There’s a number of reasons why you may want to find activities for you and your furry best friend to do indoors. If you live in a cold-weather state, it could be too dangerous for your dog to be outside. If you live in a warmer climate, perhaps it’s just too rainy of a day and you’d prefer to stay in. Just like anyone, a dog can get very bored laying around all day and needs the exercise to stay happy and healthy. Coming up with new and creative ideas can be tough but after reading through this list, you will have some new ideas to entertain your dog while indoors. Not only will they enjoy the exercise, but they will cherish the playtime with their favorite person-you!
First, let’s talk about some games that are safe and enjoyable for both of you.
Hide and Seek
Having doubts about this game is normal, and it may come across as a childhood favorite of yours, but now you can re-live it with your fur baby. If you have a good stay command that your dog knows, you can use that to start the game, or as an alternative have them distracted by something for a few minutes while you hide. Call their name when you are hidden, and they will come find you. They especially love being rewarded with a treat for finding you. This game is great to keep them busy for a while. If you do not feel like hiding yourself, you can hide their favorite toy or a treat and have them sniff it out. Don’t make it impossible, but some great hiding spots could be under a rug, behind furniture, or even out in the open in the next room. Trust me, they won’t give up!
If you have any friends with dogs and room for them to play, this is a great way to catch up with your own friends while also letting your dogs enjoy each other’s company. It’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll have one tired pup after. If you do not know of any dog-friendly pups out there, you can always take your pup on a field trip. Some great indoor places could be dog-friendly stores, indoor tracks for a run/walk, or even arenas with new toys for them to check out.
Play a Game of Fetch
Even though this may seem obvious, this is one of the most important games out there. Be careful with heavy toys if you are playing inside your house around anything that is fragile. Ideally, an open room or basement would be better. If you do not have a safe enough place to play fetch enjoyably, but there are alternatives like catch or chasing them around, so you can control where they run. If you are looking for a nice new toy to play fetch with, check out Fetch Tender-Tuffs for your dog.
Play a Game of Tug of War
This is one of the best ways to engage in meaningful play with your dog and a great way to mentally and physically exercise your dog at the same time. Dogs that play tug with their owners have been found to be more obedient and have higher confidence. It’s a great way to truly bond through a game with them, plus leaves them tired.
Saving the best for last, my personal favorite
Snuggle Up and Relax
After a nice day of tiring your dog out, the best way to end it is snuggled up with him or her on the couch watching your favorite show. The good news is, this is just as enjoyable for your dog as it is for you! Your pup may even want to bring their favorite toy next to them as well while they’re relaxing next to you. We hope you gain some new exciting activities to do that will keep you and your pup happy and healthy!
Below are some activities that we recommend you not do. While these ideas listed may sound like a fun time or keep your pup busy, they are not ideal and can be potentially harmful to your pup.
Playing with a laser pointer
Having your dog chase a laser can keep them very entertained, but even minimal use can leave your pup obsessed with trying to find the red dot once the game is over. They will continue to look for the dot for minutes, or hours, after playtime. This is not healthy for them since they do not understand that the dot was “fake” and not an actual item they were chasing around.
This will tire your pup out but can be very harsh on their body. Arthritis can go unnoticed in many dogs, even if they are older, but the pain could still very well be there. This also accounts for younger pups, it is still very hard on their bones and joints as well.
Playing with bubbles
Many dogs love chasing bubbles, but they can be very toxic. Never use bubbles without doing your research. They can pop in your dog’s eyes or cause issues if they are digested. We know this can be a favorite game for many dogs, so a link to dog-friendly bubbles can be found here.
Do you have a special indoor activity you do with your dog during the winter months? Share in the comments below!