Perhaps you have a wild pug who zooms around the house with your favorite pair of slippers on a regular basis. Maybe you can’t always take your German Shepherd on a walk. Dogs need exercise, especially if they are loaded with energy that’s bound to get them into mischief. But our sweet animals give us so much, it’s rewarding thinking of ways to make them happy as well. If you have a high-energy breed, we have some ways to help you entertain them, even if life is busy.
Work, kids, housework—sometimes you’re just too darn tired to play. But pups still need that time to leap and frolic. Using the utmost caution to avoid anyone’s eyes, a laser pointer can be an easy way to have some game time. Again, pay close attention, also being sure that your dog has plenty of room to move about, and just enjoy a cup of tea while simultaneously getting those furry legs moving.
Hire a Dog Walker
Maybe you work multiple jobs or long hours, or maybe you just need help juggling family, work and furry friends. Whatever the case, hiring a dog walker may be the best solution for your extra-playful pup. Services like Rover help pet parents by offering drop-in visits for a puppy play date or an extra walk during the day. Wag also offers on-demand pet walking services and has dog training guides available online so you can transfer your pet’s extra energy into learning something new.
Take The Stairs
Stairs are your friend, especially when you have a rowdy pup. Be sure there’s carpet to prevent slipping, then find someone to sit at the top, and someone to sit at the bottom. Toss a ball back and forth while your dog chases it. Of course let him or her have the occasional victory chew.
Opt for Puzzle Toys
Kong balls are probably the ultimate entertainment toy. Several designs are available, and many can be simply filled with dry food or small treats. It takes some pawing and effort for the bits of yumminess to fall out, so some wiggles will be expended in the mean time. Peanut butter can be smushed in crevices of some Kong toys, just make sure you do this in a space where cleaning smudges wouldn’t be terribly difficult. West Paw also has a line of puzzle toys and other durable designs for pups who like a challenge while playing. You’ll find different options that will match the way your dog plays.
Sign Up for Toy Subscriptions
Have a destructo-doggie on your hands? BarkBox is a great option if you find yourself buying new toys every time Fido gets too feisty with his stuffed animals. Channel that chewing into entertainment with the right type of toys for your pup delivered to you every month. Bark Box even has a Super Chewer option for more durable dog toys. And while us humans love getting packages in the mail, you may find your dog digs it too! A service like this offers your pup some variety and switching out your dog’s toys every so often keeps them entertained and helps you get the most out of your dog toys, according to Paws.org.
Give Them Splash Time
Aside from being relaxing, bath time can turn into play time. Use a bigger tub or even a kiddie pool, and fill with just enough water for some serious splashing fun. This can be a good way to eradicate any water fears as well. Toss some toys in, and maybe even some treats. Chewy and Petco offer designated splash pools for dogs if you want something official.
Wind Down with Bath Time
Bath time in general can be calming, especially before bedtime (kind of sounds like we are talking about kiddos). Opt for a soothing, natural shampoo with relaxing scents like lavender or peppermint, which both can repel bugs too. Always supervise your fur baby, but just let them enjoy a nice soak or gentle float. After some gentle encouragement and regularity, even pups that hate getting sudsy can grow to love it.
Some dogs need mental stimulation as much as physical, so brain games and puzzles can be an important addition to a daily routine. Amazon sells wooden toys with doors that treats can be placed behind. Every time, pups have to figure out which doors to nudge. But likely many tools for creating brain games are already in the house, like a muffin tin in which treats can be placed in various holes, and covered with tennis balls. Your dog will have to work to move the balls to get to the treats. Figo has other great suggestions for mental stimulation activities.
Some dogs are engaged by the television, especially when spotting other four legged friends. Turn the channel to Animal Planet and see if Fido is intrigued by penguins from The Aquarium, or precious puppies and kittens from Too Cute. From the exotic to domestic, other animals can peak the interests of pets. Get ready to tolerate barking and other hilarious behavior as they watch.
Go for a Ride
Car rides provide a sensory experience for dogs that can help simmer down some of that curiosity that gets him or her into trouble. From all the smells to experience, to the ever changing sites, it’s an exciting activity that pups can grow to truly love. Riding together is also somewhat of a bonding experience, further making fur babies feel like one of the “pack”. Is your heart melting as much as ours is?
Make a Doggie Playground
Agility training can be a rewarding way to direct an energetic dog’s focus in the proper direction. Even if not taking it too seriously, backyard ramps, tunnels, and hoops can be somewhat of a play place to release all of that extra energy. Chewy.com is a reliable site to find a lot of fun obstacles for the serious trainers, to those just looking to have a little fun.