Rainy Day Dog Activities

The past few weeks have felt like A Dr. Seuss book–“The Cat In The Hat” to be precise:

Photo of Prophet assessing the rain

“It was too wet to play” Dr. Seuss

“The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play. . .”

I don’t normally consider myself a wimp.  I’ll plow into any snowstorm with my dog (unless it gets below 10 degrees Fahrenheit).  I ride a motorcycle (well. . . a Vespa), and I trek into the forests of Lair of the Bear with ease.  But rain?  Eew!  Takes too long to blow-dry my hair, and that soggy feeling that creeps up into my feet because I’m “too cool” to wear rain boots?  Not for me.

So, the past few weeks have been challenging–for Prophet.  As a working dog, my German Shepard wants–no needs–a lot of interesting activity and movement. So yesterday, I decided what my good boy needed was . . . shopping!

Picture of Prophet going shopping

Rain? What’s a dog to do? Go shopping, of course!

Shopping is a wonderful activity.  You get to see lots of great stuff, you have plenty of exercise, and these days your dog can go with you to more and more stores.  I love the trend to welcome dogs on shopping adventures. Feels almost like England. I grabbed Prophet’s leash and we were off.

First stop? Home Depot.  We didn’t need to buy anything, but the wide, long aisles make for a wonderful walk route.  Not all Home Depots allow dogs into their stores, but the two near me are terrific about it.  Here are some good etiquette rules to follow, and ensure your pooch is always welcome:

  • Make sure your dog is not shy because lots of people like to pet
  • Make sure your dog is other dog friendly.  More and more people are finding out about this “secret” shopping experience
  • Don’t allow your dog to mark anything.  This means that if your dog is still a pup and likely to submissive pee, they should probably stay home until they’re older.
  • If someone shows fear or resistance around your dog, walk away.  Don’t try to convince the stranger that Cecil is really friendly and wouldn’t hurt a flea.  Allow people their phobias and walk on.
  • If you have a slobbery breed, please use your good judgement.  Even in a hardware store, the stuff is brand new and doesn’t need sniffy residue all over it.
  • If someone says that dogs are not allowed, don’t take offense.  Just say thanks for telling you and take Fido out.
Picture of Prophet & puppy

Best part of shopping? Making new friends!

Next stop? PetSmart.  Need I say more?  Even when its boring shopping like cat litter for Nalla, Proph is always up for the adventure.  Your dog is welcome at all PetSmart stores and Petco too, as far as I know.  Heck, they’re in the business, right?

Yesterday, Proph enjoyed walking the aisles–key word, “walking”–and sniffed at all the delightful cat food bags before moving on to meet a puppy, check out the bones aisle, and got weighed in the process–113.9–making progress.

Lastly we went to the grocery store.  No, you CANNOT take a dog in a grocery store, or any other business that sells food for people to consume.  Don’t try it. It’s not canine polite, and we all know our dogs are so polite.

But, Proph comes with me to the grocery store every week.  He stays in the car (with windows at appropriate up and down positions depending on the weather) and watches all the comings and goings of the parking lot.  This too is intellectual stimulation for a dog.

Picture of Prophet waiting in the car.

Even waiting with the shopping in the car is interesting.

I forgot to buy Cheerie-O’s.  If I had remembered them, this cereal makes a great treat for any dog.  Just feed them one at a time.  On a rainy day they can be tossed and hidden, chased after and hunted out.  Your doggie gets all sorts of attention and important play time, while you sit on the couch and toss little oat rings for Poochie’s entertainment during your relaxation time.

What about you? Do you have favorite bad weather exercises for your dog?

3 thoughts on “Rainy Day Dog Activities

  1. Pingback: Rainy Day Dog | Liesa Malik

  2. A few years ago I was living with a friend. Part of my rent was dog care while he was off wooing his now wife. While Shadow and I weren’t so much anti-rain, in the winter the long walks he preferred were just not going to happen every day. Luckily, my friend had a very nice-sized family room. His front door opened to a weather resistant porch, so I could sit on the porch, listen to books, and throw a tennis ball. Not nearly as aerobic as walking, nor were we as consistent (it’s much easier to make a habit of walking when I got a more participatory role in our exercise), but just by figuring the 30-odd feet of the room, I could do simple math and say 175 throws to a mile, round it to 200 to be sure. Definitely not as efficient as walking either, he was used to closer to 4 miles a day, and it took almost an hour to get each mile between him losing the ball sometimes, and then the terrier in him wanting to play tug every time he brought the ball back… Still, it meant I got 2 hours of books in, and that was nice.

    Not a great recipe for a 3 month winter, but I can think of a lot worse ways to spend a rainy day than listening to a book throwing a ball.

    • What a great idea, Craig, and successful in that your friend received the love of his life. Thanks for the day brightener!

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