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9 Rainy-Day Ideas to Entertain Your Dog with Minimal Equipment

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Overview

Some dogs love being in the rain and will joyfully accompany you on your daily run in any weather. Most of these dogs are breeds with thick, double coats that prevent the rain from ever reaching their skin. Other rain-loving pups are those that have been bred to be in the water to retrieve game or fishing nets, or to rescue shipwreck victims. 

Then, there are the pooches who don’t like the rain and may avoid going out on wet days until nature’s call becomes urgent. When they’ve finished their business, they'll scoot back inside where it’s dry and warm, and stare sadly out the window waiting for better weather. 

Whether you or your dog would rather stay dry, there are many ways to entertain them inside without breaking the bank. Let's look at 9 of the easiest ways to keep your dog entertained on a rainy day! 


Try to find me!

This game can be hilarious for you and fun for your dog. Simply hide behind a door or under a bed and call your furry friend. Watch as they sniff everywhere, sometimes coming right up to where you are without finding you. Try to keep from bursting out in laughter as their nose takes them somewhere else. Then, bask in their wiggly excitement when they finally figure out where you are! Bonus: your pupster is using mental, physical and tracking skills all at once!


Tug of War

If Fido doesn’t already own a tug rope or braid, there’s no need to run to the store. You can make one yourself with a couple of old tee shirts cut into strips and braided. You can even use strips of denim from jeans you no longer wear. Knot both ends and tug away! Your pup will especially love this game if the tug material smells like you! Dogs love to interact with their humans, and this game is great exercise. Watch as Fido twists this way and that, trying to figure out how to get the braid away from you when just pulling doesn’t work. It’s great mental and physical stimulation!


Fetch!

If you have a hallway or set of stairs, you’ve got all you need for a game of fetch or catch. Find a soft ball, like a tennis ball, or even just use a stuffed toy that won’t make any noise. Toss it down the hall or stairs and watch as your canine catcher grabs it or runs after it. This can keep some pups busy for hours unless you get tired out first! Make it challenging by bouncing the toy off the wall instead of throwing it straight so Fido has to adjust his angle of approach. You’ll find dogs love this and are remarkably good at the geometry of it!


Tiny chorkie in wooden tub for bath time

Gift your pup with a spa day

Rainy days are pawrfect for doggy TLC like massages and grooming. Most pooches love to be stroked with a soft brush, and the rhythmic repetitive motion soothes both of you! Or lather them up in a warm, sudsy bath and watch while they melt under your massaging fingers. Finish them off with a relaxing blow dry, and watch them glow! Make the experience all about them, and you’ll be surprised at how calming these simple activities can be for you, too.


Hunt for hidden treasure!

Doggos love to use their noses to track down the scent of prey or a particularly delicious-smelling treat. This is a great activity for engaging the kids, who love to devise the best hiding spots. Hide your treats under a stack of old pillows or in the folds of a blanket. Be sure to use objects that can handle some wear as the pooch may dig and tug to find the savory treasure. Other great hiding places: boxes, inside old gift or paper shopping bags, next to the couch or under the mat in the crate. If your pup needs a little nudge to get started, teach them to "Find the treat." Before long, they’ll be scouring the house for goodies.


Read to your dog

No one loves the sound of your voice more than your fur baby. Get comfortable on the sofa with Fido, open a book, and read aloud. Your soothing tones will be like music to their ears. This is a pawsome bonding experience.


Create a calming lick mat

Spread peanut butter, pumpkin, or another tasty treat over a silicone mat with ridges, and watch while your furry bestie works to lick it clean. This is a time-consuming activity that’s pawrfect for those online meetings when you want Fido to be quiet and occupied.


Two dogs on the couch watching group of dogs on tv - rainy day

Watch some doggy-approved television

A rainy day is a furtastic time to find the remote and tune in to some doggy-approved animal shows or animal-focused movies. Some dogs even like hockey or soccer games because of all the action. Even if your pupster doesn’t watch intently, they’ll love snuggling on the sofa with you while you do! 


Make meal time a game with easy DIY toys

When dinner time rolls around, instead of just dumping some kibble into a bowl, make it interesting by giving Fido a challenge. DIY food puzzles are easy to make and they’ll keep your fur baby occupied long enough for you to make that complicated chicken dish for your own dinner! Here are some easy DIY ideas:

  • Pour kibble into an empty, clean milk jug that you've poked a few small holes in, and watch as your best buddy pushes it around the room trying to get the food out. Not only is this mentally stimulating, but it also makes for good exercise.

  • Glue some empty toilet tissue or paper towel cardboard holders upright in a shoebox, then sprinkle the kibble in the box around the tubes. This DIY dog puzzle will also slow down food gulpers. Avoid this game with brachycephalic dogs, though, to prevent potential damage to their protruding eyes by the sharp tube edges.

  • Create a maze out of water-filled jugs or some canned goods, and place food or treats between them. Will your dog methodically go one jug or can at a time to scoop up the goodies, or will they skip around helter-skelter? This may be a good test of Fido’s personality. 

  • Make your own snuffle mat and hide the food among the “blades of grass.” And you can toss it in the wash after use! Just cut a piece of canvas or a mat to the size you want and mark it with even rows of dots where you want to place the grass blades. Then, cut little holes at the dots. Next, cut about two yards of flannel or fleece into strips 1½-inch wide and six or seven inches long. Note that different lengths can make the game more interesting. Insert the strips into the holes with one half of the strip in one hole and the other half in an adjacent one. Tie the two ends of each strip together until the canvas is completely covered. Hide treats or kibble in and among the strips so your pooch has to sniff them out to get the yummy rewards!

Share your favorite rainy-day activities in our comments section below, and tag #wagwalking or @wag on Instagram for a chance to be featured!


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