’re trying to get rid of. This can cause them to ruin household furnishings and chew things that they’re not meant to! Conversely, if you provide your dog with too much stimulation, it can cause them to burn out and may even lead to injury, depending on the breed that you have.
Most dogs have a subtle way of indicating to their owners when enough is enough, so you can usually tell when they’re not particularly keen to join you for a walk. But if you’re keen to increase your pup’s exercise levels, here are some awesome activities you can do inside your home, with minimal fuss.
Five fun indoor games to play with your pup
While puppies love spending time with their humans in the great outdoors, you can also transform the inside of your home into a puppy play area! So, to inspire you and your pup, here are five super fun, easy games that you can play with your puppy, when the weather isn’t ideal for outdoor activities.
1. Scent games
Scent games are awesome for exercising your puppy, and they’re also extremely stimulating. They provide your pup with the perfect opportunity to follow their nose as they sniff out hidden goodies around the house. Believe it or not, just a few minutes of sniffing can be as stimulating as taking your dog for a walk, and it can be a great way of soothing your dog’s anxiety. A good way to initiate scent games is to take a small portion of your dog’s supper and hide it in one of the rooms in your home. At the start, make it easy for your pooch to spot the treats, but increase the difficulty over time as they become aware of the nature of the game.
2. Hide and seek
It’s not just kids that love a game of hide and seek – your pooch will also be thrilled to get involved on a rainy day. At the start of the game, you will need to help your dog understand the aim of the game, but they will soon pick it up. You can begin by hiding behind a chair in another room or behind the sofa where they can easily find you before cranking things up a notch. Just remember to reward your pooch when they find you and keep things interesting throughout.
3. The hand game
Another simple game to try with your puppy is the hand game. Pick up a toy or a treat and place it in the palm of your hand before putting both hands behind your back. You can switch the treat or toy if you wish before holding out your hands for your dog to investigate. Your dog will then sniff out the toy or treat and command you to open your hand. You will be amazed at how good they are at this, and you might even get some extra licks for your effort!
4. Tug of war
So many dogs love playing with chew toys, so tug of war is a natural game to go to on a rainy day. You can do it anywhere at any time, and you don’t need any fancy equipment. You can use your dog’s favourite toy or create one yourself using some old shirts or jeans. The key thing to remember is not to pull too hard, as you don’t want to damage your pup’s teeth. You should also let your dog win once in a while, so they stay motivated and don’t sulk.
5. Obstacle course
Depending on the size of your home, you could set a simple obstacle course in your living room for your dog to explore. Create some simple tunnels with cardboard boxes and incorporate some obstacles with anything that you can find in your house. The likes of couch cushions and pillows make for great obstacles, and you can even use stacks of books or DVDs for your dog to avoid. So, get creative and encourage your pup to release some energy on a homemade obstacle course when the weather outside is far from ideal.
What about feeding your pup?
Keeping your puppy entertained inside is an excellent way of boosting their exercise levels and keeping them healthy. When you’re rewarding your pup for their hard work and efforts on the inside, the benefits will be even more pronounced. As such, the right amount of exercise goes hand in hand with nutritious and delicious food to ensure your pup is able to live their very best life. You should look for foods that are free from processed ingredients, and look for wholesome, healthy ingredients wherever possible.
Click here to discover healthy, personalised puppy food that is sure to help your puppy thrive. Learn of some of the benefits of personalised puppy food and consider why you should treat your pup to something extra special today. You will see huge improvements in your pup’s behaviour as a result of their new exercise regime and diet.