If you live in an area where there’s a lot of snow, or in an area where it’s raining all the time, or maybe it’s that time of the year wherein the season makes it difficult for you to take your dogs out… then you will need to exercise your dogs indoors!

 

There are many indoor exercises and mental stimulation activities for your dog. We want to keep them busy during the times where you can’t get them out as much. Even if it’s not during the time where the weather may be bad, it’s good to have some activities to do indoors with your dog as well.

 

Two Types of Exercises

Dogs are like children… They want to have fun! If you don’t give them something fun to do, then they will make their own fun. And usually, the fun that they make isn’t what we approve of. That’s why we want to keep our dogs stimulated with activities.

There are two types of exercises you can facilitate with your dog. Physical Exercise– activities that include running, swimming, chase, ‘ball’, catch, tug of war, or any type of exercise that would keep your dog’s heart rate really pumped up. They need a little bit more than leash walking for 30 minutes a day.

The other type of exercise is Mental Exercise– these are brain exercises for your dog. The most common one that you might be familiar with is a ‘stuffed Kong’. Brain exercises for your dog keeps your dog busy by stimulating their brain. For example, the ‘stuffed Kong’ does this by making your dog work as they try to get the food out.

Biologically speaking, we want to be able to cater to the dog’s natural ‘prey drive’ or natural instincts. We can do this by making them work to eat their food instead of just putting it down in front of them. In this case, they would enjoy their food better because they’ve worked for it.

 

Toys

Toys are great for some detective work, games and getting them engaged. I hear a lot of my clients complain about having baskets full of toys but their dogs only end up playing with these for 5 minutes. Toys are best utilized when they are rotated.

If you have a basket full of toys and your dog is not playing with them, take some of those out and hide them. Try to cycle or rotate those toys to make it more interesting for him. Let’s say take half the toys out and then rotate them every few weeks or so.

It’s important to have these toys and even games on hand to keep your dog stimulated inside the home.

 

Games

Games are also helpful tools in keeping your dog busy inside the house. Here are a few games you can try out with your dog: 

Nose Work Games – These are games that get your dog to use their nose and sniff around for treats.

  • Shell Game – You need 2 or 3 cups and a treat. Hide a treat under one of the cups. Shuffle up the cups a few times and have your dog figure out which cup the treat is under. When your dog is ready, make it more difficult by shuffling up the cups as fast as you want or use as many cups as you want.
  • Find It! – This is a simple game you can play anywhere. It is also very helpful in keeping your dog distracted. Just throw in treats in different parts of the room and let your dog find them by sniffing around and your dog will love you forever!

Physical Games