You don’t need much to make a fun game

29 May

Just like us, your dog needs to be physically AND mentally stimulated. Bored dogs often result in destructive and otherwise unwanted behaviour (i.e. attention barking).

 

Of course, you will have seen the amount of different dog toys and puzzles available on the market, and the majority of these are great, but ever noticed how expensive they are? You don’t need to spend a lot of money to please your dog. Here i decided to create a short list of a few things you can do to mentally stimulate your dog, without hurting your wallet.

1. Plastic bottles. 

This is an absolute favourite of my dogs (and also my previous dogs). If you are like me and drink bottled water, or have the occasional bottle of something fizzy, save the bottle. Remove the cap and that little plastic ring and you are good to go. Your dog will probably spend an unbelievable amount of time playing. They are light and can be tossed around in the air, they make crunchy noises and you might even consider putting some treats inside for your dog to try to get out. Filling them with water can be fun in the summer, but do supervise your dog to make sure that they don’t hold the bottle up and end up choking on the water (this happened to Maya when she was a little pup).

SAM_0296

Plastic bottle are probably one of Maya’s favourite things in the whole world!

 

 

2. An empty bone. 

If your dog is like mine, and just eats the middle (or the marrow) out of the bone and leaves the rest, save it. You can fill it with something else delish, and make them work for it once more. I often put a tea spoon of peanut butter inside an empty bone, and this usually takes Maya about half an hour or so before she has cleaned it back out again. To buy bones anyway is usually not too expensive, and will keep your dog satisfied for hours.

3. The hose.

Mine aren’t so keen, but if it is warm out you might want to try turning on the hose and playing with your dog. Many will love running in and out of the spray, cooling off and burning some energy at the same time.

4. Puzzles.

Instead of buying one of those fancy puzzles try making your own. All you need is a few treats or a small portion of your dogs food (remember to be food wise and do not overfeed) and something to hide it in. You could try putting out several cups and hiding food under just one or two, then letting your dog search for the food (don’t let your dog watch whilst you are preparing or they will know where to go!). I sometimes use their food bowls. These are heaving and when put on the patio they are flat against the ground and so it takes them some time to figure out how to flip them up and get the treats.

5. Agility. 

You can make your own agility equipment with things laying around your house or shed. You could try making some jumping poles out of old pieced of piping for example. Once you have created a small obstacle course, you can spend time with your dog teaching it your own little agility course.

6. Tea towels. 

You can make a tug of war rope by using an old tea towel. Just twist it up and secure the ends and there you have your very own tugger.

7. Hide and seek. 

Yep, hide and seek, the game you played as a child. This might work best if there are two of you so that one person can hold and distract the dog whilst the other person hides. But it could work just as well if you hide when your dog is distracted by something else. Once you have hidden call your dog and wait for him to find you. This is also a great game for working dog breeds, particularly those with instinct to retrieve.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmhetShkylw

 

 

8. Bubbles.

You can pick up a tube of bubbles for about a pound or so. You could even make your own using washing up liquid. Some dogs absolutely love to chase bubbles around. It really gets them jumping and moving around and their brain working as they try to locate them and then work out why they have disappeared.

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9. Sticks. 

Yep, sticks and other bits and pieces you might find in your garden or out on walks are perfect. You could easily spend hours playing fetch with a stick or a pine cone, and they have something to chew on afterwards.

10. The sock.

Dog’s love socks. I don’t know why, but they just do. There are all sorts of things you can do with a sock. Make them into a ball, put some food in one and tie the end so they have to work out how to get to the food, or you could even make them crackle by sandwiching some plastic or something between two. Have a think and see what ideas you can come with.

 

Ok, so there we go, ten cheap and easy way to stimulate your dog, both mentally and physically. See if you can come up with any ideas.

I’d love to hear how you get on with any of these suggestions and if you have any of your own. Comment or send me a message! 🙂

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One Response to “You don’t need much to make a fun game”

  1. rubytheblacklabrador June 4, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    great ideas – Ruby loves anything plastic to chew on. we also get old football socks and put a tennis ball in the bottomw. A few knots and it’s a throw toy and tug of war. Easy!

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