Whether you work from home or live in winter bound areas where outdoor activities dwindle, here are our favorite indoor exercises for dogs. Easy ways to fend off boredom and get in some mental and physical activity.
Easy Indoor Exercises for Your Dog
Play Puzzle Games
Puzzle games are the perfect tool to keep your dog occupied for 15 to 30 minutes. Pull one out when you need to jump on a zoom meeting or wrap up an email without having your dog pawing at you with “sad” eyes. Here are some of our favorites:
- Outward Hound Hide a Squirrel – Tiny stuffed squirrels hide in a “tree,” and your dog digs them out. Dogs become obsessed with this game and the little squirrels. It’s also one of the only puzzle games that is played without a food incentive.
- Nina Ottosson Puzzles: Dogs sniff out treats hidden in different compartments, and then use their paws to push the layers around to get to the treats. We recommend this game for our beginner gamers.
- KONG: A classic game for all dogs. Hide treats or freeze peanut butter inside the hollow, indestructible rubber feeder to provide your dog with some tasty entertainment. We also are huge fans of the Kong Wobble.
Remember, never leave your dog alone with puzzle games (they are not meant for chewing).
Build an at-home agility course
Turn your house into an agility course. Why not! What else are you doing?
Rearrange your furniture to be an obstacle course and lure your dog through it with some treats. You can also use plastic cups, hula-hoops, storage totes, empty boxes, whatever! See how fast it takes your dog to get the hang of the course. This activity combines mental and physical exercise, and your dog is sure to be tuckered out after a few rounds.
Introduce your dog to scent games
Dogs have a powerful sense of smell and even simple scent games are engaging and improve confidence. Start off by introducing your dog to the “shell game.” Take five plastic cups and put a treat under one of them (don’t let your dog see which one – they are smart like that). Then ask them to “find it.” They might be confused at first and need some help, but once they understand the game, you can move the cups further and further apart and even start to hide them behind objects.
Take Mini Training Breaks
Break up your day by giving your dog 15 minute training sessions. According to science, taking frequent short breaks throughout the workday has been shown to increase productivity. So while you’re re-charging, your dog can use their brain and get the attention they need.
Not sure what to do? Try Dogo, a daily trainer that has over 70 tricks and exercises. Perfect for puppies, new dog owners or to maintain training. Dog trainers are certified and from all over the world. Our very own Partner Trainer, Sylvia Wes, is a Dogo ambassador.