At first our dogs were super excited that we were home all of the time, but now they might be ready for us to go to back work and stop taking them for walks all of the time. To shake things up, here are a couple of fun activities that you can do with your dog that involve one of their favorite things....treats.
DIY Toys and Games to Play with Your Dog
Most of these games use items that you might have around the house. While some might involve you doing a little arts and crafts. For the treats, you can use your dog's kibble, treats or any dog-friendly snack like carrots, zucchini or anything your dog really enjoys. Lucas, my corgi likes to play with treats, carrots and blueberries most of the time, but he loves all fruits and veggies (even lettuce, but that is hard to play with). This should be exciting and fun for your dog.
These easy-to-make mats are a great way to keep your dog occupied or to extend meal time. Your dog gets to forage for his food or treats in the fluffy nooks and crannies of the mat. You can also match them to your decor by picking fleece fabrics that will compliment your home or just go crazy and pick super fun bright colors. Get your instructions for your DIY snuffle mat here.
Muffin Tin Puzzle Game
Similar to some of the puzzle games you can buy, but you don't need to pull out your credit card for this one. This game only requires a couple of common household items: a muffin tin, tennis balls and of course, dog treats. The best part about this puzzle game is that you can adjust the levels based on how determined your dog is to get to those treats. I added some photos so you could check out the setup of each level, plus I added a bonus video of Lucas learning to play the game. As you can see he is not very good at first, but he gets the hang of it.
Easy: Place the muffin tin upside down, place treats in the holes between the cups and cover with tennis balls
Medium: Place the muffin tin right side up, place treats in the cups and cover with tennis balls
Hard: Place the muffin tin right side up, place treats in only some of the cups and cover all of the cups with tennis balls
Here's Lucas playing the Muffin tin Puzzle Game
A combination of nosework and concentration makes this game perfect for occupying your pup. All you need is 2 or 3 opaque cups and some treats. The game starts off easy and gets progressively more difficult. First, you teach the dog what the game is about by using only two cups and putting the treats under the same cup every time. This way your dog starts to understand how to play. Next you can put the treat under a different cup every time. Finally, put the treat under one of the cups and then slide the cups around and see if your dog can figure out where the treat landed. If you have a smarty pants on your hands, you can add an additional cup. Every time the dog gets it right, there is a reward. If they miss, show them the treat and try again. I let Lucas play this game a little bit so you can see how it is done. Obviously, the rules are not too strict. Just have some fun with it.
If you want a super easy game that involves nothing but treats then this is for you. While your dog is in another room or outside, hide some treats around the room for them to find. You might need to show them the first one so they get the idea and then tell them to go get the treats. If your dog needs more of a challenge then you can hide the treats in more difficult places or cover them with a small plastic container. This is a great use for those plastic Easter eggs that you put candy in for the kids. We did an Easter egg hunt with our dog. He had a blast searching for those eggs and it was fun for us too.
So if your dog is getting restless and you have watched everything on Netflix, get off the couch play some fun, interactive games with your dog that don't involve going outside. Have fun! I'm going to go get Lucas right now and play some more of the Muffin Tin Game.