best indoor games for dogs

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

Trick Training

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.

Read Kevin’s Five Top Tricks to Teach your dog for Canine Freestyle

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.

The BUSTER ActivityMat starter set includes the mat, a storage bag and three different tasks. Examples of tasks include envelopes with Velcro closers and pockets that are connected in different ways via ties or wooden sticks, which must be removed in order for the dog to get to the enclosed treats. Pet owners should always be present with their pet when playing with the mat.
Kilo also loves his various food puzzles and I love challenging him so he does not eat too fast and exercises his brain while eating.

Treat Balls

Kilo and treat ball with Nutrience Subzero kibble

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.Kilo Subzero kibble and Kong

Agility and Obstacle Courses

TH Kilo on ramp tongue out

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.

TH Woofjock tug

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.

macho the Jack Russell swims

Swimming safely has many health benefits for dogs and is a great option for older dogs.

Check out a local Doggy Swim Class like Fit Dogs Training Centres in Toronto HERE!

Smaller dog breeds may even fit in bathtubs.  Just make sure the water is at a comfortable warm temperature and supervise carefully.

Read Swimming For Dogs For More Information and Tips

 For more tips and ideas on keeping Active indoors read here 

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  • Love love love dog games! Thanks for the great tips and ideas.

  • Excellent ideas, perfect for the start of cold weather! We love playing Find the Treat with our dogs!
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  • Kilo is so cute! Those are some great game suggestions. I’ll have to try some with Bentley!

  • There’s certainly no excuse for being bored in the winter – there’s so much fun stuff to do! Thanks for some great ideas. Kilo is such a smart and talented little guy – he looks like he really enjoys himself too!

  • Magic loves playing “go find” because he knows that means there’s TREATS hidden around the room!

  • My dog tugs, but all the games he wants to play involve a lot of high energy activity so it’s outside for him. When I try and do yoga at home, he humps me. Yes, he’s a handful.

  • These are fantastic ideas for games to play indoor with your dog and the look of Glee on Kilos face says it all

  • Carolyn 6 months ago

    Great tips! Good dog games! Thanks for posting these videos + info!