Many dogs act up out of sheer boredom or loneliness. Here are some fun inexpensive ways to stimulate your dog’s mind while bonding with your pet. You don’t need a lot of money to have fun with your pet. Just walking your pet is a bonding experience and exercise for you both. My Golden’s favorite place is the beach. She is 10 years old, but acts like 2 at the beach!
I like the ideas this kid has in the video below. I tried most of them immediately except for the hole in the yard and the milk jugs tied together. Every dog is different, what is a treasure to some, others could care less. None of my dogs cared for the water bottle in the sock, however my foster dog loved it and later chewed up the sock. She is 8 months old. I have kongs I put peanut butter in, so I tried the paper toilet roll, doesn’t work as well as the Kong. You can also put peanut butter in a small bowl and will work the same. For the treat dispenser I used a heavy plastic jar with lid instead of the plastic bowl w/lid. Kibbles will usually work in these instead of spending money on treats. Watch The Muffin Tin Game (Rainy Day Fun) and Fun Nose Work Ideas at the end of the video.
I make homemade chicken broth, which I happen to have freezing now. I pour it over their kibble. They loved the chicken broth freezer pops. I froze them in little plastic bowls. Make sure bowls are shallow and large enough to get their mugs in. Some other healthy frozen foods is yogurt (plain or vanilla with live cultures), pineapples or green beans. My dogs also enjoy plain ol’ ice cubes.
An entertaining game is to just hide treats around your living room and let the dogs find them. I house sat a cat and the owner did this everyday before leaving for work. This stimulates their hunting drive. Or get three cups or containers, put a treat under one and let the dog find where the treat is. Do not use plastic cups if your dog likes to chew up everything.
I play hide and seek with my golden retriever, which I thought I was the only one who did this. Then I received a dog newsletter explaining hide and seek with your dog. I get a treat and hide in my house somewhere. Behind a door or walk in closet, nothing real hard. I call her name and she comes to find me. When she does I give her the treat and she gets so excited and happy. It is so funny. (If your dog does not stay, you will need a partner for this). My golden also loves it when you clap for some reason. So she gets extra kudos and she dances and prances with joy.
Relieve Boredom with Household Items
If you don’t live near a beach or have a pool, here is a way to entertain your dog in the summer and keep him cool. Kiddie pool for your pooches. Your retriever or any other water-loving dog will thank you.
I have two strong chewing dogs and have bought all kinds of tough Kong toys that always get destroyed within a week or two. My golden loves to play tug o war and keep away. I found this video for those of you that have the same problem. I would not use the tennis ball, that would be gone in a second.
Make Tug Toy
Dog Toy From Cloth Strips
- Engage Your Dogs the Positive Way with Dog Toys (indianpetstore.com)
- Chew/treat toys (pupandhome.wordpress.com)
- Big Dog = Sturdy Dog Toy! (ravensinkwell.wordpress.com)