With these Texas temperatures, we have to get creative with how to stimulate our Sidekicks . A long walk outdoors may not be a safe option, so here are a few new ideas to try out!
Bobbing for treats/fruit- If your dog is new to this activity, start off first with very shallow water. Fill a bowl or pan with water, and toss in some of your pup’s favorite treats. We like to use frozen fruits like blueberries and mangos, but grass-fed hot dogs work well too!
Food puzzle toys- There are so many different kinds, I can’t point you to one specifically. But find a fun toy that you can put entire meals or a few treats in and watch your Sidekick figure out how to get them out. If your pup is new to this, try to make the toy as easy as possible (don’t close the door or trap all the way, don’t put the cap on, leave off any treat covers, depending on what you have) and make sure the food is extra tasty.
Indoor flirt pole- A flirt pole is like a gigantic cat toy. If you have the space in your home, a quick session with this toy can get your pup’s energy expended. You can try this outside too, but since this toy is more stimulating that a walk or a run, your dog can overheat quickly. Here is our favorite: http://www.squishyfacestudio.com/
Treadmill sessions- If you’re lucky enough to have one or want to get one (I got mine from a neighbor for $100, but re-sell apps may have some treasures, too), let your dog get on! There is some training that needs to happen beforehand, which provides great mental stimulation. Once your dog is strolling easily, it’s a great way to get a walk in without hitting the pavement.
Hide and seek activities- Hide some treats around a small area or in some small boxes and let your pup sniff them out. Open the space up and make the hiding spots trickier as your dog gets better and faster.
Trick training- There are so many fun things to teach your dog. Small and frequent training sessions can be a fun way to get your dog’s brain working, body moving and have a good time. Some suggestions: touch, spin, sit pretty, roll over.
Puppy popsicles- This will make your pup do a happy dance! I like to make our popsicles out of frozen goat milk. Pour into ice cube trays, and add an extra tasty something, like fruit, and freeze. Some of our favorite place to get goat milk are Fifi & Fidos, Woofgang Bakery, Pet Wants, and Southpaw Waggery.
Stuffed kongs and chews- These offer the fun and excitement as a puppy popsicle with a little less mess.
Doggy obstacle course- Get creative with your furniture. Have your dog follow you around, on top of, or over furniture or other objects you set out. Have you seen those Corgi Gatorade challenges?
Doggy Pool- Don’t go for the blow-up kind as your dog’s nails can puncture it in 2 seconds. But you can buy an inexpensive plastic pool and have all the fun! If your dog is new to water, put only enough water to fill the bottom and toss some treats in. As your dog gets more comfortable, add more water.
Sniff walks in cooler temps- Take walks during the cooler hours with a bigger emphasis on letting your dog sniff instead of getting those steps in.
What are some of your pup’s favorite indoor activities?