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Rainy Day Dog Play

Eli Christman [Flickr]

Some dogs don't mind the rain, while others seem to really dislike going outside in wet weather.  But almost all dogs like to play.  Positive interaction between dog and human is good for everyone involved, and can reinforce the relationship between the two - even indoors when the weather is bad!

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The weather has been a little “grumpy” lately, and not just around here. Even the much-anticipated space launch was rescheduled due to weather issues. When the weather is stormy or even just rainy, you and your canine buddy may find yourselves stuck indoors trying to find something to do. Here are a few ideas that might help keep you both entertained.

A friend suggested something she calls “hall ball”. She has a long hallway, so she rolls her pup’s favorite tennis ball down the hall and her dog chases it. She has another version called the “stair-runner”. She tosses the ball up the stairs, so her dog can retrieve it and bring it back to her at the bottom. Even an energetic dog can get tired after several trips up the stairs.

Does your dog like treats? Hide several of them around the house and help your buddy sniff out the first few treats. It will not take long for your furry friend to catch on to this game, and it makes use of a real canine asset – the nose.

Rainy days are good for teaching your furry friend a new trick or two, or even practicing some old ones. It builds your pet’s confidence, and exercises its mind. There are websites and YouTube videos that can give you some new ideas and show you helpful tips for training your dog.

This may also be a good time to dig out that interactive feeder toy, or anytoy that lets you hide food or treats inside. Your dog will stay busy trying to figure out how to get that yummy treat out of the toy and into its mouth! If you don’t have a dog toy that holds food, you might keep your pet entertained with one of those dentalchew treats – it will keep your friend busy and it's good for the teeth.

Like people, dogs do better if they get regular exercise. Keeping your pet’s mind and body engaged in a game is good for your dog. Plus, activities you do together – whether it’s play time or training – helps to strengthen the bond between you.

Even when it’s “raining cats and dogs”, having a great relationship with your best friend can make any day brighter, when you’re speaking of pets.

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Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.
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