How to keep your dog happy and healthy indoors?
With the weather cooling off and raining more in Fall, Kilo and I tend to spend less time outside. I’m always looking for new ways to keep him mentally and physically active. He sleeps and cuddles a lot but needs to play, train and zoom every 2 hours for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Plus I like him to work for kibble, so we play games throughout the day.
Here’s our list of fun games to play with your dog to keep them entertained indoors. Comment below to add your games to the list.
Try These 10 Dog Games To Play Indoors
Use your time inside to teach your dog a new trick or obedience and focus. Make sure to keep sessions short and fun with lots of positive reinforcement such as treats or cuddles.
Make trick training fun by incorporating it into a new game to play with you dog. Try:
- Red Light Green Light – works on “stay” and “come” commands
Dancing with your dog or Canine Freestyle can be a really cool way to bond and get fit with your dog. Kilo has some amazing spins and jumps.
Get inspired by Dancing Stars Twyla Tharp and Cassandra who offers classes at Cassandra’s Canines.
Hide and Seek or Go Find/Fetch
You can either hide yourself, a family member, a treat or your dog’s favourite toy. This is a fun game for your dog that plays on their natural instinct to track, retrieve, herd and hunt – plus they love it when they find you. It’s like a treasure hunt for your dog.
Puzzles and Play Mat
Kilo loves his BUSTER ActivityMat By Kruuse that comes with 3 levels of difficulty to keep your dog challenged (we received it as a gift at Global Pet Expo). It’s customizable to different sized dogs, portable and easy to take on the go since everything fits neatly in the handy bag provided. It comes with a handy guide for how to set up the various tasks to try. More complementary activities can also be bought. See The Full Review HERE.
Treat balls are a great way to keep your dog entertained and mentally stimulated as they work for their treats.
Kongs are also great for stuffing. I often have them in the freezer for Kilo.
Agility and Obstacle Courses
Attend agility classes at local dog facilities, or try setting up your very own agility course in your house for your dog. Just be sure it’s safe and your dog is over 12 months old if you have any jumps – don’t make them too high. Be creative and make a simple obstacle course inside your home with pillows, towels or old blankets. Make sure to clear enough space so your dog can run freely or jump without hurting himself or damaging valuables.
Doga (+ unroll the mat)
The internet fell in love with Nic and Pancho the chihuahua doing yoga. Get your downward dog on!
I taught Kilo to roll out his yoga mat by hiding kibble pieces. He finds it a very rewarding game. Trouble is he now unrolls any mat he sees in search of snacks so my daughter has to remember to put hers away.
For many working and sporting dogs, playing tug with you can be a big reward. For some, it is even more motivating than treats and can burn some good energy off quickly.
Kilo really loves playing Tug-of-war so we play a few times a day. Make sure you have a toy that is soft and comfortable for your dog to hold in its mouth. Kilo does not like rope and has small teeth so we generally just use his plush toys. Playing tug with your dog can be a great way to work get in some basic training like the “Drop It” or “Give” commands. Kilo guards resources so we practice dropping and trading the toy with me for treats.
Work on your dog’s self-control by throwing in a “Sit” and “Stay” before letting your dog have the toy to work.
Soccer with plastic water bottles
Sometimes recycling can be super fun. If we have empty plastic water bottles or containers, I play soccer with Kilo. We use the sofas at each end of the house as goals and he has an absolute blast chasing and pushing and running with the bottle. He loves the noise it makes and the weight and the way it moves.
Indoor Swimming For Dogs
If you have access to an indoor pool – Dog Games in a pool and swimming can also be fun for some dogs. Kilo the Pug is not a fan of getting wet or strangers so it is not a good fit for us. However, I took our senior dog Isabelle a few times in her last year and she LOVED it.
Swimming safely has many health benefits for dogs and is a great option for older dogs.
Smaller dog breeds may even fit in bathtubs. Just make sure the water is at a comfortable warm temperature and supervise carefully.