What’s up Vancouver? It’s going to be a gnarly 33 degrees today, and we KNOW with our usual humidity it will be too hot to run our pets outside. Their water bowl and your AC will be gettin’ a LOT of action in the next few days! So staying inside with your pet is bound to drive them bonkers, but what ways can you allow them to release energy inside your home, or even in your small apartment?
Did you know that games that involve brain work can be more tiring than taking your dog for a run? These brain games are the PERFECT way to entertain your dog in the heat (inside) without having to put in too much effort yourself! After all, we love our furbabies but entertaining them can prove to be a lot of work!
Here are some ideas to ‘get the ball rolling’:
- Pick up a puzzle toy. There are toys that your dog can play fairly safely on his own and there are some that you need to sit there and watch him/her with (or even for the safety of the toy!). Puzzle toys can get frustrating so it’s important to know when the game is over, or when your pooch needs a little help. Everyone knows my favourite puzzle toy is the Buster Cube, but for more advanced pooches you may want to consider The Tornado by Nina Ottosson:
- Scent games are another really great way to work your dogs brain. You can leave a pattern of treats on the floor all over the house; you can hide treats all over the house; you can throw small treats and ask them to “find it”; or you can put some peanut butter or something in different locations, ask your dog to find it, when they do click and treat. The back and fourth motion of this last idea will tire them fast.
- Treasure hunts are not only fun for kids but pooches too! If you have a shaded porch or back yard you can build a small sand box and bury toys or treats for your dog to find. Inside you could also do this with many blankets and sheets on the floor. Tangle the toys or treats in the blankets and let the dog dig them out.
- Hide a treat in your hand, mix it up behind your back and ask your dog to touch the hand that they think the treat is in.
- Stuff Kong rubber/hollow toys with peanut butter, frozen yogurt, frozen stew, etc.
- Teach new tricks like: bring the remote; grab the newspaper; put your toys away..etc\
- Take 4-5 cups, place a treat under one of them, mix the cups up and ask your dog to pick which cup has the treat.
- Play follow the leader. Teach your dog to match your pace, follow behind, walk through your legs, back up when you do, lift a leg when you do, etc…
Start with these and in the meantime I’ll try to brainstorm some other awesome games to play inside! Happy summer and remember these signs of heat stroke in your pooch:
- Excessive Drooling
- Foaming at the Mouth
- Dry Gums
- Difficulty Breathing
- V omitting/Diarrhea
- Confusion/Loss of Coordination
- Red Gums
And please, when you are playing inside, give your dog water breaks.