Fall is here and that means back to school and back to icky nasty dark dreariness that makes getting out and walking the dog seem less than appealing (sometimes, even for Fido). Do not fear! We have some tried and true tips for wearing out the dog without ever leaving the comfort of your own home.
The key with tiring a dog out in the house is mental stimulation. For those of you who have the dog equivalent of the energizer bunny (you know who you are and thank you very much for your business) regular exercise is still required, but rest assured that you can make a dent in those canine Olympians.
1) Make your dog work for food. Eating out of a stainless steel bowl is not only easy and fails to tap into those deep once-upon-a-time wolf genes, it is pretty boring for your dog. Try stuffing treat dispensing toys with your dog’s dinner and hiding them around the house. My favorites are classic Kong toys and the Everlasting Fun Ball made by Starmark. They are tough, quiet on hardwood, and dishwasher safe.
2) Train your dog. You will find that brief 3-5 minute training sessions are surprisingly exhausting for most dogs as the brain burns the most calories when learning. Plus, you will have a better behaved dog!
3) Seek and DESTROY! This is another game that burns calories while tapping into your dog’s inner wolf. Step one: collect shreddable items, boxes, toilet paper and paper towel rolls, etc. Step two: take a handful of kibble, treats, or a chew toy, and box it inside a box inside a box (think one of those Russian dolls). Step three: give it to your dog and encourage them to destroy the box to get to the food. For maximum effect, hide it and have Fido find it first.*
*For any exercise that provides an outlet for your dog’s “naughty” behaviors, it is best to use a cue to start the game (like “Find-it”) so that you control when the game starts, not your dog.