10 Ways to Entertain Your Dog Indoors

by Chris Boraas September 18, 2015

10 Ways to Entertain Your Dog Indoors

Depending on where you live, you might still be enjoying some warm summer weather. But for most of the country, fall can be felt in the air. All dogs need exercise, both mental and physical, regardless of what’s happening outside. And when you can’t take your pup on a long walk, you’ve got to get creative.

If your dog has IVDD and has to wear a dachshund back brace or be on crate rest, entertaining him can be even more of a challenge. But that doesn’t mean your pup is doomed to a dull winter. We’ve come up with ten ways to entertain your pup indoors. The first five are for healthy dogs or pups who are feeling good, and the second five can be utilized if your doggy has an injury.

1. Hide and seek. Yes, you can play hide and seek with your dog! To play, each family member should stock up on great treats. The family members will take turns hiding throughout the house, calling the dog to them and rewarding him with a generous treat once she arrives (if your dog is a big overweight, some “treats” can be belly rubs). When her treat is finished, yell “All done!” so that the next family member will know to call her.

2. Nosework. Canine nosework can be done indoors! For more information, visit www.funnosework.com.

3. Tug and fetch are classic games that can be played indoors if you have a big room with space to run around.

4. Have a puppy playdate. If your dog has a favorite friend, schedule a rainy day playmate for the two of them. Just make sure you puppy proof your home and hide any breakables and valuables. Even good dogs can play “ruff!”

5. Have a kibble hunt. Make him work for his food! Instead of dumping dog food into a bowl, crate your pup and hide small piles of food throughout your house. Once he’s released, he can hunt for the food. The first time you do this, make the food piles very easy to find. As your dog gets better at hunting, you can make finding the food more of a challenge.

6. Go for a drive. If your dog can’t go outside due to bad weather or an injury, take her for a drive. Make sure she’s secured in the car, but try to allow her to see out the window.

7. Listen to music or keep the TV on. Dogs like to hear nice sounds, too. Maybe you can even have a singalong!

8. Provide your dog with some new and exciting chew toys.

9. Teach your pup some easy tricks, like “shake” and “play dead.” You really can teach an old dog new tricks as long as you have patience. There are plenty of tutorial videos on YouTube.

10. Play the Shell Game. Take two or three plastic (opaque) cups and turn them over. With your dog watching, place a treat under one of the cups. Give the dog the chance to come turn the cup over to get the treat. Do this about eight times, placing the treat under the same cup, letting your dog really understand the game. Then alternate which cup you place the treat under. When your dog chooses the correct cup, let him have the treat. If he chooses the wrong cup, show him where the treat is, but don’t let him have it. This will keep your pup thinking!

Happy playing!

Chris Boraas
Chris Boraas