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Rainy Days.... can be sooo boring for pets. Not able to go on their usual walks and the change of routine can be difficult! Here are some ideas to inspire you...
Try shake the paw, roll over, sit up/beg, take a bow. Take some of your pet’s favourite treats in very small pieces and reward in increments until you get to the final behaviour. Don’t forget that you can teach cats new tricks too.
Your pet’s sense of smell is awesome, so use their nose. Hide some treats around the house and teach them to find, hide some treats under a bowl or cup and see if your pet can tip the object over to get the treat. Make it easy to start with then increase difficulty to keep your pet interested.
A rainy day is a great day to practise this exercise. Make sure you choose an area of the house with a bit of room, or outside under cover! Always be safe and choose a toy that is interesting for your dog.
Hide and Seek
This game works best with 2 people, so one person can hide, and the other person can encourage your dog to find them. Make sure you give your dog a treat when they find you to make it worth their while!
Practice Stationing/Mat Training
What better time than to practice calm time with your dog. Lure or prompt them to go to their bed/mat/crate or space and reward. Treat it like a game and encourage your dog to get to their ‘station’ faster. Treats await them when they do! Work on duration and distraction separately. Good practice for when the doorbell rings or you have visitors.
Indoor Agility/Obstacle Course
You can use items around your house to create a fun obstacle course for your dog. Try cardboard boxes to step in, a sheet between 2 chairs for a tunnel, some items to weave between and low items for your dog to step/jump over. Think outside the square for this one.
Make Enrichment Toys
Use your recyclables (e.g. cardboard boxes/tubes) and make some homemade enrichment toys to use for the next week. Try putting a box within a box, within a box (etc.!) and hide treats in the layers.
Fill Food Toys/Licki Mats
There are some fun and exciting recipes to use for food toys, check out your pantry for extra tasty treats such as tuna and liver paste, your fridge for cream cheese, plain yoghurt, dog safe peanut butter and cook up some sweet potato or pumpkin. Add these to mince or kibble – remember some of these are ‘sometimes’ foods only.
Grooming and Nail Care
Why not spend some time grooming your pet or building up your nail care game. Create a good experience using treats or a duration feeder (licki mat), and go slowly, never force your dog to be groomed or to have their nails clipped, instead teach them to love it. Break it up with some games, always give your pet choice to move away and keep it positive.
Strength and Conditioning
If you have a sports dog, you may know all about strength and conditioning. But even if you don’t, you can practice simple exercises which give your dogs a bit of a workout! Try sit-down-sit, sit-stand-sit, stand-down-stand and try to only reinforce your dog in a square position (even stance and balanced hips/elbows).
There is nothing better on a rainy day to chill out and watch a movie with your pet/s.
Enjoy and be creative!