Your dog loves you and wants to spend time with you, but you might have some trouble coming up with new, fun activities to keep him or her entertained and occupied. Well, we’re here to help!
Here is a list of things you can do with your dog to keep them happy and entertained (and therefore not chewing on your furniture)!
How to Keep a Dog Entertained Outside
Play tug of war.
Dogs love to grab ahold of things with their teeth, and ropes have a pleasant texture to them that dogs find appealing. You give your dog one end of the rope and you pull on the other.
Try not to yank, as you don’t want to damage your dog’s teeth or gums, but give it a good pull and let the rope go back and forth to get your dog in a playful mood in no time. This can also help with obedience training.
One of the favorite pastimes of dog owners is playing catch. Just find a ball that is a good size for your dog- not so big it won’t fit in his mouth and not too small that your dog might accidentally swallow it. Then, just throw it for your dog to catch and take it back from him when he brings it to you. He might need some coaxing to give it to you, though.
Not all dogs are naturally going to want to play fetch. Some of them will try to keep the ball for themselves. You can encourage the dog to bring it back to you by using a snack or other reward.
Take your dog for walks.
You can entertain your dog without spending money or going anywhere very far away. Just put your furry friend on a leash and walk down the street. Regular walks keep your dog healthy and entertained and ensure that he gets a good night’s sleep. They also help your dog to not be agitated and restless, as they give your dog the workout that he needs each day.
A dog that gets to walk regularly will live longer and be more satisfied as a domestic pet. You can make walks even more enjoyable by allowing your dog some time off the leash to explore or occasionally let him lead the way to where he wants to go.
Go for a swim.
Some dogs are natural swimmers. Many of the best ones have webbed toes, like labradors, but just about any dog breed can enjoy time in the water.
If you take yours to the beach, creek or lake, you can find out how well your dog swims. Your dog will love playing in the water, getting clean and just splashing around for hours on end. Just be prepared for a wet dog afterward. Either bring a towel or give the two of you time to dry off in the sun.
Swimming is a great workout for both of you and can also be a great opportunity for your dog to chase after some fish and engage that natural hunting instinct.
How to Keep Dog Entertained While at Work
Give your dog a playpen
Your dog will need to be occupied and entertained when you aren’t around, so you may want to create a play space that he can enjoy without you being there. This is especially true if you have a puppy.
We suggest a nice playpen, which keeps your furry pet confined and out of trouble while you’re at work, but it also gives him a great place to just do whatever he likes and be himself.
A puppy playpen doesn’t have to be expensive; take the time to compare your options and find one that is a good fit for your dog and your budget.
Make sure the playpen is strong enough to contain your dog and large enough to keep the dog penned in.
Add a dog or cat to the family
One of the best ways to ensure your dog stays entertained while you’re at work is to bring in another pet that they can play with.
A dog or cat will do fine as a playmate, so long as your two pets get along okay. Just take your time introducing them to one another and make sure that they like each other before you leave them around for any length of time.
Once they get to know each other, though, they can become fast friends and keep each other company for hours on end.
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Hide snacks for your dog
This works for inside or outside dogs. Just hide some chew toys and treats in the yard or around the house for your dog to find.
If you do this every so often, it will keep your dog looking for fun things to play with. Just make sure you keep your shoes and other chewable necessities out of reach of the dog.
If you don’t, your furry friend may think that anything left outside is fair game for him to chew up and play with. Hiding snacks can be a great way to trigger your dog’s hunting instincts and help him to use senses and skills that would otherwise go to waste as a domestic pet.
Be sure to hide the snacks in different places every so often to make your dog feel a greater sense of reward for finding them. Making the hunt too easy will cause your dog to lose interest quickly and will not challenge him.
There are tons more ways to entertain your dog. You’ll find some that both of you love if you just spend time together doing things. You can start with some of the activities on our list and get inspired with some activities that you come up with on your own.
What’s important is that your dog is happy and well taken care of, and making sure your dog’s mind and body are stimulated is a big part of that.
Catherine Bono is a blogger, who is passionate about dogs and cats. She created Crittersitca.com to shares her experience as she studies to become a qualified vet.