Wet weather enrichment games to entertain your pup
Your dog needs lots of enrichment and entertainment to keep them happy, and in the summer months, getting outdoors can be the perfect way to give them the activity they need. Unfortunately, the classic British weather doesn't always give us perfect walking conditions. While this summer might give us more rainy days than we'd like, there are still plenty of ways to keep your dog entertained. Here, the experts from Webbox share their favourite indoor enrichment activities that can keep your dog happy and active on a drizzly summer day.
Play hide and seek
Everyone remembers this classic rainy-day game from their childhood, so why not play it with your furry friend too? There are two ways you can play hide and seek so your pup won't grow tired. The first option appeals to your dog's natural foraging skills and involves hiding small dog treats around your home and encouraging your pet to sniff them out. Start with easy hiding places at first while your dog gets the hang of things, increasing the difficulty slightly each time you play. If you have a dog breed with a very keen sense of smell, such as a bloodhound or German shepherd, you could even leave a trail of scent, touching various objects around your home with a treat to transfer the scent, before finally hiding it. Another option is to test your dog's recall skills by hiding somewhere in your home and calling them to you. Make sure to reward them with a treat each time they find you.
Make a DIY enrichment toy
Like hide and seek, enrichment toys help to encourage your dog's foraging abilities. These toys usually combine a puzzle with your dog's favourite thing: food! Puzzle toys include treat dispensers, which work with treats and hard food, and lick mats, which are best for wet dog food and creamy treats (like Dog-e-Lix).
If you don't have a dog treat toy at home already, you can make your own by adding treats and hard food to a cardboard box filled with shredded paper. Alternatively, make your own homemade lick mat using a silicone baking sheet. Spread your dog's favourite creamy treat across the sheet and let them lick it off.
Build an indoor agility course
If your dog is particularly boisterous then an indoor agility course will help keep them entertained and blow off some steam. This is your chance to get creative using whatever you can find around the house to set up the course, and try to include a good variety of obstacles and surfaces. Not only does this offer mental stimulation for your pooch, but it provides extra sensory enrichment by giving them the opportunity to experience different heights and situations.
For example, you could create a tunnel from a cardboard box or, for big breeds, by draping a blanket over two chairs. Create a hurdle from a low stool or upside-down basket and lay out a variety of objects for your dog to weave in and out of. Again, remember to reward your smart pup with a treat at the end.
Have a spa day
Why not treat your furry friend to a little rainy-day R&R? Make sure your dog is nice and relaxed by playing some games with them to tire them out. Then, create a doggy spa by setting up a relaxing grooming station. Shampoo and condition their fur, trim their nails, and brush them from head to toe, giving them plenty of love as you do so. Not only will you be giving your dog's coat all the attention it needs, but it's also a great bonding experience for you both.
You could even give your dog a little massage to pamper them even more. Gently stroke your dog's back until they lie down then start rubbing their neck gently in circular motions before moving onto their back, stomach, and legs and feet if your dog will allow it. Just be sure to stop if they show any signs of discomfort.