Easy Indoor Enrichment Ideas

Is your dog going stir crazy from not getting out during these cold snowy days? Here are some easy homemade ideas to keep your pup happy until the weather warms up.

Hide some tasty treats in various locations around the house and encourage your dog to “search”. Make it more challenging by putting several

empty cardboard boxes on the floor and toss some treats into one of them. Your pup will have to search the boxes to get the goodies.  If you have small critter pets or birds, put some of their used litter in a baggie, poke some holes in it and stash it for your dog to find. You’ll need to supervise this one to make sure she doesn’t eat the baggie or the litter.

Spread some kibble on the floor and cover with an old towel or blanket. Your dog will have to burrow under the blanket to get the goodies. Caution, my dog decided it was easier to just chew through the blanket, so you might not want to use anything valuable.

Fold the end of an empty toilet tissue tube. Drop some kibble or yummy treats inside and fold up the other end. Hand it to your dog and let her tear it open! Other variations on this theme include placing treats in an empty yogurt or cottage cheese container. Slap on the lid and encourage your pup to open it.  Wrap up some treats in some butcher paper, twist the ends and let your dog rip it up. To make a bigger challenge, stuff the paper inside one of those holey-roller toys, or pack inside a cardboard box (taped up for the doggie PhD). Snuffle mats are all the rage these days and when loaded with kibble give your dog foraging opportunities. The mats are easy to make or you can order them online.

Do some reward-based training. Tricks are a fun way to bond with your dog and have fun together. Anything from high five, to opening the fridge can be taught with rewards. Have fun with it.  Create a mini obstacle course and teach your pup to crawl under the coffee table, circle the sofa and jump over a broomstick. You get the idea. Have fun and before you know it spring will be here!