With all the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the holidays, a lot of pet parents find themselves with less time to spend playing and exercising their beloved canine companions. With busy schedules again, it can be challenging to wear your dog out in the same way you were previously.
If you’re like us and feel guilty when these schedule changes happen, you’ll definitely appreciate a few life hacks and these fun, quick ways to tire your dog out. What’s that being said…a tired dog is a happy dog!
If you’ve ever played this classic game in grade school, you remember that jello-y feeling your arms had after it was over. A few rounds with your dog’s favorite rope toy and he’s likely to feel the same! If you have concerns about this game encouraging aggressive behavior, incorporate commands such as ‘drop it’ or ‘enough’ mid-play so that they learn when to stop and start the fun. Instilling rules such as these will help keep it positive and engage your pup physically and mentally.
One of the more entertaining and easiest ways to tire your dog out is to teach them to chase bubbles. It’s the very basics of teaching them how to catch a treat in the air with a lot less room for error. Start by blowing a few out at a time and if they seem frightened, get down on the floor and show them there’s nothing to be afraid of. The whole point is to catch the bubbles before they hit the ground and you’ll probably be surprised how quickly they catch on! There are plenty of dog-friendly bubble options available online to try out. Even though they are non-toxic ingesting too much may upset your pup’s tummy and we recommend wiping their eyes once playtime is over.
A trick that combines two basic Obedience commands, doggy push-ups are basically ‘sit’ followed by ‘down’ on repeat. It might seem a bit basic, but the up/down motion gets them using muscles they don’t work often and will help their focus and attention on what you’re saying. Cookie breaks are encouraged!
Toy Treasure Hunt
Utilizing your furry friend’s incredible instincts is another way to physically and mentally engage them when you’re a bit short on time. This game doesn’t require much space and is great for dogs of all ages as it is low impact. Start by having your pup stay in a sit or down position. Then hide their favorite toy somewhere fairly obvious where they are able to watch you. Release them from their position by telling them to ‘find it’ and when they do make a big deal out of it with lots of praise! After a few repetitions, your dog will understand what the new command means and you’ll be able to hide her toy in a different room. The use of her sense of smell paired with the excitement of finding it will tire her out quicker than you’d imagine.
No matter what your schedule looks like this holiday season, it’s important to make sure your dog is challenged physically and mentally every day. Even if you don’t have time to go on exciting new adventures, there are always quick ways to make sure they get their pant on!