When you have a dog, a gloomy day still has a ray of sunshine—so long as the two of you can find a way to get some movement and make the most of it. If you’ve ever wondered can dogs get bored, especially on a rainy day, there are activities you can play with them to keep them moving and energized. Physical activity is not only good for your furry friend’s physique but their overall mood and behavior, too. Not to mention, dogs can have mental disorders as well, so these activities on a gloomy day can also help their mood and behavior.
If your pup doesn’t want to get its paws wet once the rain starts falling, there’s still plenty of downpour-free activities to do with your dog at home. To that end, we’ve rounded up five fun things to do with your dog at home to weather the storm together.
#1 Create a Doggy Treasure Hunt
When it comes to curiosity, cats shouldn’t get all the credit. Dogs are explorers, too.1 That’s why a treat-filled treasure hunt is a perfect way to brighten your dog’s day, even on the grayest of them:
- Step #1: Let your dog know it’s playtime – Get your dog excited for the treasure hunt by speaking in an upbeat tone. You can even show your pup the prize, whether it’s a treat or a toy, to engage their senses to give them a taste of what’s to come.
- Step #2: Hide the treat(s) or toy(s) – Put your dog in a separate room. Then, hide the treat or toy in an easy-to-find area, such as behind a couch cushion or under a coffee table. You can make the hiding areas more difficult by putting them in hard-to-reach places or under boxes or containers that your pup will need to lift up.
- Step #3: Commence the hunt – Release and guide your pup to the area where you hid the prize. It may take some edible encouragement or positive reinforcement at first, but they should get a hang of it once they lock in on the scent of their prize.
When conducting a treasure hunt, the goal is to stimulate your pup mentally and provide them with a bit of physical activity. If your pup is especially energetic and keen to hunt, you can hide multiple prizes throughout your house—upstairs, outside, in the basement—to encourage more physical activity. It’s also a great opportunity to improve your dog’s recall. For example, you make your dog sit or lie down before the hunt.
#2 Teach Your Pup Something New
Like humans, dogs get bored if they aren’t given new challenges. Take this time at home to teach them something new—like a trick. Even if they don’t learn on the first day, you’ll have bonded and spent quality time together moving and using your brains.
Shaking is a classic canine know-how, and it’s a simple way to introduce your dog to all things tricks and treats:
- Step #1: Spark interest – Hold your “treat hand” out for your dog to sniff and check out. Then close your hand. The smell of the treat will spark their curiosity and engage their mind—especially if they can’t get a hold of it. Your dog is likely to begin sniffing and licking your hand to get their paws on the treat.
- Step #2: Use a command – Keep your treat-filled hand in front of your dog, then incorporate a command like “shake.” Most often, dogs will start to paw at your closed hand, like a handshake. When that happens, open your hand, present the treat, and praise your pup for finding it.
- Step #3: Repeat the pattern – To make the object of the game clear, repeat the pattern a few times and be sure to use a consistent command so that your dog can associate the action with a word. You can then start to increase the difficulty of the trick by keeping your hand closed longer once your pup starts to paw.
- Step #4: Ditch the treat – Once your dog successfully and consistently begins to rest its paw atop your hand for a couple of seconds before getting the treat, you can start to train your pup without an in-hand treat. Use the same command to initiate the handshake. Offer your hand to your dog
,rather than keeping it closed. Of course, once they’ve successfully greeted you, reward them with something delicious.
If it’s starting to pour and you’re stuck in a small space, a roll-over command will do just the trick if you’re looking to keep your pup engaged. All you need is a dog and a tasty snack:
- Step 1: Rock to the side – Place a treat in your hand. Then, with your dog lying down and focused on you, slowly bring your treat hand to their shoulder, making sure your dog follows the treat with its eyes. The goal is for your pup to follow your hand backward with their head until they flop over on their side. Then, praise them with a treat.
