Now that we have colder temperatures and less daylight, it's time to get creative with some indoor activities to keep your dog entertained. Here are some ideas!
1. Busy Boxes
We are all getting more deliveries during the holidays, use those boxes as a form of enrichment. Fill cardboard boxes with things like newspaper, treats, socks with different scents on them, special chew bones, and toys. Close up the box and let your dog dig and paw his way through. You can get as creative as you want here, just making sure you are using items that can't harm your dog if chewed or eaten.
2. Scent Games
Place your dog somewhere he cannot watch you. Then hide little cups of smelly treats around your home. Start easy so he learns the game (you may have to help him to start). But soon you'll be able to have little scavenger hunts for your pup. If you don't want to use food, rub a sock or small towel in a scent your dog is interested in (deli meat, a certain perfume or cologne, etc) and hide the socks around the house.
3. Impulse Control Games
Not all exercise is physical, mental exercise can tire your dog out too. Impulse control games include leave it, stay, waiting at doors, and sitting before throwing a toy or giving a treat. These exercises use up a lot of mental energy as your dog has to work out how to get the reward.
4. Lick Mats/Snuffle Mats
5. Food Puzzles
An easy way to keep your dog entertained for longer is to provide all his meals in food puzzles. There are many options on the market with different skill levels (Nina Ottosson) Your dog will expel more mental and physical energy by taking the time to manipulate these toys rather than scarfing down a bowl full of food.