When you spend a lot of your time indoors, it’s easy to get bored doing the same routine every day. So, it’s no surprise if your kid constantly comes up to you complaining about how there’s nothing fun to do when they’re home. And while it’s tempting to leave them with gadgets to entertain themselves, why don’t you encourage them to play with your dog instead?
More than just a pet, your furry friend is a companion who can be a great playmate for your children. Bonding with your dog does not just keep them entertained, but it also gives kids a healthy and physical way to play.
Of course, before anything else, ensure that you teach your children how to play with a dog safely and that you are there to supervise the activity, at least at first. When everything’s set, it’s finally time to have some fun! Here’s a list of indoor activities that your dogs and kids can definitely enjoy:
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1. Tug of War
Contrary to popular belief, playing tug of war isn’t just a simple physical game of pulling; it’s also beneficial for your dog’s learning and behavior, as it teaches them to follow commands. As such, before playing, there are a certain set of rules your kids have to follow.
First, they should hold the toy at both ends before telling your pet to sit down. Once the dog sits, that’s when they can instruct the dog to grab the toy and pull. Finally, command them to drop the toy. However, fun as this game may be, only allow your children to play it if they are familiar with the dog and if said dog is unaggressive.
2. Hide and Seek
Hide and seek can be an exciting activity for dogs, regardless of their age. Moreover, watching them use their senses while playing this game can be so entertaining. It’s easy to play: make them sit or stay on one spot while your kids find a hiding place. Then, when they’re all settled, they call out your dog’s name once and wait for them to be found.
Once found, you can reward them with praise, toys, and play. Or, if you’re feeling like indulging your furry friends a little more, you can give them food treats made with real meat to enjoy, like VitaPet Puppy products.
3. Obstacle Course
Have you ever watched shows where dogs compete in maneuvering different obstacles? While watching those competitions is fun, it’s even better when your kid gets to do it themselves! Obstacle courses give your pets a chance to show off their agility while forming a stronger bond with you.
Instead of purchasing a premade obstacle course, a better idea to engage your children is to have them create one themselves. Using random items from your household like old tires, hula hoops, and pillows can be a great alternative. Plus, if you’re gifted at DIY and want to get involved, you can also fashion a bar jump from PVC pipes or create a seesaw from plywood.
4. Name Game
Dogs have the ability to recall different names through positive reinforcement. As a matter of fact, one of the basic ways you can see this ability is when they learn to respond when you call them. And if you want to mix in some fun during training, you should try to play the name game.
This works if you give their toys distinct names. Then, you have to teach them the names before taking them to fetch a specific one. You can even leave a toy in a separate room for more fun and ask them to bring it for you. Children will definitely be amazed when they successfully learn the name of their toys!
5. Find the Treat
Compared to a human’s, a dog’s nose is a million times more sensitive. So, it’s going to be mentally stimulating for your pet if you hide treats around the area for them to find—think of it as playing a treasure hunt with your furry friends.
Begin by hiding a few treats around your house, then making them sniff the same sort to get them familiarized with what they have to search. Next, give them a cue or signal to start hunting for their snack.
As they get better, you can start making your kids play with them. For more variations, do this during their mealtimes, making them work for their food, a good form of mental and physical exercise.
Making your children spend more time playing with your dogs teaches them to be more responsible while allowing them to have fun and exercise. Moreover, it helps in creating a stronger bond with your pets. If you’re looking for more activities to do, then the five games above will surely bring more variation to their bonding time together.