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. Entertain Your Dog Inside With A Game Of Hide And Seek
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 and seek sessions, which is plenty to leave the pups relaxed and 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 and Seek” one, except that I’m not part of the hiding equation. I’ll either show the pups a toy which I then hide and 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 and obedience training sessions can easily be incorporated into a crappy day.
I like to practice basic obedience commands like sit, down, stay and 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 and short has the best outcome and will incorporate 4- 5 sessions each 5-10 minutes in length.
4. Entertain Your Dog Inside With A Favorite Ball Or Toy
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 makes 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. Entertain Your Dog Inside With A Long-Lasting 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.
Tip: Save 15% with my affiliate code K9Savings!
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 after I’ve entertained them inside.
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!
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Hide and seek BabyBelle would love! Maddie would never come find me. She’d be like uh no and go to sleep lol.
Aw…sounds like Maddie can entertain herself on those crappy days 😉
Mine love find it, and really all that you suggested except grooming. Phod likes that, but Hailey hates it!
Lol, yes, grooming seems to either be loved or hated 😉
About the only time we don’t do our usual outdoor walks are when it is more than -10, or if there was an ice storm, but as you say, we still do go out for 20 mins or so. We are so active normally, a few days in the house are actually good resting days for us and we enjoy just being lazy. We also go out in the yard and romp for short amounts of time too in between our walks.
That’s a great point that yucky days are resting days for those super active pups!!
Love #10! They were all great ideas to help keep the crappy blues away.
😉 Thanks, JoAnn!!
Great ideas! We do all these! We love hide and seek and Rocco cannot LIVE without his bully sticks! We also play chase in the house, but Rocco’s small so we can run a few loops through the living room, kitchen and dining room and get a good workout!
Thank you, Diane! I can definitely see Rocco getting a nice workout from doing his indoor loops 😉 Here’s to tasty bullysticks!
So many fun things to do. Thank you for the ideas. We go out in all of it but there was a time last year that they said it was dangerous to breathe, lol. The wind chill was like negative 20 or some crazy thing. Cocoa is harder to entertain inside for sure but we play chase and she gets more treats. She has never really liked the ball but she loves wrestling!!
Haha, a nice game of wrestling should definitely burn some energy!! – Yikes, -20 is just brutal. Missy would probably take care of her business within less than a minute in those kinds of temps. Makes me shiver just thinking about it.
Those are great tips. We do some of those things although it is hard to keep brown dawgs inside on even the crummiest of days. They don’t mind lousy weather as long as it is not storming and even then they still want to go out. We have some ice now so we limit running on that.
Brown Dawgs are tough!!!
Great suggestions. I used to play hide and seek with our Sally – it was a favorite.
Thanks, Kate. I remember when I hid in the bathtub for the very first time and expected Missy & Buzz to sit in front of it once they found me – instead, they hopped right into it!! I rewarded them HEAVILY for doing that. I thought it was the coolest thing ever 😉
Great ideas! Haley loves chasing the ball indoors and hide and seek, but nothing beats #10 if it’s really bitterly cold or nasty outside, lol! Sometimes Haley will jump on the treadmill and walk beside me which is really sweet, but there’s only so much room on that narrow treadmill mat.
I’m glad all your ice and snow has melted, yay!
Agreed!!! Nothing beats couch lovings 😉 Haley is such a well-socialized/exercised pup – how cool that she’ll walk next to you – someone should capture that moment!! The pups have yet to meet a treadmill, but I would love for them to see/experience one.
Yes, thankfully the ice only lasted about 36 hours – about 36 hours too long, in my humble opinion…
My favorite is cuddling together on the couch 🙂 One indoor game we practice that the dogs love is similar to your hide and seek and find the treat. K9 Nosework has become very popular, my dogs love it, and it’s a great indoor activity. Lucky for us in California we’re not confined to the indoors very often. Thanks for sharing the great list!
Thanks, Colby, glad you liked it! So awesome that you live in California 😉 I have heard & read a lot about K9 Nosework on a fellow blogger’s website MyGBGVLife.com.
Thanks for reminding me….I need to get the agility tunnel out! I haven’t set it up inside yet this year. We don’t have much snow so I could also set it up on the deck on nicer days too.
How cool that you also have an agility tunnel! Thankfully the weather has just started to turn around again, so I might just bring the tunnel outside, too 😉