When it’s so hot it feels like we’re melting every time we go outside, humans escape the blistering temperatures in the apartment pool. Your dog has a much harder time staying cool in his fur coat! When it’s too hot to take Fluffy for a walk, keep her happy and with activities in your Harrisonburg apartment. Use our guide to indoor doggie fun and make your pup look forward to staying out of the heat.
There are lots of games you can play with your dog inside your apartment. Play Hidden Treasure – hide some of Fido’s favorite goodies beneath pillows, in between sofa cushions, or under a favorite blanket and tell him to “find it”. Dogs also love to play Hide and Seek – hide from your dog when he isn’t looking and call him to look for you. Keep his favorite treat ready to reward him when he sniffs you out, and be enthusiastic when he does.
Indoor days are the perfect opportunity to improve your dog’s obedience skills. Tell Fluffy to sit and stay while you walk into another room, and then return after a few moments to reward her with a treat. You can also put together your own indoor agility course! Use pillows, shoe boxes, perhaps a laundry basket (creative obstacles introduce a greater challenge for more fun), and set up an obstacle course in your apartment living room. Train your dog how to move around, over, or under your “obstacles” in various patterns to earn a treat.
After an exciting session of games and fitness, let Fido cool off with a food puzzle that will keep him busy and keep his mind engaged. Kong toys are made of tough rubber with an empty cavity that allows you to stuff them full of treats and make your dog work to get the goodies out. Try filling your Kong with pumpkin or peanut butter and freeze it to for a long-lasting treat that is especially welcome on a hot summer day.
Treat puzzles challenge your dog to open a variety of different compartments in order to find a treat. Check out some of the best interactive dog toys of the moment at This Dog’s Life. Try designing your own food puzzles, too! Find some old worn-out tennis balls and a muffin tin and place a favorite treat in each muffin cup. Hide some of the treats by placing a tennis ball in some of the cups, encouraging your dog to remove the balls to find all the treats. Smart puzzles like these keep Fido occupied while exercising his problem-solving skills.
Ice Cream Treats
Ice cream is the perfect summer treat, even for Fluffy! Try the following flavors created just for dogs. Human ice cream can contain ingredients that may harmful to our pets, but you can make ice cream for your dog in just ten minutes right in your Harrisonburg apartment!
Create convenient serving sizes for your dog by freezing your ice cream in an ice tray. Try all four fun flavors!
The following recipes are tasty enough for humans and make 12 servings; adjust the quantities below to suit your personal tastes.
Pumpkin Peanut Butter
• 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
• 2 tbsp peanut butter (no sugar added)
• 2 tbsp honey
• 1 32-ounce container of plain yogurt
1. Use a large mixing bowl; add pumpkin puree, peanut butter, and honey. Whisk ingredients until smoothly textured. Melt the peanut butter first to keep it from being too sticky!
2. Fold in yogurt.
3. Place in the freezer to chill for two hours.
Some dogs may have difficulty digesting yogurt. Banana blueberry ice cream includes only two ingredients for sensitive tummies.
• 2 bananas
• 1/2 cup blueberries
1. Peel, slice, and freeze the bananas.
2. Once the bananas are frozen, process with the blueberries in a blender or food processor until the mixture is creamy like ice cream.
3. Serve immediately as a yummy soft serve, or chill in the freezer to allow the ice cream to harden.
• Plain yogurt
• Pureed sweet potato
• Peanut butter
1. Place ingredients in a food processor or whisk all ingredients together.
2. Chill in the freezer for two hours or until ready to serve.
Recipes originally appeared in the AMLI blog.