Sometimes it’s difficult to get your dog outside to play, especially if you live in a smaller home or apartment or dealing with less-than-optimal weather. Luckily, all hope is not lost. There are plenty of activities you and your dog can do to keep each other entertained, bond and keep the stress levels down in the home.
Indoor Games and Activities for Dogs
There are many games you can safely play with your dogs indoors that will allow them to exercise their bodies and their brains as well as keep you both entertained. Here are some examples below:
- Hide and Seek – One of the easiest and most fun games is to play hide and seek. If your dog knows to stay this game is even easier, but a friend can help keep the dog in place while you go hide.
- Hide the Treats – Making your dog work to find treats is a great way to train their noses and have some fun. Start by having them find obvious treats then working up to harder and harder prizes.
- The Shell Game – Playing the shell game or “Three Cup Monty” with your dog is a great way to exercise their brains. Hiding a treat under a cup and moving it around while they track it can provide a barrel of laughs for everyone playing and watching.
- Tug of War – Tug of War is not a dangerous game to play if you play safely and make sure not to work up your dog into aggression. Also, contrary to popular opinion, you can let them win and should some of the time.
- Put Your Toys Away – Teaching your dog the drop command with their toys in the designated spots is a great way to both clean and teach them something new.
- Which Hand? – Similar to the Shell game, this treat finding activity is a great way to hone your dog’s senses
- Teaching Words – It is possible for your dog to learn the names of people and basic things like their toys and water or food bowls. Use this time indoors to focus on their learning which can pay off later when your dog can show you what they want more clearly.
- Help with Chores – We’ve all seen the dog that brings slippers in the morning or fetches the paper. Help your dog get involved in the household by learning a new “game” that actually lightens the load for you.
- Indoor Obstacle Course – While this is more difficult for those in cramped spaces, you can create indoor obstacles and challenges for your dog. This can be a great creative exercise for you and a great physical one for them.
- Learn New Tricks – Whether your dog knows lots of tricks or none at all, this is a great time to use positive reinforcement and practice learning techniques to learn some new tricks
Dogs can suffer from depression from being cooped up indoors or not getting enough exercise, which is why it’s important to get outside when you can, but these games can be a great alternative for exercising their bodies and minds.
If you have more questions about indoor games or your pet’s health, download the TeleVet app for a virtual consultation!