This week is incredibly hot and humid for many areas of the country. It is especially important that we keep ourselves and our dogs safe through hydration, knowledge of heatstroke symptoms, and most importantly not overdoing it if we have to be out in the heat.
With weather like this, it can easily lead to restless dog syndrome as your dog may not get his or her normal daily walk or outside time. The good news is that there are other forms of exercise for your dog. Most people do not think about mental stimulation as “exercise” for your dog, but believe it or not, this can wear out your dog. Have you ever noticed how your tired your dog is after an hour of dog class or if you take him or her to a brand new environment? The majority of dogs are very tired afterwards, because all the stimulation and thought processes have mentally worn them out. It takes a good amount of brain power to get through these types of events. And if you have a worried/stressed dog, it can be as little as 5 or 10 minutes in these types of environments.
What are some ways we can beat the heat?
Interactive toys can be great as your dog has to figure out how to get the food out. Depending on the difficulty and the level of your dog, this can take some time.
Here, we have Zoey with a Busy Buddy Bone toy, and Cali with a Kong Wobbler.
Another fun interactive puzzle toy is the Nina Ottossen Dog Tornado.
Tovah demonstrates her skills with the dog tornado in this video.
If you have never thought about a flirt pole, this can also be a good way to exercise and mentally wear out your dog. Typically, flirt poles are used outside, but with a little room, they can be used indoors as well. This also allows you to practice position changes like sit, down, stand; drop/release; take it/get it; and/or leave it.
Take a look at this blog post on 7 Great Benefits of Flirt Play with You and Your Dog.
There are many other ways to exercise and work with your dogs indoors. In this Indoor and Kid Games to Play with your Dog handout, you will find a list of a variety of games and activities you can play with your dog.
So, do not let the heat stop you or your dog from having fun! There are a lot of options out there that do not involve being outside or water.