There’s no doubt that dog enrichment is more than a regular walk in the park. Dogs also require mental stimulation to remain happy and lower the possibility of problem behaviors, like destructiveness or barking.
Indoor activities can offer crucial enrichment when your furry friend cannot spend enough time outside. Whether your dog’s exercise is restricted because of age, injury, surgery, or extreme weather conditions curtails your normal long walks. Indoor games could help!
As you may already know, you are a very important person to your canine as their owner. Most of their entertainment comes directly from you, whether it’s going for a long walk or chilling out on the sofa.
Lucky for you, you will find many fun indoor activities to keep your furry friend happy and entertained while indoors. As there are many indoor activities, we hope your dog does not get bored of such fun games all too quickly!
Benefits of Indoor Activities for Your Dog
But before we dive into the top ten awesome indoor activities for your canine, let’s first understand the benefits it has to offer your pups.
As unfriendly as being in extreme weather is for you, it can be as unfriendly to your dog. That’s the reason more dog owners are adding off-leash indoor dog parks to keep their pets active and healthy. Here are some of the benefits your dog will receive when they start playing indoor activities with you:
They benefit from socialization.
Did you know that indoor playtime managed by trained staff enables your dog the chance to engage safely with their furry friends? Keep in mind that dog socialization is essential for teaching your dog how to act around other people, establishing confidence, and curbing any aggressive behavior.
It lessens problem behaviors.
Dogs engaging in regular indoor plays are less likely to have behavior problems such as chewing and barking. The reason being is that dogs often get bored. When they get bored, there are high chances they will find their ways to entertain themselves—leading to things like chewing your socks or shoes.
Regularly playing with your pup means you keep them engaged and busy, lowering the possibility of them going off on their own to find their entertainment.
Solidify your bond
One of the best things about indoor activities with your dog is how much it solidifies your relationship. Spending some quality time with your pet is one of the excellent ways to improve that connection. When we talk about the dog, playtime is their favorite pastime.
You are not only giving them fun when you join them in play, but you are also offering them a routine and reinforcing the concept that you’re bringing everything fun. That goes a very long way when we talk about speeding up the bonding stage.
Relieve your stress
Playing with your dog is awesome. As far as stress relievers go, it is an easy way to enhance both you and your dog’s mood. Spending time with your pet can have a soothing effect, and some studies have discovered that it could help prevent signs of depression and anxiety.
Adding in a few fast five-minute play sessions with your canine every day could have a major impact on both you and your pet’s overall mood.
A good physical exercise for you and your pet
Even if the weather or current doesn’t allow it, dogs need regular exercise. Using play is one of the best ways to ensure your four-legged friend has a chance to release all their pent-up energy. You see, playing with your dog obliges you to get involved. That means both of you will be getting in much physical activity.
Indoor play offers mental stimulation.
You are very much aware of how physical exercise is crucial for your dog. However, you often ignore the significance of mental exercise. Interactive games such as fetch or tug might appear like a basic way to keep your pet busy, but they also present many mental stimulations for your precious canine.
You are training your dog even if you do not realize it.
Ultimately, another benefit of playing indoor activities with your dog is that it is wonderful to get in some regular training. We are not talking about the conventional “teach your pup a trick” training. What we’re talking about here is about instilling pleasant behaviors, in the case of play that surrounds teaching your pup to follow basic rules.
Top 10 Awesome Indoor Activities You Can Do with Your Dog
While the dog park’s off-limit during the pandemic lockdown, seeking new ways of keeping your dog entertained at home is the top priority of most dog owners. Luckily, there is no shortage of awesome things you can do to keep your canine happy and your saneness intact as well.
Are you currently searching for some inspiration? Look no further because below are the top ten indoor activities for your pup.
It may appear like a strange option. However, introducing a daily grooming schedule with your dog, even if they’re short-haired, could be an excellent bonding experience. It could also help your dog relax during any physical contact.
