As I sit here snuggled in bed with my dog Poppy, I can see we have yet another day ahead filled with rain. Poppy doesn't like going out in the rain, so I thought about what I could do with my dog on a rainy day. And I thought, hey, why not share my ideas with you!
So here we go, five fun things to do on a rainy day with your dog.
The first thing I do on a rainy day with Poppy is to make an extravaganza out of her breakfast.
Poppy is very lucky to have an array of slow feeders, stuffable enrichment toys, lickimats, and snuffle mats. She also ADORES a cardboard box to tear apart, that's the terrier in her! You don't have to have an abundance of canine enrichment toys, though; I always find a little raid of the recycling bin will turn up some good material.
Plastic bottles can be rinsed out and used as feeding toys; pop some kibble or treats in and let your pup spin it, shake it and throw it to get them out. A cardboard box filled with balls of scrunched up paper and treats or kibble is a hit in this house. Simply using different textures and heights is a great way to get your dog moving and enjoying a breakfast feast!
Try out the bath mat, an overturned tub for a bit of height; the options are pretty endless once you get started.
The second activity I love to do on a rainy day with my dog is a trip to the pet shop!
Ok, I admit it, I am a bit of a shopaholic, especially when it comes to dog gear! Poppy really enjoys a trip to our local pet shop or Pets at Home with me. All the smells! All the food and treats! All the lovely things she is rewarded with when we get home!
Heading to the pet shop with your pup is an excellent way to get out on a rainy day without getting utterly drenched.
The third activity I enjoy on a wet day with my pup is playing tug and practicing her training.
So I'm back from the pet shop where Poppy undoubtedly chose a new toy, so now we're home, we are going to play with it! Poppy loves playing tug, and I love working on her impulse control, so I often try and work a bit of training into a game with my dog.
We'll have a good couple of rounds of tug, probably a few throws for her to fetch, and then I lay the toy down and ask her to leave, until I give her the release of 'ok' where she can then take it.
I taught this to Poppy simply by covering the toy with my hand. If she went to take it before I had given the release cue, then I quickly covered it again until she retreated. You need to build the time you expect them to leave it up slowly; you don't want to create rainy day frustration for you or your dog!
At this point in the day, I feel a bit of chill time on the sofa is earned all around. So activity number 4 is a bit of a snugglefest in front of the telly!
Now this will vary depending on your dog's breed, energy levels, and ability to chill! If your pup is struggling to settle down and have some calm, quiet time, then a good long-lasting chew (picked up from the pet store on your earlier visit) is a great way to help your dog chill out.
My dog can't deal with animals on the telly, sends her doolally! So I have to be thoughtful about what we watch together if I don't want to send her into a spinning frenzy. Other than that, we do love a snuggle on the sofa under a fleecy blankie. And it just feels all the better on a wet and miserable day!
Ok, so activity number five to do with your hound on a rainy day is..... a visit to the pub!
We talk a lot about socialisation and enrichment, but did you ever think that taking your dog to the pub covers both of these? A new environment, with lots of new smells, people, and perhaps even other dogs.
In the dream scenario here, you've got a spot by the fire, your pup curls up and has a little snooze while you tuck into some warming, comfort food and a drink.
Poppy needs a little help to settle in a pub, mainly if there are other dogs there. So I come prepared, a comfy blanket to relax on, a good chew or a lickimat, and of course, if the pub doesn't provide it, then some water for her.
So there you have it, your rainy-day ahead with your dog thoroughly planned to meet both of your needs! I hope you have a splendid day together; let me know which bits were your favourite.
Love and Woofs,