Dogs get cabin fever and can get depressed in the winter months, very similar to the way people do. With a little ingenuity, a bit of creativity, and some treats, winter activities for dogs means keeping the pounds off and minds stimulated despite the inability to engage outdoors.
Remember the Alpo brand growing up? Alpo recently launched a new line of treats called Wholesome Biscuits that are now a part of our routine indoor game playing. The dog biscuits are available in small, medium, and large sizes, and are available at most grocery stores.
People have mobile devices and tablets. Dogs have people: We (and their toys) are their source of engagement and entertainment. Indoor games like find the treat, hide and seek, and interactive “board” games help keep dogs active and mentally stimulated. Using the Alpo Wholesome “biscuits with benefits,” dog parents can get creative all winter long.
Here are some winter activities for dogs that also make for great rainy day fun and how we used the biscuits:
Dogs can’t fire up the PSP or Nintendo and play video games but he can engage in some good old-fashioned game play. The Nina Ottosson (or others) Collection of games is designed to exercise the brain. These activity toys encourage problem solving in a multitude of ways: finding hidden treats via lifting and pushing blocks, pushing pieces and turning discs. Check out our pooch using the Alpo Wholesome Biscuits with his board game:
Hide and Seek
Hide and go seek is a perfect year-round game for dogs of all ages. Hide and seek works a dog’s sense of smell in a fun and rewarding manner. Start out by breaking the Alpo treat into pieces. This game will require two people initially. One person stays with the dog in a room while the other hides. When ready to be sought, the hidee lets out a “come, Fido” or “whoo hoo” sound to initiate the game. As the dog scours room to room, occasionally let out a verbal signal. Once found, praise and celebrate. Repeat. One caveat: Be sure the space is available, nothing is in the way to cause injuries, and that all delicate items are removed from end tables.
The Kong line of mind-stimulating toys fit the bill on a rainy day. Stuff treats inside the opening and dogs must problem solve to access the reward inside. Patience and persistence keep the dog’s mind active. In general, we use one Alpo Wholesome Biscuit cut up into small pieces for a medium-sized Cocker Spaniel. Ensure the piece of treat can actually fall out of the toy. The goal is to encourage game play but not to drive your dog bonkers because the treats are stuck inside the toy.
For dog parents with multiple pets, this is a fun group game—or good for a gathering of friends with dogs. Have each dog line up for some slight of hand and treat. Place the treat into one closed fist, keeping the other fist empty. Ask each dog, “Which hand?” When your dog touches its nose to the fist that contains the treat, reveal the treat and reward your dog. For a competitive spin, time each dog. The quickest canine is dubbed the winner. If you don’t engage with other dogs for group play, this is still a fun game to play with your dog one on one.
For more about the Alpo Wholesome Biscuits dog biscuits we used in playing these games, visit Alpo.com.
Question: What indoor games or activities do you do with your dog on cold or rainy days?