Working on positive associations will also indicate they’re less likely to be frustrated when visiting a vet or groomer. Just make sure you begin slowly, and your puppy is comfortable with you touching particular parts of their body, such as paws and ears. Offer plenty of praise and rewards after every touch to motivate positive associations.
Once you introduce a grooming device like a nail grinder, we don’t recommend using it to your pup immediately. Let your dog approach it and provide a treat once they engage with it. Once you begin using it, build up slowly along with light touches together with reward and praise.
Don’t force your pet if they’re not comfortable. You should be patient and go back a step and take everything slowly. When you notice your canine is relaxed during the grooming session, you can ask your friend or loved ones to be involved in the process.
2. Shell game
This indoor activity works by putting a treat under one of three cups. Shuffle them in front of your puppy’s eyes and allow them to choose one of the cups. Indeed, the goal is to choose the cup with the treat under it. See how intelligent your dog is with this game! This activity is perfect for your dog, as it helps them kindle their mind.
3. Indoor obstacle courses
Does your dog have not even tried an agility class? Even if they’re not, you can still establish a fun small course inside your home. That can establish confidence, work on body awareness and balance, and could be awesome fun for your pet.
Don’t be afraid to get creative in this process! Perhaps you can create a tunnel with a blanket secured over a few chairs. You can also use some rolled-up blanket or hula hoop as a jump or even a strong box as a pause table.
Ensure that no matter what you use should be secure and that you’re not using it on a slippery surface. Don’t forget to introduce your pet to new obstacles in a slow manner. Also, motivate them with treats and don’t force them to try new stuff they aren’t comfortable with.
4. Hide and seek
Hide and seek is not just for humans but for your pets as well. This indoor activity works best if you have a huge house to hide in. You can ask a family member to help you out while you hide, especially if your canine does not have a great stay command.
5. Dog massages
Just like humans, dogs are soothed and relaxed by massages. It may take a while for you to fully learn what works for your pet when we talk about massages. But fret not because Google and YouTube are there to help you.
Make sure you also search for relaxation protocols if you have a problem getting your pet to settle down for a massage.
6. Take a training class.
Are you both going crazy indoors? Maybe you are searching for some extra training tips and tricks? Why don’t you consider participating in a local indoor dog training class?
For this activity, ensure you pick a trainer who is qualified and accredited. We suggest searching for trainers who utilize force-free, positive, and scientific training methods. It does not need to have an obedience class either.
Do you have a pet not enthusiastic about being in an enclosed setting and other dogs? Then you could search for a “reactive rovers” class or talk to the instructor ahead of time. Other classes are set up to make sure all dogs have enough space, so they feel comfortable.
If your dog is quite reactive, you can consider enrolling them in 1-2-1 sessions as an alternative.
7. Muffin tray game
Would you like to make an engaging treat game for your dog without spending money on a puzzle feeder? Then this game could be a good option for you.
This activity works by putting a delicious treat or a kibble in a tray’s holder and covers them with balls. Your dog should work on getting the ball out to get the treat. After they are familiar with it, you can make it more challenging by putting treats under a few balls.
8. Indoor fetch
Keep in mind that fetch doesn’t need to be limited only to outdoors, as long as you have enough space inside.
However, you should be sensible enough in this matter. If your canine has to squeeze through a cramped space, this activity is not a great idea. After all, you don’t like your dog to get injured or cause any damage around your home.
Bear in mind that fetch must also be played on rugs or carpets to avoid slipping. If you like this activity, keep it short and not allow the play to get out of your control.
9. Tug of war
Playing this indoor activity exercises the body and mind of your dog. Furthermore, it’s a great way to bond with your furry friend. Tug of war does not take a huge amount of space either, making it perfect as an indoor activity.
10. Cuddle and just relax
For our last indoor activity, when all else fails, why don’t you just cuddle up with your dog, sit back and relax! You can also consider putting on a movie or reading a book for moments like these. Dogs require time to relax just like you do.
These indoor activities for your dogs are a wonderful option when a long walk would not be safe or in extreme weather. You can use them together with outdoor exercise to keep your pup physically and mentally enriched.