Stuck inside again! Here’s what we’ve been doing.

 

I think I’ve made it clear that the winter and I are not friends. I’m pretty much over the snow and cold at this point and have begun contemplating my move somewhere warm. I think Dogs in Maui has a nice ring to it, don’t you? Until I can make my Hawaii move though, I’m stuck here in the cold with a dog that is tired of being inside. It’s pretty clear my dog does not enjoy all this inside time, but when there’s barricades of snow at every driveway it’s kind of hard to even take a walk. I’ve had to become very creative in my indoor activities, as well as try out some news toys to keep Hunter from keeping me up every night with all of his energy.

Here are some of my favorite dog toys for when you’re stuck inside:

play
Play time!

PetSafe Busy Buddy Twist ‘n Treat Dog Toy
As I’ve mentioned before, my dog is an aggressive chewer. I pretty much can’t buy him any sort of toy that in any way could be eaten – plush, stuffed or anything that has a rope or could be too easily chewed up. For this reason, I love this Busy Buddy line of toys. My dog enjoys this twist’n treat one. I try and put some bigger treat pieces in it to make it a little harder for him. It seemed to take him longer when I first got this toy, so I think eventually they either figure it out or it loosens up, but it’s still a fun toy that I know he can’t eat so I like it either way.

Busy Buddy tug-a-jug

This one is really my favorite, because it gets my dog moving around and using his brain. The only downfall to this one is that I had to remove the rope at the end since he started eating it. I left part of it inside to keep something blocking the opening of the jug, and it seems to be enough to block the treats from coming out too easily. Hunter is a big fan of this toy. I think this is a good one for any active, energetic dog. And it’s even better when you can keep the rope on the end. One recommendation: don’t let your dog play with this near any tables or couches. I think I ended up getting more of a work out than my dog from all the times I had to move furniture to retrieve the jug after it rolled under something.

Peanut Butter Bones

When I know that I want to keep Hunter busy for a while, I get him one of these bones. He absolutely loves these things. The larger size will keep him busy for hours. It is a life saver when you are tired and want to keep your dog entertained.

My dog also enjoys Kong toys and Nylabones, both great toys for aggressive chewers.

bone
A beautiful sight – Hunter worn out from play

What have you and your dog been doing this winter? What toys would you recommend?

If you’re looking for some other indoor activities, here are some my dog and I’s favorites: http://dogsinthecle.com/cold-weather-dog-activities/

Cold Weather Dog Activities

There are a lot of reasons I don’t like winter – the cold, the dark, the snow – but one of the top reasons is that it really limits what you can do.  When the weather is nice and it doesn’t get dark at 6, my dog and I pack a lot in – park visits, patio visits, visiting friends and hanging out outside, long walks.  But once November hits, we’re stuck inside.

Since my dog doesn’t really understand that the cold means we can’t do all of these things, he gets a little bored. I’ve been trying to come up with some indoor activities to keep my dog busy during these long winter months.  Here are my suggestions for cold weather activities if you have a social and active dog like mine:

Training

Now is the perfect time to work on that one thing you can never get your dog to do. Depending on how much help you need, you can work on this at home or sign up for a class with a local trainer. Working on behavior or tricks at home is a great way to keep your dog engaged and busy. Set aside 20 minutes, get some special treats and get your dog to finally roll over.

 

What? It’s just a little snow.
Pet Store Visits

My dog and I make our rounds of different pet stores during the cold months. My dog is very social and needs to get out and get attention from others, at least that is what he tells me by the intense stare he gives me when he hasn’t had enough activity. Hitting up a pet store and picking out a toy or treat is a great way to get your dog out of house and give him some excitement.

 

The Stare

Games
This is one that I am still trying out with my dog, because he is typically not a big fan of toys or games. One fun activity you can play at home with your dog is Hide and Seek. Get one person to stay with your dog (or just use a stay command to get your dog to stay) while you leave the room to go hide. Bring some treats with you and yell a command for your dog to come find you. This can also be done by just hiding treats around the house for your dog to find. Dogster posted some other good indoor games here.

What do you do to keep your dog busy during the winter?