Indoor Dog Activities: 11 Fun Things to Do on Rainy Days
When the weather is bad or you’re stuck at home with your dog for one reason or another, do you ever struggle to think up fun ways to keep them entertained?
Even when you’re inside, your dog still relies on you to be their exercise buddy and it’s important that their mind gets a workout too! These indoor activities are a great way for your pup to use up excess energy, so they’ll be ready for a snooze after playtime.
Here’s 11 easy, boredom-busting ways to keep you and your canine companion entertained indoors.
1. Scavenger Hunt
This game is a great way for your pooch to put their sniffing skills to the test!
To start, let your dog watch as you hide their favourite treats in your chosen room - either ask them to sit and stay, or have someone else keep them still. Then, let them loose! Remember to praise your pooch each time they find a tasty treat (they may also need a few hints).
Once your dog has mastered the game, you can make it more challenging by keeping them in another room while you hide their treats; under a blanket, in an open drawer, behind the sofa. Not only is this a fun activity for your dog, it will help to mentally tire them. Have you ever tried to sniff out snacks? It’s exhausting!
A word of warning: remember where you hide the treats, or you may find a limp dog biscuit down the side of your sofa in a week’s time.
2. Treat Ball
Dogs love to play in different ways, and when there’s food involved? Even better.
Your pooch will have a ball as they throw, chew and paw at their toy to dispense a treat! With food as the motivator, a treat ball toy will keep your dog entertained for hours and help to keep their mind and body active and alert.
While there’s a number of wagnificent treat balls on the market, it’s easy to make your own too. All you need is a clean tennis ball, a pair of scissors, and some treats; using great care, cut a line in your tennis ball that’s big enough to fill with treats yet small enough to challenge your pooch.
3. Tug of War
As long as you aren’t playing near anything too precious, this is a furbulously fun game to play indoors. Tug of war is a super simple game that will help strengthen your dog’s teeth and muscles, as well as the bond between you and your dog.
This game is also the pawfect opportunity to practise keeping control of your dog when they’re excited. Try playing for 30 seconds, teaching your dog to release the rope and sit, then playing again. Who said play couldn’t be educational?
4. Obstacle Course
It’s time to put your imagination to work! A make-shift obstacle course is a fun way for your dog to stretch their legs indoors and even a chance to teach them a few new tricks.
All you need is a few household objects and a large enough area to work with. Towels can be rolled up for your dog to jump over and bowls can be placed in a pattern on the floor for your dog to weave through. Remember to give your pooch plenty of praise and a few treats along the way to encourage them.
5. Hide and Seek
We’re sure your dog can be a top detective when they want to be – able to sniff out their favourite snack and your best socks to chew on. Well, how about setting Sherlock Bones a new challenge – to find you!
Find a hiding space where your dog can’t see you but will be able to hear you, such as behind a sofa, door, curtain, or even in another room. Then, call out to your dog. Once they’ve found you, celebrate your dog’s detective skills with praise and a treat to encourage more play.
The game can be made harder by choosing trickier hiding places. Not only is this an enjoyable game for you and your dog, it stimulates your dog’s scent tracking and will encourage them to come when called.
6. Dance Doggy Dance
Whether you’re doing the cha-cha with your Chihuahua or jiving with your Jack Russell, having a ‘dance’ with your dog is both a fun activity and a great way to strengthen your dog’s core and rear regs!
Turn on your favourite songs and invite your dog to rest their paws on your hands or chest. Then, move forward and back, side to side and even jump around to the beat - get that pawty started.
7. Tune In
With the internet at your fingertips, there’s a huge catalogue of TV for Dogs, designed to appeal to your pooch and have them asking you to paws the remote!
The sights and sounds of other dogs and animals can be entertaining, engaging, and even comforting for your dog to watch.
8. The Three Cup Game
This simple game is a fun way to support your dog’s problem-solving skills. All you need is a few treats and, yep, you guessed it, three cups.
Simply line the cups in a row and let your dog watch as you put a treat under one of the cups – then, encourage to your dog to choose.
Once the right cup is chosen, praise your pooch and let them enjoy their treat, simple!
When your dog has a good understanding of the game, you can make it more challenging by mixing the cups around once they’ve watched you place the treat.
9. Teach New Tricks
Does your dog know how to sit and stay on command? How about weaving through your legs? When you find yourself indoors with time to spare, this is the pawfect opportunity for your pooch to become a pupil in your dog training class.
To get you started, here’s a list of 7 Easy Tricks that include helpful video tutorials.
10. Rustle up Some Grub
Food that’s made with “woof” is guaranteed to go down well with your dog. Not only is it a fun activity for you, but your pup will be happily occupied as they watch you make their tasty treat… and as they tuck into it! Check out these Dog-Friendly Pancakes and Yummy Brownies.
Or, for a more refreshing treat, this frozen snack is a delicious way for your canine to keep cool:
Frozen Apple and Carrot Treats
Puree the ingredients using a blender to form a smooth consistency, then pour the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze until set.
* Remember that treats should be fed as part of a balanced diet and to supervise your dog when feeding. *
11. Easy to Make Dog Toys
Do you have a few old t-shirts you’ve been meaning to throw out? Why not turn them into something more exciting like a DIY Dog Toy.
This is the pawfect opportunity to get a new use out of old clothes and to give your dog a new toy they’ll be tail-waggingly happy to play with. Here’s 5 creative ways to re-fur-shion those old t-shirts of yours!