This is a fast-paced world we live in. With busy families rushing from school to soccer games, from work to ballet rehearsal often our four-legged friends don’t get the attention or exercise from activities they deserve.
No matter what breed of dog we’ve added to our family, they all need exercise. But how do you fit that into your family’s busy schedule? The answer is engaging, yet quick activities. We’ve put together a few 30-minute activities for your dog that are active, engaging, and fun (for both of you).
Hide and Seek
All dogs love this quick and easy game which can be played by multiple members of the family. Have a member of the family “hide” in a room of the house and call Fido’s name.
As your pup takes off to find the person, another family member can “hide” in a different room of the house. Continue changing positions and taking turns calling dog from room to room. Be sure to treat and praise dog when he locates you!
The best part is that all family members can play together regardless of age, even your toddler can learn to call the dog to him and safely offer a treat. This has the added benefit of teaching all family members how to responsibly interact with your pet.
These all are obvious choices when trying to entertain your pooch, but sometimes can be overlooked. If your dog has a favorite toy sometimes just a quick game of tug or fetch can burn off excess energy.
Dogs love to play “find it” with their toys as well. When Fido isn’t looking hide his toy under a pillow, box, or piece of furniture. Encourage him to use his nose to locate the object. This mental stimulation in this activity will help him to feel fulfilled.
As dog owners, we know that walking our dog is an important activity to their well-being. It provides mental and physical stimulation and appeals to a dog need to protect and oversee his “territory”.
You don’t need to carve out a bunch of time to make this a worthwhile experience however, walking briskly around the block is enough to give most dogs a sense of time well spent outside.
Kiddie Pool Play
In warm weather, dogs will love splashing around in a kiddie pool. These can be purchased from most big box stores for under $20 and provide hours of fun for your pet.
You can float ice cubes in the pool to encourage your dog to seek them out. Or try dropping his toys into the water. The process of “bobbing for toys” will entertain your dog for quite a while.
Try a frozen treat
Stuffing a Kong or other project toy with treats and freezing it will keep your dog’s brain busy and occupied for a long while.
You can also freeze toys and treats into ice cubes or larger blocks of ice on hot days for a treat that will occupy your pup as he tries to figure out how to remove his toy from its melting prison.
Give your pup a massage
Doggie massage is a great way to bond with your pup after a long day. This can be especially helpful if your dog experiences anxiety or exhibits other destructive behaviors as it helps to calm him.
Petting your dog in this way can also be good for your health as it has been linked to lower blood pressure.
Make a Do-it-Yourself agility course
Use cones, boxes, broomsticks and other household objects to create an obstacle course for your pet. Spend some time showing Fido how to navigate the course.
This is helping to stimulate his mind and satisfies his desires to please you. Aside from that, running an agility course is just plain fun, for both of you!
Even the busiest family can use these ideas to spend quality time with their dog. Playtime doesn’t need to be time-consuming or difficult to help your dog feel loved and burn off excess energy.
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