Winter took a turn for the worse on us, so snow fun is over for a while. This time it wasn’t frigid weather that has driven us indoors, but warmer weather caused melting that left us with an icy yard. We did at least have a warmer weekend that softened the snow so we could find a small area in the yard to play a bit, but it’s going to turn cold again and it will be way too rough and icy to make it safe for the dogs to play outdoors.
It’s time to get out the indoor fun and games to keep the dogs entertained until we get another good snow storm. While even our older girl, 13 year-old Cricket, will play with toys, I can’t usually initiate that play for them. In other words, they only play with toys when they feel like it! Often that is when I come home from being gone, or after I get dressed in the morning. At both times they frequently entertain themselves playing with toys while waiting for me to take them outside. You can see them with some of their favorites here; they are the ones that dig those out of their toy box when they want them.
If I decide it’s time to play according to my schedule, I have to dig out the nose works supplies or the puzzle games. Puzzle games are quicker for me to put together, so I usually choose those more often. The two seen in the video below are my favorites.
You can find most of these toys and games along with many of our other favorite products in our Amazon Affiliate store by clicking here. We receive a small commission if you order from our store, which helps us to keep the blog going, so it’s greatly appreciated. (We are not receiving any other compensation for sharing these toys and games, we are only doing so because we like them, and hope your dogs might too!)
Right now the only possible storm headed our way is a few days away and not definite, so we’ll be pulling out all the stops to keep these two entertained. We still go outside to get our fresh air every day no matter what, now that our frigid weather is over, but I discourage them from running and jumping. Cricket always looks so sad that I won’t throw her ball though! There’s nothing like a treat game to cheer her up – treats are high on her list of favorite things, probably right next to balls. The only thing that makes them sad is that they can’t play treat games all day long….we don’t need to end up with fat dogs at the end of the winter! 🙂
How do you entertain your dogs if you can’t get them outside?
Jodi Stone says
We had ice too. Thankfully it didn’t get so bad that we couldn’t walk. If the weather is SUPER bad, then we find something to do inside. Maybe some trick training, or obedience training. Just something that will help keep them from being bored.
Luke gets bored so easily. But sometimes I think he’s bored in the evenings, and all he really wants is someone to sit on the couch with him and snuggle (that’s much easier)!
We have three different types of treat balls (and of course, two of each because if one has something the other one needs the same thing). We have the snuffle mat, too, which Barley loves, but I’m still worried that Rye will try to eat the actual mat, so it hasn’t been used too much in the last year. Rye destroyed a lot of puzzle toys in the first few months I had her–she seemed to think that they’d be more fun if she added a few holes to them, so we’ve had to be really careful about which kind we get to try to keep her from modifying them! We’ve been doing puzzle feeders–the Kong Wobbler–for dinner every night lately because even though we’ve gotten out for some walks and some muddy fun in the yard, they’re still not worn out and that seems to get them ready to settle down a bit for the night. My fingers are crossed that Luke and Cricket can get some good outdoor playtime in really soon!
We’re finally getting some days outside! We got just enough snow to cover the ice and the temperatures have not been as frigid most days. Maybe I need to give Luke a treat game in the evenings to settle him down too (we don’t do puzzle feeders because we feed some wet food, but I usually combine it so I could just save the dry part). We had lots of fresh air today and he’s still sitting here whining at me!
Luke likes to eat things too, but he hasn’t tried to eat the snuffle mat yet; but I usually take it right away as soon as they’re done too.
I’m thinking the Snuffle Mat might be a good idea for Dylan, as I’m constantly looking for ways to keep him busy when he is indoors. I’m just curious if he would destroy the mat itself. He loves to shred things — things that I think are tough until he gets them.
I always take it away from Luke as soon as he’s done. He gets pretty focused on finding the treats, so has never tried to eat the mat itself.
Dolly the Doxie says
We’ve been doing a lot of indoor games too, for now our snow and salt is all gone. But, we hear there’s plenty of snow on the way so maybe time for some new toys! I’m wondering though, have you had much success with Amazon? I don’t think I am. Sandra and Dolly
I’ve been an Amazon affiliate for a while (providing direct links in my posts to specific products), and I do pretty good with it (I’m not getting rich but it gives me a little pocket money). Because they run so far behind with their payments, I don’t know if the store has made any difference or not.
We finally got some more snow so we’ve been able to play outside some!
Bear’s a stinker – he requires someone to play with him. Though it’s also true that I’ve found toys under furniture, etc when I never saw him playing. He’s been known to flip his micey pretty high in the air – over the 7 foot tall entertainment center. I can’t even imagine what happens when Luke and Cricket are bored!
Cricket’s pretty good about just grabbing a toy to play with if she’s bored. For the most part though, she’s content enough to just nap if there’s nothing going on. Luke, not so much! He needs me to play with him too, even though he won’t let me have the toys to throw them, he wants me to chase him around trying to get them! LOL
sand spring chesapeakes says
Great indoor games, I too use the snuffle matt, guilty loves it. My gang also loves the tug o jug.
Luke doesn’t seem to care as much for hard toys, so we’ve never tried the jug. But who knows, maybe it depends if there’s treats inside the toy or not! 🙂
I’m sorry that the outdoors has been so little fun for you recently. I hope that it looks up soon.
