Does your dog have a lot of energy that makes it hard for them to settle down? Or gets excited easily? Whether you need a bit of peace and quiet while working from home, or just a relaxing afternoon to bond with your pup, here are four ways to help tire them out!
1. FLIRT POLE
Everyone knows that play is very important for dogs; it helps them engage physically and mentally and can be used as a training tool for behavioural development. When thinking of ways to play, the classics are always a good shout – such as fetch & tug of war – but why not try a flirt pole to burn off extra energy!
But what is a flirt pole? It’s like a big cat toy, but for dogs! Flirt poles have a long rod with a string of about equal length attached, and a toy or chew at the end of the string. The purpose of the toy is to entice your dog to chase and catch the item at the end of the string, moving it quickly and in different directions, which encourages jumping, lunging, and running.
Flirt poles are a great way to let your dog get out their energy in a fun and manageable way! Plus, it’s perfect for smaller spaces – where fetch may not work.
If you’re looking for an outdoor activity that requires little effort on your part, then a frisbee is ideal. It doesn’t get much easier than standing in one spot, tossing a frisbee, and letting your dog do all the hard work!
Playing fetch with a frisbee is great exercise for your pup because it gets them to run at a distance and jump up in the air for a catch. Change things up by throwing the frisbee in different directions, at different heights, and varying lengths.
If your pup hasn’t got the best paw-eye coordination and catching doesn’t come easily to them – not to worry! It may take some time and practice before they’ve got the hang of it. To get them used to the frisbee, try using it for a short game of tug of war, so your dog becomes familiar with how to grab and hold it. Then, take your tug of war game running, and after a few yards let go. Try the fetch concept with them and continue practising together.
With a little patience and a lot of love, it’s sure to be a bonding activity for you and your dog to enjoy together. Not to mention one that will surely leave them pooped!
3. CHASE BUBBLES
You may be seeing a pattern with these ideas – chase is always a great way to occupy and exhaust your dog! If your dog has a strong prey drive, this is a great activity for them as they will love chomping the bubbles.
All you need is a bubble wand, or even better, a bubble machine and some dog-safe bubbles. If you want to make it more fun for your pup, check out these bacon-scented bubbles! Or you can always make your own with water and glycerin.
Just wave your bubble wand at a range of heights or set your bubble machine to oscillate. Keep your dog engaged by changing up the direction or speed of the bubbles!
Another benefit of this activity is that if your dog is getting on with age, then this option is right up their alley. Bubbles can be especially good for older dogs, as they can still stretch and move about without too much impact and stress on their joints.
Plus, it’s just plain fun – so, go on and blow some bubbles!
4. STIMULATING CHEW TOY
If you’re just looking to keep your dog occupied without your direct involvement, a stimulating chew toy might be just the ticket.
There are loads of puzzle toys available that can keep your dog busy, especially if they know there’s a yummy treat involved! These kinds of toys are beneficial for your dog’s mental stimulation as they enhance problem solving skills and prompt your dog to find ways to be creative about getting to the treats.
Some of our favourite toy ideas are:
- Fill a Kong or similar toy with peanut butter or small treats and let them at it. If you fill one with peanut butter, try freezing it for a longer play session.
- A Wobble bowl slow feeding toy, filled with dry food or treats, is great for pacing your dog’s eating routine, while giving them something to focus on.
- Freeze dog-safe fruits or treats in ice cube trays and let your dog chomp on the ice – great for cooling off on a warm day!
- Try a Lickimat spread with something yummy like peanut butter, plain Greek yoghurt and fruit, mashed banana, or veggie purees. Some will even stick to a wall if you want to distract your dog while clipping their nails or brushing their fur!
These are a great way to engage your dog’s tendency to chew, which is particularly good for teething puppies! Not to mention that it’s an activity which is easy to supervise and rewarding for both you and your pup.
And there you have it, four ways to get your pup tuckered out. Try a combination of these ideas for the ultimate dog-tired effect and enjoy your ‘you time!’