- Step 2: Roll over – With your dog on its side, continue moving the treat back along the length of their spine, keeping their attention the whole time. The dog should follow with their head. Eventually, the treat will leave your pup’s range of vision, prompting them to roll over
,and stand up to find the treat. Praise your dog for this and reward them with the hard-earned snack.
#3 Play Tug-of-War
Playing a game of tug-of-war with a rope or a large toy like a long-legged plush frog will help your dog expend energy and feel more calm, despite the booming thunder and falling rain:
- Round 1: Spark interest – Make the rope or toy exciting—shake it in front of them, speak excitedly, or run around the house with the toy in tow. Once your pup shows interest, let them grab the toy from you and win immediately.
- Round 2: Make it a challenge – Once your dog has gotten a hang of the game, increase the difficulty by hanging onto the tug toy for a longer amount of time before letting them pull it away from you. With each win, reward your pup for their accomplishment with a belly rub, a treat, or positive words.
Ultimately, a tug-of-war play session allows you to bond with your pup and build their confidence when playing with you
, or even other dogs.
Tip: You may remember your mom or a relative who only brought out the fine china or fancy glassware for special occasions. Keeping playtime-specific toys in a special place, out of sight from your dog, can help to build the same kind of intrigue and excitement for every playtime.
#4 Hide-and-Seek with a CBD Treat
Similar to treasure hunting, hide-and-seek is a paws-itively enjoyable way to spend time with your dog
, while also teaching them how to complete simple tasks.
To make the game even more fun for your pup, hide with a CBD treat. Not only is it a delicious snack, but CBD can help promote your pup’s overall health and wellness—and even calm them after a long day of thunder and rain.
- Step #1: Tell your dog to stay – You’ll want your dog to know the stay command to make the most out of your game of hide and seek (no cheaters!). While you hide, your pup can practice their recall, as well as work on their patience.
- Step #2: Hide – While your dog sits still, find an easy-to-find place to hide. Keep it simple at first—behind a door, under a table, or on the other side of a chest—and don’t forget their delicious CBD treat!
- Step #3: Seek – Call for your pup from your hiding place with a command word like “come” or “go” when you’re ready. When they arrive, praise them and reward them with their calming snack.
#5 Make Brain Teasers and Puzzle Games
If it isn’t clear by now, dogs are smart and love to use their brains. Get those idle paws moving with a stimulating puzzle toy. There are a lot of companies that make interactive toys, making it super easy to keep a special collection of them specifically for days spent indoors.
You can also put together some interactive games on your own with common household items:
- Shell game – Test your dog’s memory with this game. All you need are three plastic cups or food containers. It’s ideal for the vessel to be opaque. Place the treat under one of the containers and move the three of them around in front of your dog, trying your best to mix them up. Now, let your dog knock each of them over until they’ve found the treat.
- Muffin tin – As a warm-up, grab a muffin tin and put a treat in each muffin holder. Let your dog enjoy the treats. Then, replenish the muffin tin with treats and cover the treats with a tennis ball, a toy, or something else that’s difficult to remove but fun and safe for them to chew.
- Treat ball – Cut a hole in a tennis ball that’s just big enough to fit your dog’s favorite treats and fill the ball with goodies. Then, give the ball to your dog and let them try to get the treats out. If your dog is having a difficult time, you may need to widen the hole.
Stay Calm and Play On with Canna-Pet CBD
Fill a rainy day with plenty of mind-stimulating and stomach-satisfying activities for your energetic pooch. While CBD treats are tasty on their own, they may also be a flavorful tool if a thunderstorm is making your dog too uneasy to play.
To that end, save Canna-Pet for a rainy day.
We offer a variety of dog-friendly CBD treats packed with organic nutrients in flavors like turkey and maple bacon. With CBD as you and your pup’s rainy-day partner in crime, the two of you can enjoy the day together, come rain or shine.
- Outside. The Very Good Adventure Dogs of History. https://www.outsideonline.com/culture/active-families/historic-dogs/
- Mic. Brain scans reveal what dogs really think of us. https://www.mic.com/p/brain-scans-reveal-what-dogs-really-think-of-us-16325834