Your dog still needs exercise when it is too cold to go outside to play. And this winter has been the coldest I can remember. With 3 dogs I have had to provide more entertainment for them indoors as the outdoors has been just too darn cold! Your dog needs mental and physical stimulation to help relieve bordom. Here are a few activities I provide for my dogs.
Food Dispensing Toys - These toys are invaluable bordom busters. While rubber Kongs are classic toys and can be stuffed with a great variety of treats and tasties, in the last few years the food dispensing toy market has greatly expanded. There are different shapes, textures, and sizes for any size dog. Even if your dog is of the "destroyer" type, there are toys out there with a money back guarantee.
Play Indoor Fetch
Make it more challenging by throwing a tennis ball up or down the stairs. Your dog's legs will get a good workout. Plus, he will love the extra playtime and attention.
Kibble Hunt - Instead of dumping your dog's meal in his bowl, consider crating him while you hide small piles of food in the house then release him to "kibble hunt". Initially, make the piles very easy to find. As your dog gets better at this game, start hiding the food in more difficult spots.
Hide and Seek - Great game for the kids to play with Rover. It is a great way to exercise your dog's mind and body and work on come when called skills. Each kid or family member will stock up on great treats. You will take turns hiding throughout the house, calling Rover to you, and rewarding him generously when he arrives.
Build an Obstacle Course - Arrange kitchen chairs to make a tunnel and encourage your dog to go threw or under. Your dog can jump over safe objects like pillows or cushions.
Socialization Outing - Consider taking him for a ride and doing "fun visit" at the vet's office where he just goes to hang out and get some treats and scratches just for being a great dog. Petco and Petsmart are always fun and very rewarding too! You can practice some manners training in the store. You will always run into a person or another dog so why not take advantage of the situation and practice a sit to greet.
So don't let the winter get you and Rover down. Get creative and have some fun!