Is Your Pup Getting Stir Crazy Being Stuck at Home? Ideas to Keep Dogs Mentally Stimulated
Sheltering at home during the coronavirus is just as taxing on your dog as it is on you. While they might look like they enjoy snoozing all day, it is important to keep your dog stimulated both mentally and physically. An active dog helps ensure they are getting the education and exercise they need and aren’t getting into mischief while you’re on a work call or teaching your kids.
To help, we’ve got some fun at-home activities that will stimulate them cognitively as well as keep them active. We guarantee these will entertain you both!
These games not only activate different areas of the dog’s brain, but also help build trust between the two of you. Some fun games to try include:
- How long will your pup stay?
- How many puppy pushups (sit to a down to a sit) can be completed in one minute?
- How far away will your pup respond to their “house” command and go to their crate?
Agility with Furniture
Your home is full of household items that can be put together to create an exciting obstacle course. These will train your dog to listen to your command despite the distractions going on around them. Here are some courses to try inside or in your backyard:
- Line up dining room chairs or side tables and have your dog crawl under them
- Lay down a broom or an empty garbage can for your dog to jump over
- Arrange pillows or laundry baskets on the floor and have your dog weave through them
- Use your child’s play tube and have your dog crawl through it
Teach a New Command
Teaching a dog a new trick boosts their concentration and their confidence. Every dog learns at a different pace so be sure to practice the command frequently and reward them with treats to reinforce when they get it right.
- Dogtopia Dance – have your dog spin in a circle on cue, learn more here.
- Figure Eight – have your dog weave through your legs in a figure eight
- Under the Bridge – put your legs up and use a toy to encourage them to crawl through to the other side
DIY Toys/Interactive Toys
Is your dog destroying their toys or getting bored with the ones they have? Make them some new interactive toys from the comfort of your own home. Not only will it save you some money by upcycling items, but it will be fun for you too! Look around your house for everyday items such as t-shirts, tennis balls and muffin tins that can be repurposed into stimulating toys like these:
- T-shirt Rope Toy – perfect for a game of tug-o-war
- Tennis Ball T-shirt Toy – great for never-ending games of fetch
- Muffin Tin Brain Game – provides extra brain stimulation
Get step-by-step instructions on how to create these and more DIY dog toys here.
We’d love to see what you’re trying at home. Take pictures and videos and share with us on social media by tagging your Dogtopia location and using the hashtag #dogsofdogtopia.