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5 tips for keeping your dog active on rainy days

Updated: May 18, 2022

Keep your dog happy by providing both physical and mental stimulation on a daily basis. The amount of stimulation depends on your dog's age, breed, temperament, and health condition. As a general rule, younger adult dogs need at least 30 minutes of physical exercise and a good dose of mental stimulation. Of course, they probably won't complain much if you were to give them a little extra.

But what happens when Mother Nature doesn't cooperate? Physical activity alone will only tire your dog's body while leaving the mind even more energized. That's why it's important to engage your dog in mental activity as well.

Dogs lacking mental stimulation tend to show signs of being disengaged or restless, which can lead to destructive, hyperactive and attention-seeking behaviors. Those behaviors are an outlet for the dog's excessive energy.

The following are a few ways to help keep the relationship with your dog a healthy one, filled with laughter and bonding. What do you do with your dog? Share your ideas in the comments.

1. Do some nose work! Have your dog sit, stay and watch while you scatter their high value treats around the house and then, on your command, send them to investigate! The excitement of the hunt combined with all the physical and mental energy used for searching will help exercise his mind as well as his happy tail. Have fun with it and really create a challenge for them. Get creative and hide them anywhere that makes for a fun little indoor scavenger hunt.

2. Use a Flirt Stick. Using a flirt stick is fun way to keep your dog mentally and physically active. They’re especially great for high energy dogs because one quick session can really help tire them out.

A flirt stick is a long pole with a strong string (or rope) attached to the end of it. On the end of that rope is a treat or toy that’s used to entice your dog to chase. Flirt poles not only provide great exercise, they’re also mentally stimulating. They’re a way to let let your dog use their natural prey drive in a non-destructive way. And they’re a great for practicing some basic impulse control such as letting go on command. Just don't overdo it if your pup has joint or mobility issues.

3. A good, traditional game of fetch, indoor style. If you've got a long hallway, even better! Add a little mental twist to the game by occasionally putting the ball or toy down in a spot far enough for a good sprint but close enough that he can see it, and tell him to stay. At your command, he can charge for it.

4. This could be a great opportunity for a Spa Day. Bond with your dog while pampering them. Give her a bath, blow dry, massage.

When all the games are done, take your furry friend to a dog-friendly covered patio at a brewery or restaurant, or on a trip to Home Depot for more stimulation. It's a win/win.

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