Tuesday, March 15, 2016

5 ways to entertain an active dog (and toddler) when it's rainy

 We've been having a LOT of rain this year in Northern CA, which is good because we (aka the land, the state) needs it, but bad because we (the active but too-good-to get wet Vizsla and the tyrannosaurus toddler) need to get all that energy out. Here are some ways to goof off and keep the nuggets entertained when you're house-bound:

  1. Play ball. I don't care what Mom says, because I'm Mom, and I say, you gotta do what you gotta do. Use a squishy ball, play kick with it instead to keep it (mostly) on the ground), and just stay away from the flatscreen and the Simon Pierce lamp. 
  2. Play hide and seek. Have the dog find the toddler/kids. Have the toddler/kids find the dog. (This ensues in hilarious shrieks in our house). 
  3. Have some training time. Get out the treats and teach the toddler to teach the dog to sit, stay, roll over, and shake. A little refresher course is never a bad thing, and training keeps your dog's mind active, and mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. Plus, your toddler will get to boss someone around, which, once they know how to speak, is about half of what they want to do anyway (the rest is equally divided amongst throwing tantrums and doing whatever you tell them not to do). 
  4. Watch for birds outside. Put up a bird feeder and tell the nuggets you just saw something outside. In my experience, most critters- birds included- aren't really out in the rain, but hey, this should buy you a good 5-10 minutes (ok, maybe only 5) of them staring out the window. Again, call it mental exercise. If you're lucky, the rain might make them both sleepy enough to nap. 
  5. Bake something. By "bake" I mean put some Cheerios and peanut butter in a bowl and have the toddler mix them up and make them into little balls. It's messy and sticky, but it's not like you're going anywhere in this crappy weather anyway. The smell of peanut butter will have your dog excited, and you can wrap right back in to #3. You can also make some homemade frosty paws, which isn't too engaging for the pup, but gives them both something to wait for once they are frozen. I'm always surprised at how long (by that, I mean like 2-5 minutes) my daughter will sit still to watch Captain licking clean a container. 
There are other things you can do, too, of course- my daughter likes to dress Captain up and put blankets on him, have stuffed animals ride him, chase him into his kennel or roll around in his donut bed with him, or have dance parties and try and get him to "dance" too- but I tried to keep this list to items that both nuggets will enjoy ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment