As many pet owners know, a bored dog with energy to burn is often a naughty dog. One secret to a well-behaved pup is making sure he has enough appropriate mental and physical stimulation every day. Otherwise, he may find his own forms of entertainment, such as figuring out how the cupboard door works or shredding your favorite shoes. A great solution is to have a dedicated indoor doggie playroom. This way, no matter what the weather’s like, your dog can get the stimulation he needs without destroying your home. And, the great thing about an indoor space is that you can make sure your canine companion is staying occupied even when you are not there. Here are some things to consider when creating a dog play area.
With-or-Without-You Dog Toys
Of course, your dog would much rather play with you, but you can’t be around him 24/7. So, design his playroom with items that allow your pup to play with you, but also without you.
Choose a variety of interactive toys, such as tugs and balls, that you and your dog can enjoy together. Remember that dogs do get bored of toys, so it’s a good idea to have several different types and rotate them, leaving only a couple out at a time. Put the spare ones in a box. You can even teach your dog to put away toys. It’s a great trick that provides excellent mental stimulation.
Create an Engaging Environment
If you have a dog that gets anxious when you leave, having a TV or radio on in his play area may be a good idea. You can even buy shows and music specifically designed for dogs that will occupy his brain while you are away. Another option is an interactive pet camera that lets you talk to your dog and even give him a treat when you’re not there.
Dog Gates & Indoor Dog Pens
While dedicating a whole room to a dog play area would be awesome, most of us don’t have that kind of space. Instead, use baby gates or x-pens to create a contained area for your dog when you leave. If he’s a puppy, don’t forget to put down pee pads.
Since your dog is going to be playing, that probably means there will be some running involved. If you have hardwood floors, it’s essential to put down mats that won’t slip, so your dog won’t injure himself by skidding. Play area mats for kids are a good choice. If you want something a bit more durable, anti-fatigue mats work great, as well.
Additional Dog Supplies
After all that play, chances are your dog will need to take a snooze. Be sure to have at least one bed for him to nap on. Cuddly beds that are semi-enclosed or couch-style are favorites among many dogs. Finally, don’t forget a water bowl. It’s important to keep your dog hydrated.
With just a bit of time and a little imagination, you can create your very own dog Disneyland that will make the neighborhood canines (and their owners) howl with envy.