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A black Labrador Retriever dog stares at the camera and tilts their head

As we wrote about in “Summer Heat Safety for Dogs,” keeping your pups cool is crucial during this relentless Texas heat. If you and your dogs are spending much of your together time in the cool of air conditioning and everyone is getting a wee bit bored, we have some simple and fun indoor ideas from our certified professional dog trainer in San Antonio to help keep furry family members entertained, minds and bodies active.

Shell Game: This is the doggie version of the popular find-the-ball game. Pull out three cups. Let your dog see you place a treat under one of the cups. Then shuffle the cups around and see if your dog picks the right one!

Hide and Go Seek: You can hide balls, stuffed toys, or bones behind furniture, under a throw pillow, or in another room, and then send your dog off to find them

Scavenger Hunt: This is a fun way to feed your dog their meals. Make it fun and much more interesting by placing your dog’s food, along with a few treats, in several different cups in various places in the house. You can say, “Ok, find your food!” Then just watch him go to work. This game helps dogs relearn how to use their noses to find their food rather than simply scarfing it all out of a bowl. Some breeds will immediately sniff out where each morsel is hiding, while others need a little help.

The Name Game: Start by calling out your dog’s name in a happy, excited voice. Give him a chance to respond before repeating his name again. When he arrives in front of you, reward him with lots of praise, pets and belly rubs, his favorite toy, an extra special treat or anything your dog loves. Next, move into different rooms in the house. Each person in the house takes turns calling your dog’s name, from different corners of the room, then from different rooms in the house. It’s a wonderful way to teach your pup to come reliably when called!

Which Hand Game: Place a treat in one of your hands. Close your fists and hold both hands out in front of your dog. Now let the dog choose which hand the treat is in and when your dog sniffs or paws the correct hand open it up and give them the treat. If he happens to choose the incorrect fist don’t discourage him, it takes a few tries to catch on. You can start to offer the “touch” cue as he succeeds. You can use chopped up fruit or veggies in place of treats as a low-calorie alternative. Chopped up carrots make excellent treat for this game!

Keeping cool at Barkaritaville

For our guests at our pet resorts in San Antonio and Corpus Christi, we have plenty of indoor play space plus doggie pools and shaded areas outdoors when it’s safe to be in the sun. Our highly trained Pet Care Specialists keep your pups safe and entertained. We offer a range of services including luxury pet lodging, doggie daycare, grooming, and more. Contact us to learn more about Barkaritaville Pet Resort.

Photo, above, by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash