If you and your pup are feeling stir-crazy after being stuck indoors, it’s time to think outside the box! There are plenty of fun indoor activities that don’t require leaving the house but still offer lots of entertainment for both you and your dog. I’ve compiled a list of the top 13 favorite indoor activities to do with your four-legged pal, whether you’re searching for some fun bonding experiences or simply want to give your dog something to do with minimal effort on your end. From playing hide-and-seek to playing with interactive toys – these ideas make staying inside full of excitement.
While walking is an excellent form of exercise and mental stimulation, it is far from the only way to tire your dog out. Many dogs need more emphasis on mental stimulation to truly tire out and if the weather outside is not in your favor, you can skip the walk and focus on indoor games. From snuffle mats and puzzle toys to dog treadmills, I’ve got you covered in a list of ideas to tire your dog out below.
Purchasing or creating a DIY snuffle mat is a great and simple way to entertain your pup! A snuffle mat is a toy customizable to the size of any dog, consisting of long strings, ribbons and cloth sewn into compartments that hide dog treats or food, which stimulates your dog’s senses and encourages natural scavenging behaviors. Because your dog predominantly uses their nose to actively search for food, this is a great form of mental stimulation.
Puzzle toys are a great way to provide indoor enrichment for dogs – They usually take the form of a toy containing compartments or hiding spaces for treats inside. By manipulating and interacting with the toy, the dog can learn how to access the food within the toy, greatly increasing mental stimulation and entertainment. Providing a puzzle toy could also be beneficial for dogs that tend to be destructive when they become bored or anxious. This is a great way to channel that energy into more productive activities.
Giving your dog food-dispensing toys, such as a wobbler, is an effective way to provide enrichment for your pup indoors. The challenge of trying to figure out how to get the food inside helps keep their mind active and stimulated throughout the day without expending too much energy. This may sound similar to a puzzle toy, but a wobbler toy simply dispenses food as the dog knocks it around.
Not only is it entertaining for your dog, but also rewarding when they manage to succeed in getting the food delivered. This can help give them some structure and purpose while keeping your dog entertained indoors.
Many dogs love a good game of tug and you can easily adjust this game to play indoors. It’s a great game that encourages both physical and mental engagement, while also creating meaningful one-on-one time with your dog. If you take the time to create rules around playing tug, it can become a powerful tool for communication between you and your pup.
Many people are familiar with treadmill exercise for humans, but it can be just as good of a workout for their four-legged friends. Having your dog walk or run on a treadmill is not only great for physical exercise and staying fit, but it also provides enrichment indoors. This means that your pup can stay entertained, keep up their muscle tone, and maintain their agility even in rainy weather.
This is also a great solution if you have a high-energy dog as a supplemental form of exercise. If you want to provide mental and physical stimulation for your dog without having to deal with the bad weather outside, then a treadmill may be for you.
Hide treats around the room to keep your dog entertained indoors. Dogs love using their noses to find desirable snacks. These indoor dog games encourage quick thinking, problem-solving skills and it allows them to practice their natural scavenging behavior.
Additionally, this is a great opportunity to have them work for their meal. With just a few items around the house, you can create simple hide-and-seek activities that will stimulate your pup mentally and help stave off boredom.
Giving your dog a stuffed kong is a fantastic way to provide them with ample mental stimulation without ever having to even leave the comfort of home. Kongs are versatile and easy to stuff with a wide variety of delicious treats and foods, like peanut butter, shredded cheese, and blueberries.
Your dog will love snuffling around for the goodies inside and giving their minds an interesting challenge. Not only is it a great way to keep your dog busy, but it is also commonly a favorite toy even when they are empty.
Teaching your dog new tricks is a great way to provide indoor enrichment for your pup when you’re stuck at home. Training is also an effective way to cement the bond between you, as both of you will be learning something together. Not only will new dog tricks keep your pup occupied, but they can also provide mental stimulation that can be difficult to achieve when staying indoors.
Hide-and-seek is a fun form of indoor entertainment, keeping you and your dog mentally and physically engaged. Playing hide-and-seek can be easily adaptable for any space as long as you take the time to understand how your pup thinks and plays. It’s also a great way for dogs that are low energy or elderly to still have a chance to have some indoor fun.
Providing your dog with a chew will keep them mentally stimulated, help them to relax, and give them something to do while they are spending time indoors. It’s also helpful in keeping teeth clean and healthy. When you provide your dog with an appropriate chew such as a raw bone, benebone, or bully stick you’ll give them plenty of enjoyment.
One simple method to keep your dog’s toys interesting is to rotate the toys they have access to so that each day something new comes out to hold their interest. This helps keeps them from getting bored with the same toys after a few days and gives them a fresh outlook every time they see the same dog toy again later.
Teaching your dog to play the shell game is a super fun game that can help keep you both entertained. This game involves hiding a treat under one of two or three cups and having your dog guess which one contains the hidden treat. Depending on how your dog responds, you can slowly add more cups to make it more challenging for them.
The added activity will also give your furry friend some mental stimulation by requiring them to use their nose to sniff the treat out. Playing this game regularly is an enjoyable way to keep your dog entertained indoors while passing the time.
Dog training is one of the best ways to build a bond between pet parents and their dogs, as well as develop the dog’s skills. Taking the time to either learn or brush up on your dog’s obedience commands is a rewarding way to provide enrichment while indoors.
Dog training offers mental stimulation, and excellent one-on-one time – both of which are important for your dog’s overall well-being.
After spending some time getting mental and/or physical exercise in, giving your pup some much-deserved cuddle time is a great way to wind down. A relaxed cuddle session post-activity gives you the chance to connect calmly.
Although it may be more challenging to find things to do with your dog indoors, there are many fun options available. From interactive toys to simple hide-and-seek games, you can keep your pup happy and entertained even when you can’t go outside. And, who knows – you might just have as much fun indoors as they do!