Many dogs, like many people, don’t enjoy going out in the rain. Even if you have a dog that loves wet weather, you may not want to have to deal with the smell and mess of a wet dog after a long walk.
The good news is that there are always ways to exercise and keep your dog occupied on rainy days. To get started, let’s take a look at some of the easiest options and move through to some of the more creative solutions.
- Doggy rain gear – there are many different pet companies that make lines of dog rain ponchos and jackets that can be perfect for any size or breed of dog. These will keep your dog’s body dry, and some even have hoods or extended necks to keep most of the dog out of the rain.
- Indoor doggy parks – some of the larger cities and even smaller locations may have an indoor area for dogs. These are often managed by community groups or dog organizations and memberships are very low cost. They may have an agility run, open play area, ball pits and even tracks where owners and dogs can jog around the perimeter.
- Doggy groups – if your dog is well-socialized, consider a doggy daycare group. These are fun for your dog and allow him or her to spend time with other well-socialized dogs. Some trainers, groomers or dog organizations run these on a regular basis. You may be able to pay “drop in fees” for rainy days.
- Playing indoors – most dogs love to play inside. Games like fetch, hide and seek with toys or even tag with the dog are always fun. This is more appropriate for small or medium breeds, particularly if you have a smaller home or apartment.
- Dog puzzles – there is a range of different dog puzzles and mental activities such as treat balls or even Kongs with peanut butter inside that are easy to keep your dog active and busy. If you are using these for rainy day indoor activities, you may want to restrict the dog or puppy’s access to these “special toys” on nice days and find something different to do.
- Have a dog play date – call a friend with a friendly, social dog and have an indoor play date. This is a great way for you both to socialize.
From those basic ideas, you can also expand and get more creative. Here are some more advanced ideas for dogs and owners on indoor days:
- Home agility course – in a spare room, basement or even the garage, set up a home agility course. You can use PVC plastic pipe to create simple jumps that are very low cost. Add some toy traffic cones for a set of weave poles and a low bench or stool for a table. Just make sure everything is safe for the weight and size of your dog.
- Dog treadmills – it is never recommended to have a dog on a treadmill designed for human use. There are some low-cost dog treadmills out there that are a small, easy to store option for rainy days. You will need to train your pet to use these devices, but most dogs are very quick to catch on.
Finally, don’t forget that you can also spend some time grooming and interacting with your dog. A lazy day isn’t a problem every now and then, and it can be a wonderful bonding experience.