Rainy day or perhaps a global pandemic (just a wild guess) keeping you from going outside? Besides the obvious playing fetch or watching Nat Geo together, here are three activities that you can partake in with your dog.
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1. Practice photography
Need a new hobby? I recommend photography because it’s a creative outlet that also helps you to secure precious memories of you and your loved ones.
Having a dog as the subject allows you to hone your skills in multiple photography settings such as portrait photography, action shots, and low-light settings. Also, their bribes/model fees are cheap- have just a couple of treats ready.
Pictures taken with an old iPhone:
And here are a couple taken with a Sony Alpha:
I can’t say enough about this camera, which has won multiple awards. It costs $2000, and is worth every penny.
I chose this camera over its competitors because of its portability (small and light), long battery life (important for videos), and auto focus modes, such as Eye AF, which comes in handy if your dog won’t stand still!
Here’s the link to the camera on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Rjxdb1
2. Make homemade jerky and treats for dogs
Now let’s talk about how to make the doggy model bribes. Making your own dog treats is rewarding, saves money, and most importantly, ensures that you know exactly what’s in the food.
One appliance I recommend checking out is a dehydrator for making treats like jerky or fruit or veggie chips. There are a plethora of models, from expensive commercial grade dehydrators to more affordable, compact ones for the home.
Here are two that I recommend:
They’re very easy to use, and most come with instructions for different types of food. Usually, the process will take 10+ hours depending on which food you dehydrate, and how thick they are. The instructions will tell you how long you should run the dehydrator, and which temperature to use (assuming the dehydrator comes with adjustable temperature settings) for each food item.
Also, there are plenty of online how-to guides that you can look up.
One thing to keep in mind is to be more cautious with making jerky. The USDA recommends the following:
Illnesses due to Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 from homemade jerky raise questions about the safety of traditional drying methods for making beef and venison jerky. The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline’s current recommendation for making jerky safely is to heat meat to 160 °F and poultry to 165 °F before the dehydrating process. This step assures that any bacteria present will be destroyed by wet heat. [source here]
Here are three dried treats that Aji enjoys: green beans, chicken jerky, and apple slices.
He likes banana chips as well, but they just take way too long to make. If you want to try it out, I recommend frying them in a pan lightly in the middle of the process to speed it up. Without doing that, they weren’t done even after 14 hours.
3. Teach your dog a new trick
The book below provides a great introduction to behavior shaping, whether it’s for humans or for your pup.
Reading this book has taught me to be more observant on what type of behavior I was encouraging to Aji, and taught me about clicker training, which I used for teaching him tricks.
He looooves training because of treats, of course, but also because of the mental stimulation he gets.
Here’s Aji doing tricks, and what a clicker training session may look like: [Instagram Post].
Here’s the link to our treat pouch in the video.
If you have any other ideas for what you can do with your dog indoors, let me know below. Stay safe, furriends!