Games to Play with Your Dog – Let the Fun Begin!

A dog with its tug toy

Pooches love to play. And for many dogs, the change in season can inspire them to frolic more than usual. 

As the weather warms, it’s hard not to feel the change in our energy levels and interest in being outdoors. The family dog also feels the same. If your dog would like a little more time outside than usual right now, we recommend giving them an assortment of games and activities that will pique their interest, and yours.

To help get your pet moving, the team at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital has put together a few fun games to play with your dog. 

10 Energetic Games to Play with Your Dog

Exercise with your dog should never become monotonous. Games that encourage greater agility, movement, mental stimulation, and time spent with you are great choices for a good exercise routine. Check some of these fun games out and try them with your best friend.

  1. Bubble chase – Choose bubble mixture that is suitable for children and a wand or other toy that dispenses this airborne pastime. Point to the bubbles when you are playing with your dog. It takes a few times, but before you know it, they will be chasing after the bubbles.
  2. Teach your pet to swim – If you have a backyard pool, or plan to hit a beach this year, it’s a good time to teach your dog to swim. Most dogs need some practice before they are in water, so start slow in the shallow end or in shallow bodies of water. 
  3. Run an agility course – Put together polls, open boxes, kiddie pools, and other obstacles for your pet to run around and through. You can definitely get creative, if you are the do-it-yourself sort. If not, there are several agility courses you can buy online.
  4. Hide-and-seek – Your pet will love to look for favorite toys and treats that are hidden around the home or backyard. Choose the same location the first few go arounds so your pet gets used to the idea. Then continue to challenge them with more difficult hiding spots.
  5. Sandbox dig – If you have a diggy-doggie, your pet will love their very own digging spot in the yard. Set it up by using a sandbox designed for kids, or section off a corner of the yard where you can backfill with sand. Add toys and things that they can hide, including dental bones, and watch them go to work.
  6. Tandem running – If your dog needs more exercise than the average mutt, running is a great way to burn off that steam. It can also motivate their owner to embrace this cardiovascular workout. Build up to the longer runs over time (never over-exercise your pet). Just be sure that your pet is in good health and it isn’t too warm outside (opt for early morning hours).
  7. Trick training – Is your pet a master of basic commands, then they may be up for a few more tricks. You can peruse YouTube for cool new tricks to teach your dog, from roll over to beg, to play dead. There are even more advanced training options that K9 police dogs are taught, if you want an additional challenge.Tug-of-war – This longtime favorite offers a whole lot of energy expenditure. That is because it allows your pet to put their whole body into it. This is also a great time to teach a growing puppy good manners. The choice in toy or rope should be one that is durable and doesn’t fray. Remember that if your pet deals with aggressive tendencies, opt for another game.
  8. Kong and treat puzzles – When you absolutely have to focus elsewhere and your pet is bored, a Kong can be a great solution. Treat dispensing puzzles and games, along with Kongs filled with frozen peanut butter, can keep your pet entertained while they work to get the goodies inside.
  9. Fetch – Another old-standby, but a good one, fetch can be played with a frisbee, a ball, or any other toy. It’s a good activity for high energy dogs and can be adapted to the indoors when the weather is too hot outside, if you have a long hall, basement, or rec room.

More Fun in the Sun!

We hope these suggestions have given you the motivation to break out new pet-focused activities for the season. If you would like additional information about pet behavior, dog training, or summer pet safety, we are just a phone call away

As always, make sure you offer shade and water for your furry one to avoid dehydration and heat stress. Enjoy!