It is spring in London and the weather is alternating between unseasonably warm and tipping down with chilly rain.
My adopted greyhound Ronnie is generally delighted to be outside except when it’s really dry and hot or super wet so recently we have been spending more time than usual indoors.
On days when his walk are shorter and he hasn’t had a chance to sprint across the park, he comes home with pent up energy that gets used throwing socks around and chewing up toilet rolls. He’s a 30lb dog with a stubborn bent so his shenanigans can get annoying, and destructive, pretty fast.
Finding enjoyable ways to play with Ronnie indoors! As I live in a flat with no garden engaging him at home takes some creative thinking but I have come up with some great ways to play that stimulate him mentally and physically and give us both the opportunity to bond.
If you live in a relatively small space like a flat and need easy idea to keep your furry pal entertained when you can’t go for your regular walk, here are my three favourite ways to have fun with Ronnie indoors. Maybe he, or she, will like them too!
1. Tug of War
Indoor tug of war is a fun game that requires hardly any equipment. It has the added advantage of helping your dog to release stress through biting, a necessity according to canine trainer Neil Sattin. Letting your dog win every time will ensure that he, or she gets maximum satisfaction from the game. I use an old towel for tug of war games with Ronnie but you could also purchase a sturdy rope toy available at any good pet shop.
2. Take Photo
A personal favourite that lets me combine entertaining Ronnie with work is getting him to be a photographic model! You don’t need a lot of equipment or experience to do this; find a fun costume for your dog – nothing uncomfortable or restrictive – and work on getting him, or her, to pose. You can use the occasion as an opportunity to teach simple commands like Sit and Stay, plus you will end up with some great snaps of him, or her, to share with friends and family.
Hide and seek is another game that can be played in almost any space making it ideal for anyone who lives in a flat. You can use a favourite toy, food, or even yourself, to whip up a super fun activity that will keep your dog entertained when the weather isn’t conducive to being outdoors. If your dog is new to Hide and Seek, make it easy initially by placing a treat or toy in sight and asking him, or her, to retrieve it. You can then place the item slightly further away, get your dog to find it and keep going until it’s completely hidden. You can hide too, and get your dog to find you!
If all else fails, then I recommend a playdate. Either send your dog out with a good pet sitter (check my blog post on how to choose the right one) or invite a friend and their dog over and supervise some not too rowdy playtime!
I hope these tips have given you some ideas about how to keep your dog entertained indoors.
What are your favourite ways to play with your dog? Hare them in the comments section below!
Aline Duriaud is the owner and founder of chacharocks Kitsch Canine Couture an online boutique that sells her own range of vintage inspired, luxury, Limited Edition leather dog collars and accessories handmade in the heart of London. She is also an artist, writer, proud pet parent and trained animal communicator. Say hello to her on Twitter @neckwearfordogs and download a copy of her FREE 16 page e-book, The Guide to Dressing your Dog at: the-guide-to-dressing-your-dog.launchrock.com!