Warning: This is a crazy dog lady type of post. Djinn Djinn is my child.
Djinn Djinn will be 7 years old this year. And I'm so, so thankful that he's still as incredibly healthy and active as when he was 1 year old. That said, he demands a lot of attention (probably my fault for always spoiling him rotten but can you blame me- look at that face!). Lately, I've found that he's a bundle of energy and unfortunately, I just... don't have a bundle of time. Now, don't get me wrong, pretty much every minute that I'm not busy doing grown-up responsibility type things, I spend with Djinn Djinn. I like to call him my little therapy dog even though he's not an official certified one, he just makes me feel so happy and calm...that is, unless he's bored and restless.
Every day without fail, at a certain time, he starts pawing at my shoulder and I know that it's him telling me to drop everything I'm doing and PAY ATTENTION TO HIM. Usually, when this happens, I take him for a short walk (anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours is long enough for him to be a happy camper again). Ideally, I take him for a walk every single day. Sometimes, though, it's absolutely impossible to walk him on a certain day because of life getting in the way (or even something as ridiculous as it being too windy- he hates walking in strong winds) so he is forced to stay indoors all day. I feel so guilty when this happens and struggle to find something to keep him entertained for a reasonable amount of time.
Here's what has worked pretty well so far:
Music: I pretty much always have soft music playing in the background for Djinn Djinn. Sometimes it's classical, sometimes it's pop. I know some people might think music does nothing for keeping a dog entertained but I am convinced otherwise. Djinn Djinn is 100x calmer when he hears musical sounds and often he'll just lay down and "listen" to it, giving me an extra 20 minutes to do whatever I need to do.
THIS little ball: More often than not, this treat ball easily keeps Djinn Djinn entertained for 20 minutes, though admittedly, he often feels like playing with it late at night when he should be in bed rather than during the day. Still, it's a lifesaver.
Rough play for 5 minutes: Usually, Djinn Djinn just wants to be reminded that he's loved (apparently, being told "I love you" every 2 seconds isn't good enough for him) so I tend to get him super hyper and play rough with him and his squeaky toy for 5-10 minutes. This allows him to get a ton of energy out in a short time.
Hide and seek: Djinn Djinn is very food motivated & loves when I hide these little treats around the living room. He's got a nose like a bloodhound but it still takes effort and energy for him to search around so that keeps him satisfied for yet another short while.
FYI, as I write this, Djinn Djinn is lying sideways on my bed (whenever he lies sideways, that means he's SUPER tired) sleeping after having had an exciting long nature walk. Pretty sure he has the best life ever and I'm kinda jealous.
Do you have anymore suggestions for keeping a dog happy and entertained even when you're up to your paws busy with life things?