While some dogs love puddle jumping, others take one look outside and give a big heck no. But even if pup’s afraid of messing up his fur, he still needs mental and physical stimulation so he doesn’t end up on your shit list by destroying shoes or barking through your Zoom calls. We sniffed out 10 rainy day dog activities so rainy days don’t have to be puppin’ boring.
1. Practice Nose Work With Hide and Seek Games
Let your woof activate her huntress instincts with hide and s
eek treat games. Hide high value snaccs in blanket forts, nooks, crannies, or even a ball pit. For the advanced Sherlock Bones, check out a scentwork kit.
2. Take Pup to a Dog-Friendly Brewery or Store
It might be raining like cats and dogs, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck at home. Explore dog-friendly spots in your town. From breweries and restaurants to boutiques and bookstores, you’re bound to find somewhere for Fido to practice her tricks in public. Sniff out our Directory to find places to go in Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, or Seattle.
3. Let Doggo Chase Bubbles
Most dogs are intrigued by watching bubbles, even more so once you show ‘em they can indeed *pop* them. Dog bubbles come in fun flavors like peanut butter and bacon. As an added bonus, they make grrr-eat photo opps for your pupfluencer account.
4. Work Their Brains With Puzzle Toys
Use puzzle toys to keep your dog from bein’ bored AF. They’re entertaining, mentually stimulating, and best of all, keep dogs out of trouble. For a DIY option (bc how were you supposed to know it would rain today? You’re not a meteorologist!), put some treats in a muffin tin and cover them with tennis balls.
5. Schedule a Doggy Play Date
If your dog is a social butterfly, invite her best pal over for an indoor play date. Set out some puzzle toys, old towels for tug-of-war, and boxes for an obstacle course. Just make sure neither of the dogs have issues with resource guarding before you put out the good good toys. For the rowdy crowd, stick ‘em in the basement or garage, or use gates to fence off any valuables or breakables.
6. Do Agility Training
Put those zoomies to good use and channel that energy into an at-home agility course. You can find plenty of agility equipment online, but there are even more things in your home that you can use to make your own!
Get creative and build an obstacle course with cardboard boxes, hula hoops, pillows, brooms, and chairs. Anything he can jump, burrow, weave, or climb through is fair game.
7. Play Tug-of-War, Fetch, or Soccer
Rainy days call for indoor games! Play some tug-of-war, indoor fetch, or even a game of keep away if you have a spare human nearby.
Sidewalk Doggers suggested these games in our Dog-Friendly Facebook Group:
Needed for fetch-soccer: Two or three tennis balls and tolerance for mild chaos. Object of game for human: Keep dog moving. Object of game for dog: Keep all tennis balls in own possession, away from human.
– Austin L.
Soccer with a JW Pet Hol-ee Roller
Dog is the goalie, and human’s job is to get it past the dog. I recommend a soft ball to minimize injury to breakable items. Warning: If wearing socks on slippery floors, you may fall and be penalized with a licking attack by the goalie.
– Nikki S.
8. Have a Spaw Day
Your pup has to go potty sometime, and will likely come in stinking like wet dog mixed with earthworms. Pamper pup and yourself with these bathtime products, give ‘em a facial, and even a pawdicure. And don’t furget the toofers; we’ve got DIY toothpaste recipes too. After all this, your dog might flip ya the bird if he could, but at least you’ll have passed some time.
9. Teach Your Dog New Tricks
Rainy days are the perfect opportunity for teaching your ol’ dog new tricks or brushing up on basic commands. Check out dog-trick training books or videos. We also suggest teaching your fren how to fetch the remote or your slippers. Win-win!
10. Strike a Pose
Spend some time building the perfect backdrop (or just hang a bedsheet, whatever). Have pup try on all those outfits she didn’t get to show off during the last year, and take all the pictures. Capture some action shots of her running through the obstacle course, playing with a puzzle toy, or sniffin’ out treats. Post the pics on Insta and make it rain likes instead.
Bonus: Go Outside Rain or Shine!
When we asked our Dog-Friendly Facebook Group what to do with your dog on a rainy day, one of our favorite responses was “Staying inside is an option?” And it’s true, some dogs are born to be wild (and wet, and smelly). If you’re going to play outside anyway, invest in a rain jacket and waterproof booties. Leave a towel and paw cleaner by the door to clean pup a little before she zoomies on your carpet or jumps on the couch.
What are your fave things to do with your dog on a rainy day? Let us know in the comments section, and pawlease tag @sidewalkdog in all your rainy day shenanigans.
Featured photo: Tara Weigum
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Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, and join us on Facebook and Twitter.
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