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Family Fun

Hinsdale Humane Society shares ways to exercise and entertain dogs indoors

Stay-at-home rules inspire new ways to bond with Fido.
Stay-at-home rules inspire new ways to bond with Fido.

For those looking for ways to keep their dog pals busy while sheltering in place, the Hinsdale Humane Society has assembled a top five list of ideas that take into consideration not only the canines' physical well-being but also their mental health.

The human-animal bond will be strengthened by these activities as well, a news release stated.

1. Toys and boxes

Train your dog to help you do some chores. Start by scattering their toys around, with a goal of putting the toy into the right box. Teach your dog the meaning of the “put it away” command [shawurl.com/3d0w] or “clean up” cue. Each time they get it right, they should receive a reward.

2. Hide and seek

Hide delicious healthful doggy rewards throughout the house, and as they get better at finding them, put some obstacles in their way. Hide and seek also can be played by hiding their favorite toys, and giving them a treat or a pat on the head when they find the toy. Hide a treat in one of your hands and let them figure out where it is.

3. Race tracks and playpens

Set up a race track and measure the time needed for your dog to complete it. By doing this, you’ll practice the stay and go commands [shawurl.com/3d0y]. This is helpful when your dog feels energized, and you don’t feel quite the same … you can play from the sofa holding a timer. If your dog is still young, getting a puppy playpen [shawurl.com/3d0z] also will keep your puppy occupied while allowing you to chill.

4. Obstacle courses

Make an obstacle course using everyday objects, such as chairs, boxes, ropes and other items. You can increase the difficulty along the way, and increase the rewards they get accordingly. Your pet will need to navigate, jump, pull and crawl, and you can even practice the basic commands (sit, jump, lie down, spin, stay) that actually will help them reach the goal.

5. Game of soccer

When you’re past the obstacle course, you can try playing a soccer match with your dog being a goalkeeper. This is basically the same as a plain throw-and-catch game, with the addition of a goal.

These are all ways to take advantage of bad weather or having to shelter in place to nurture the relationship and bond with your pet. Visit www.hinsdalehumanesociety.org.

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