Similar to humans, dogs become depressed if they have nothing to do or are forced to repeat the same activities over and over. Though dogs love to walk and play fetch, they need a diversity of activities to remain happy and healthy. It is up to you to provide your furry friend with new games and activities. Fret not, we have come up with a litany of fun games that will lift your dog’s mood and help him or her get the most out of life.
Create an Obstacle Course
You can easily make a DIY (do it yourself) obstacle course in your living room, basement or yard. Set up objects ranging from ottomans to boxes, hula hoops and stacked books. Guide your dog from one obstacle to another, encouraging your furry buddy to jump, crawl and run over and around these obstacles. If you prefer to keep your personal items out of harm’s way, simply pick up some poles and cones at the local pet store for your dog obstacle course and your pet will have an absolute blast.
Play the Cup Treat Game
Put one of your dog’s favorite treats beneath an overturned cup. Position two cups to the sides of this cup. Quickly move the three cups in front of your dog. Abruptly stop the movement of the cups, challenging your dog to select the one covering the treat. If your dog selects the right cup, give him or her an extra treat for winning the game.
Play Hide and Go Seek
Dogs love hide and go seek just as much as kids. As long as your dog understands the commands of come, stay and sit, he or she can play this game. Guide your dog to a room and request that he or she stays there. Exit the room to hide in another location of the home.
Call you dog’s name and the “come” command when you are in your hiding place. This calling will pique your furry friend’s interest so he or she can search the house for your hidden location. Once your dog finds you, make a big deal about the accomplishment, giving him or her verbal praise along with a couple treats.
Tie a couple strings, shoelaces or thin ropes to your dog’s favorite toy. Slowly drag the toy along the floor with the string in-hand. This game is sure to get your dog up and moving. After all, the slow dragging will make your furry friend feel as though he or she is chasing down prey. Though cats certainly love chasing after prey, dogs enjoy the hunt as well. So don’t assume this is only a game for felines. Give it a try with your pooch and he or she will have plenty of fun chasing after the string and toy.
A Dog’s Hidden Treasure
As most dog owners know, their furry buddy has an amazing sense of smell. In fact, dogs have upwards of 45 times the number of scent receptors as people. Put one of your dog’s favorite snacks in a small container with the lid open. Hold the prize in front of your dog then quickly run away, hiding the treasure in another part of the home. Tell your dog to “Go get it!” to see if he or she can find the hidden treasure by simply sniffing around the home. Once your dog finds the treasure, reward him or her with a couple additional treats for a job well done.