I’ve been contemplating a snuffle mat – do you ever use it for rewarding during training? Or, perhaps for a “fun break” during training?
I have not used the snuffle mat in training at all, but I think that’s a great idea. So now I just might!
We’ve been able to get outside a little more to play now, since we got just enough snow to cover up the ice. I need to get out and make some new trails so we can walk in the woods again too. It’s just a bit too crusty for me to feel safe that it won’t hurt their paws, but if I can break it up that should work.
The Daily Pip says
Ruby doesn’t like the cold or snow so we are often coming up with indoor fun. She’s usually OK being inside and is kind of a couch potato. Fortunately, the last few days have warmed up so we have been able to get outside more.
Well, that makes winters easier for you! I’m glad our dogs like the snow and don’t mind the cold too much (as long as it’s not frigid), otherwise I would probably never get outside in the winter, other than to take care of the birds!
GROOVY GOLDENDOODLES says
It was raining over the weekend, so I had to pull out the balls that I bought for the house. They’re small enough for Jaxson to grab in his mouth but too big to roll under furniture. They love it because the play never stops! The things we do for our pups!
I wish we could play ball in the house! But Luke gets too rowdy, and Cricket gets so focused on the ball, she sometimes forgets she’s not outside and has an accident!
M. K. Clinton says
We took the boys to the vet today and Pierre is on a strict diet! Since my leg has been injured, we haven’t walked as much and he has put on some weight eating extra treats. UGH!
Oh no, poor Pierre! Diets are no fun! Sorry your leg is still not healed completely either. 🙁
The Island Cats says
Glad you found some things to keep the pups occupied inside. We’re getting snow today…you should be here!
The dogs were ready to pack their bags….but luckily we did get a little more snow so they didn’t have to. 🙂
caren gittleman says
We have the matt and a few Nina Ottosson games……..the problem for Dakota is he figures out those games in 30 seconds (no exaggeration) and then he is done with them lol
Sometimes your dog being too smart does not work to your benefit! 🙂
Monika & Sam says
Melt and freeze cycles are the worst part of winter. Here’s hoping it either all melts away or fresh snow falls.
Crystal and Daisy Mae says
We are to get more Snow, possibly more ice, rain and even sleet overnight into tomorrow. Tonight we will be under a winter advisory.😪😪Her’s wishing you more snow to play in.
We did finally get some fresh snow, though not a lot. Then it was followed by rain again…ugh…but at least not too much so the snow absorbed a lot of it and I was able to break up the crust so the dogs could at least run in the yard.
Brian Frum says
We’re glad the pups are enjoying some fun inside when it’s so yucky outside!
Mary Hone says
It’s good to have indoor games to play. Roxy could care less, but Torrey gets bored if she can’t get out. Even in the RV we can play games of “find it” with hidden cheerios. I have always wanted one of those Nina Otteson games, they look hard and would be good for Torrey.
The ones we have are hard, and so far I usually have to help the dogs or they get frustrated and just start pawing at them!
Shadow & Ducky's Mom says
I can’t even feed these two at the same time, let alone let them play with those treat-hider games. But I have found that the treadmill does a good job of wearing Ducky out for a while. Between having to focus on staying on the tread and the physical exercise of actually walking,15 minutes at 1.2 mph usually settles her down. I put Shadow on it, too, which helps her work out the “old age” stiffness, creaks, and groans. Then I get on it to stretch out my own stiffness.
When we’re going to be stuck inside for a whole day, I take Ducky downstairs and set up the Snuffle mat and two overturned Amazon boxes with hidden treats. While she’s sniffing those out, I hide more inside my yard shoes, behind or on top of furniture. Then I sit and watch her. Her nose is amazing! I swear she can smell ANYTHING you ask her to. She usually smells the squirrels long before she sees them, and it seems like she can smell them before I even open the door.
I’m going to watch yard sales and stuff for a treadmill. I really do want one for them, and people are often giving those away or selling them very cheaply! We actually used to have one years ago, but we never used it for the dogs!
I wish I had a better separate area for taking Luke to play other games. We did at the other house, but we don’t have a usable basement here. But I try to make do with what we have, and Cricket is pretty good about hanging out in the bedroom if I want to do nose works with Luke (as long as she gets a treat when she’s put in and taken out – LOL!).
We play outside no matter what. The snow is a bit crusty here and it is cold again, but we still go out for our long walks and romping in the yard. My sisters play with toys sometimes and they love to wrestle in the house. Normally we are all content to nap when inside.
They are pretty good about napping in the afternoons, but Luke always gets fidgety in the evenings after supper, I don’t know why. But mostly, he does that whether we’ve gotten our outside playtime or walks or not!
we play hide&seek or get the treat… with our bad weather Phenny can catch 5 out of 6 treats with his mouth… think till spring he can make it to all 6 ;O)))
I have a lot of luck to have a humanlike-dog.. he also enjoys when I read a book to him… sadly he will not fall asleep like a toddler LOL
Luke does like to sit next to me when I read too; though I don’t read out loud to him (I think he’d rather nap!).
Luke is pretty good at catching treats too, and I need to that a bit more with him.