7 Easy Ways to Play with Dogs Indoors
Rainy and winter days at home with your dog don't have to be dull and boring. There’s a ton of fun activities you can do to keep your spirits up! Besides, who says you’re only allowed to play with your dog outside?
If you’re one of the pet moms or dads who seem to have trouble keeping your fur baby busy, you’ve definitely come to the right place. We know how challenging it can be to think of such ways, which is why we’ve decided to create this post.
Bored dogs often get into trouble. Why? Well, if you give them nothing entertaining to do, they’ll look for it themselves. That’s why you see holes in your shoes or scattered trash on the floor!
Playing with them not only makes them lively and happy, but it helps ease destructive habits such as chewing or excessive barking. Plus, it allows them to exercise both physically and mentally.
With that in mind, here are seven easy ways to play with dogs indoors:
Does your dog love looking for stuff? If so, they’ll definitely love a game of hide-and-seek with you! Dogs are natural hunters, after all!
Command your dog to sit in a room while you go hide someplace that’s hard to find, like in a closet or behind your bathroom door. Once you’ve settled, yell out their name or a release word and wait for them to catch you.
You know what would make it even more exciting? Having more people join in the fun!
If you have kids or you have your friends over, be sure to have them tag along. Everyone’s gonna have a blast, that’s for sure.
Alternatively, you can hide treats instead of yourself. Stash them in good hiding spots: under the couch, inside a drawer, on window ledges, or behind the curtains. You might want to start easy by placing a treat or two in plain sight before hiding the rest in the areas we just mentioned.
You’ll hone their hunting skills, get them running around inside as they please, and satisfy their tummy with delicious treats! What more could they ask for?
The “Which Hand” Game
Playing with your dog while improving their scent game? Yes, please!
“Which Hand” is a simple activity where you’ll have your dog guessing which of your hands is holding the treat. Then again, it can be something else besides dog treats, like some chopped fruits and veggies. Carrots are actually excellent for scent work training, in case you’re not aware.
If they place their paw on the correct hand, open it up and give them the treat. If they choose the wrong hand, don’t let them feel discouraged. Instead, keep the game going until you run out of goodies. Who knows, your dog might turn into a master sniffer when the game ends.
Although setting up an indoor obstacle course may take a lot of time and effort, it can certainly be a lot of fun for your four-legged bestie. Allow your imaginative mind to brainstorm a set of obstacles that will get your dog mentally and physically stimulated.
Here are some household items you can use for the obstacle:
- A box with two open ends for crawling
- A sturdy stool or milk crate for balancing
- A ball or frisbee for catching
- A chair for running underneath or jumping
- A pole balancing on two boxes or stools for leaping over
- A hula hoop for jumping through
If you want to make it more challenging, encourage your dog to finish the course while carrying a toy the entire time. You might be surprised with what they can do!
Cardboard containers, such as empty toilet paper tubes or paper towel rolls, make good treat dispensers. Spread cream cheese or peanut butter everywhere inside the tube. Your dog should lick the treat out while preventing the tube from rolling away or getting squished.
If it looks like an easy task for your dog, you can increase the challenge by folding down the ends of the tube. That way, the only way they can get the treats is by ripping into the cardboard.
Don’t forget to freeze the tube and its contents before handing it over to your pooch.
Tug of War
Your dog can’t say no to the classic game of tug, which makes it another excellent indoor activity.
Not only is it a great way to engage in meaningful play with them, but it can also be a good mental and physical exercise. Most of all, it’s a super fun way to bond with them.
Contrary to what some believe, playing tug of war will not make your dog aggressive. Letting them win won’t make them feel dominant, either.
In fact, it’s the other way around - allowing them to win will only want them to play more (probably to let you win this time?). What’s more, studies reveal that dogs who play tug with their owners are more obedient and have higher confidence.
The only rule is to ensure that your dog knows they stop as soon as their teeth touch your hand. Oh, and you might not want to start the game yet if they’re in a bad mood!
Teach Your Dog the Names of Each Toy
Your dog doesn’t have to be an overachiever to recall the names of their toys. You can actually teach them by making a game out of it.
Begin with a certain toy and give it a name as you’re playing. After several minutes of practice and praise, your dog will likely associate that verbal name with the selected toy. Do the same with the rest of their toys.
Then, test their memory skills by putting all toys in a box. Call out a name so that your dog will pick the toy with that name from the box. Reward them with a treat for every correct answer.
Train Your Dog to Help with Chores
While this one’s not really a game, dogs do enjoy performing chores, especially if there’s treats involved.
It can be as simple as teaching your dog to fetch you some of the items you typically use, like your slippers or even something from the fridge. You can also have them clean up their toys after playing or just about any mess on the floor.
Having a dog who doubles as your personal helper? You’ll be the envy of every pet parent out there!
That’s a Wrap!
With these seven activities, your dog will be having a blast at home. Rainy or winter season won’t be a bummer anymore!