Are you a dog owner without a garden? It can be easy to feel guilty about your living situation – especially when you see how happy your four-legged friend is rolling around in the grass at the park – but lots of dogs can live happy lives indoors, even in flats and apartments. There are even ways you can create a fun and stimulating environment for your dog within the comfort of your own home. Read on to find out how to create the perfect indoor play area for your pooch!
Set Aside Some Space
Many dog owners swear by creating a designated space for dogs to play in so that they don’t treat the entire home as their play area. The size of this space will depend on the size of your home and the size of your dog. Don’t feel discouraged if you can’t offer massive amounts of space though; any size play area is better than no play area. Try setting up in a cosy corner, out of the way of busy or high traffic areas like kitchens or hallways. Make this your dog’s own personal space by moving their bed (and food/water bowls if possible) here, as well as their toys, of course!
Bring the Outdoors In
As a dog owner, you’ll know that playtime can sometimes get destructive but that’s exactly why you need an indoor play area for your dog. Something as simple as a cut of artificial grass on top of your existing flooring provides a protective surface and a plush play area distinct from the rest of the home that your dog can run, scratch, and roll around on to its heart’s content.
Is your dog one of those dogs that will demolish a chew or tennis ball in five minutes, leaving a mess of slobber and debris for you to clean up? Maybe they’re even prone to the occasional indoor “accident”? Unlike other surfaces, artificial grass is both durable and easy to clean, perfect for messy pups and owners who are tired of scrubbing carpets. You can buy rolls of artificial grass from providers like Artificial Grass Direct for indoor use, no installation required!
Introduce Your Dog to the Space
Dogs that have had free reign of the home may not automatically associate the new area with playtime. That’s why it’s important that you gently introduce your dog to its new space. Let your dog sniff around and explore at its own pace, and let it leave and return as it sees fit. If you pressure your dog into staying by holding it in place or dragging it back when it leaves, you could create a negative association which could result in your dog actively avoiding its new play area.
The next step in the process is to reinforce the idea of the “play” area. When you and your dog are playing together make sure it is in or as close to this space as possible. Redirect play by throwing toys into the space or guiding your dog over during tug of war. Reward your dog for playing in the designated play area with lots of treats and attention to create a positive association. Dogs are very good at learning which areas are for which activities. Just like your dog knows that the kitchen is where the food is, and their bed is where they sleep, they’ll soon learn which area of the house is for playtime.
Photo by Steshka Willems from Pexels