Are you looking for ways to entertain your dog inside?
Well, you came to the right place because in this blog post, I’m sharing my 10 favorite ways of how you can keep your pups busy inside.
The reason why doesn’t really matter. Maybe you’re finding yourself mostly stuck inside during Covid-19. Or maybe it’s freezing cold, super hot, pouring rain or snowing like crazy.
Either way, if your active pup needs lots of physical and mental stimulation, he’s about to drive you nuts because he’s under-stimulated.
Been there, experienced that with my 3 pups Missy, Buzz and Wally. They’re 2 Boxer Mixes and 1 Feist mix who keep me on my toes!
10 Ways To Entertain Your Dog Inside
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Now that this novel Coronavirus has been turning our world upside down, I currently apply all 10 ideas with my new pup Wally. The only exception is that I still take him on daily walks around my neighborhood.
However, we do practice social distancing and make sure that we walk on the opposite side of the road whenever there’s oncoming doggie traffic! The other day we even found a good luck penny while out walking – we’re interpreting it as a good sign!
1. Hide & Seek With Your Dog(s)
This game is one of our favorites! I’ll put the pups in a down or sit-stay in their respective crates with open doors. Then I hide somewhere in my home (bath tub, shower stall, inside a closet, behind a couch, etc.) and call the pups. “Come find Mommy!”
It’s an awesome boredom buster because it really engages them on a mental level AND we get to practice some obedience all at once.
They have to use their noses to find me, and get rewarded with a tasty treat and verbal praise once they do.
We typically do 5-10 consecutive hide & seek sessions, which is plenty to leave the pups relaxed & calm for about an hour or two!
2. Play A Game of “Find The Treat/Toy”
This game is essentially a different version of the “Hide & Seek” one, except that I’m not part of the hiding equation. I’ll either show the pups a toy which I then hide & ask them to go find (again engages their noses), or I’ll hide some high-value treats.
You can really get creative with your hiding spots. Use cardboard boxes, upside down food bowls, towels, or just different areas in your home.
3. Work On Some Dog Tricks/Basic Obedience
Trick & obedience training sessions can easily be incorporated into a crappy day.
I like to practice basic obedience commands like sit, down, stay, & come. Working with an open front door and ringing the door bell takes it up a notch and challenges the pups a little more.
I find that keeping training sessions fun & short has the best outcome and will incorporate 4- 5 sessions each 5-10 minutes in length.
4. Throw The Ball Inside
Buzz is my ball-crazy boy and is used to playing fetch with his chuck-it balls every single day in my backyard.
On those crappy days, I incorporate ball time inside by throwing it down a hallway as well as up and downstairs. That way, he still gets to stretch his legs and gets his ball-fix.
5. Walk The Stairs With Your Dogs
The stairs keep us fit when we can’t go for our usual walks outside. We’ll go up and down 10-20 times in a row. That gets our heart pumping a little and make us feel great afterwards!
6. Groom Your Pups
What better time to groom your pups than on those days when you’re forced to stay inside?
Brushing will keep their coats looking nice by stimulating blood flow and allowing natural oils to circulate.
You can also trim your pup’s nails – ideally when he’s calm, so go throw the ball for a bit first!
7. Offer Puzzle Toys Like A Filled KONG Toy
Missy, Buzz & Wally LOVE their hollow KONG dog toys because they never know what Mommy will fill them with.
I love them because they are made of natural, non-toxic rubber that is safe to wash on the top rack in the dishwasher.
Sometimes it’ll be just their regular raw dog food, other times I’ll whip up a mix of yogurt, dehydrated or air-dried treats, and also add some fruit or veggies.
If I think ahead of time, I’ll put the filled KONGs in the freezer for a few hours before letting the pups have them – that way, they’ll last much longer!
8. Chewing Fun With A Bully Stick
Chewing comes naturally to all dogs and the pups thoroughly enjoy it. I got rid of the pups’ antler collection several years ago after Buzz broke one of his molars on a hard, recreational beef bone. Now I give the pups bully sticks instead.
They’re dehydrated bull penises in case you were wondering. They are 100% edible and there is no chance in hell they’ll break a precious dog tooth.
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9. Indoor Dog Agility
I bought the blue indoor agility tunnel back in 2012 when Missy & Buzz were about 6 months old.
It was part of my socialization program. What I did to get the pups to walk through it was throw some treats and kibble into it (back then I fed kibble, now I feed raw dog food), and that was it!
It cost me about $30 and has been holding up quite nicely!
10. Cuddle Together On The Couch
I am not going to lie – couch cuddle time with the pups is one of my favorite things to do. Especially on crappy days when you can see the rain or snowstorm through the windows, yet feel comfy and cozy thanks to warm pups and a blanket!
How do you entertain your dog inside on crappy days or when you’re not feeling well? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!