Dogs are similar to humans when they do not get enough outdoor time, they get a little stir crazy! If your wondering how to keep your dog entertained indoors we’ve got some ideas you and your dog will love.
Whether you have a small yard, live on the 3rd floor of an apartment building or it’s just simply raining out you’ll eventually have to find ways on how to keep your dog entertained indoors. You can’t live out side can you?
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How to keep your dog entertained indoors
#1.) Teach them new tricks
Teaching your dog new tricks is our best answer for how to keep your dog entertained indoors. If their current list of tricks is limited to simple demands consider working on mastering those first before moving on to more difficult tricks.
If you have more than one dog you will want to work on each individual dog when training them. We need to put two of our dogs in their crate in a separate bedroom while we work with the training the third one.
Without having the distraction of what their brother or sister are doing they are able to focus and ultimately learn faster.
Give your other dogs a KONG stuffed with some carrots or other hard to get treats in order to keep them occupied while their sibling is out training.
You don’t want them feeling neglected while waiting their turn do you?
#2.) Watch a movie with your pup
Have you ever noticed your dog react to a dog barking on the t.v.? If you’re wondering how to keep your dog entertained indoors consider watching a movie with them.
If you haven’t you should find a Youtube video of dogs barking and play it on your t.v. or laptop loud enough for your dog to hear.
Watch and see if they pick up on the sounds. They typically tilt they’re head in order to pick up on the sound better. Running up to you and whining is another common behavior. This will be entertaining to both you and your pup!
Or just turn it on to Animal Planet and wait for some animals to come on. Your dogs will more than likely notice the large horses, lions or other animal on the t.v. Make sure the volume is set loud enough for them to hear.
#3.) Play interactive dog toy games
There are many interactive dog toys available on the market to keep your dog entertained indoors. You can also browser Pinterest or Google and find some DIY interactive dog toys to make yourself.
If you’re looking to buy an interactive dog toy check out our article on some of the best interactive dog toys to keep your dog entertained indoors.
The automatic tennis ball thrower is a great solution to how to keep your dog entertained indoors. Due to the smaller tennis balls it is ideal for small to medium sized dogs.
With larger dogs it is recommended to throw the ball yourself.
#4.) Create a doggy obstacle course!
We have 3 dogs that love it when we start bringing out boxes and moving furniture around becuase they know what time is it. Obstacle course time !
Creating an obstacle course indoors for your dog can be done in any home or environment. All it takes is a little imagination, and some sweat! It’s a great way for you to get a small workout and have a blast with your dogs at the same time.
How to setup an obstacle course.
The layout and complexity of the course depends on the age and excitement level of your dog. Regardless of the age we recommend starting out simple in the beginning and working your dog up to more challenging courses. You may get a blank stare when you first ask your dog to walk through a cardboard box but with treats and time he’ll be running through it!
Indoor Items You Can Use
Boxes work great for having your doggy run through them. Depending on your dog will decide what size box to use. Smaller boxes can be more challenging for large dogs but you can still use them. We like to save boxes from appliances we buy and store them in the garage just in case we need them. They can be broken down and reused for quick and easy storage. You can buy some for under a dollar at most stores also!
Use caution when deciding what furniture to use. You don’t want to confuse your pup into thinking that everything in the house is fair game for chewing or running and jumping on! We like to use the wooden benches from our farmhouse table along with the table. The dogs already run through and lay underneath it so we’re not sending them mixed signals. Other safe furniture ideas are their dogs bed or pillows, the coffee table, trash cans, laundry hampers, or any large obstacle your dog can walk under or around. We do not recommend using couch cushions, anything fragile or hazardous like glass or anything that can fall over an potential harm you or your pet.
Areas Of The House:
There are many obstacles already in your home you can use. Such as the stairs, hallway, bath tub, kitchen, garage and bedroom. You will have to be creative and come up with a course that is unique to your home. The stairs make for a great tool to exercise and wear your dog out! The bath tub is great for hopping in for a meaty snack.
You’ll have to combine the tools & equipment with the layout of your house in order to achieve a fun an challenging obstacle course for your dog.
We have a unique setup ourselves but have gotten our dogs trained and capable of conquering some fairly tough courses. It’s one of their favorite things to do on rainy days or even on nice days when they just want to be inside! You’ll never ask yourself how to keep your dog entertained indoors again once you master the obstacle course.
#5.) Play hide & seek
Most of us has played or eventually will play hide and seek at least once in their lifetime. It is a fun and exciting game that can last a long time. Furthermore it can be played by anyone and even dogs! Hide and seek is a great exercise to both mentally and physically stimulate your dog. In addition, you will also get some fun exercise time!
Dogs get the same excitement and joy from playing hide and seek as we do. Our dogs could literally play all day and all night. They just love searching and hunting for their parents!
Hide and seek is best played with two people
One person holds the dog while the other person runs and hides. If you have more than one dog have them hold all the dogs and release them at the same time. This makes it more competitive and fun!
If you are the only person playing with your dog then you will need to teach your dog the stay command and then release him after you’ve chosen your hiding spot. He will come barging through the house to find you!
When your dog is running through out the house hunting and searching for you, his batteries are slowly being drained. If they never find you the game won’t be as fun so don’t make it too hard for them at first. Hide somewhere simple like behind the door in the bathroom or kitchen. After they have found you a couple of times they can comprehend what the game is all about. You can start challenging them by hiding in hard to find spots like the bedrooms closets or in the garage with the garage door cracked open.
#6.) Play dress up!
Another idea that may seem odd to some but is still a great option on how to keep your dog entertained while indoors is playing dress up!
We discovered this idea after our rescue dog Daisy had her surgery. She kept licking at her stitches and opening them up. We tried the cone but she was absolutely miserable in it. We felt bad for her and decided to try and put on some boxer shorts in order to cover her stitches and prevent her from getting to them.
As we started to put the shorts on her we realized her tail needed a hole so we cut one in the back for her.
After getting the shorts on her we realized they were very big so we took a rubber band and tied up the excess part of the shorts to hold them up. Just like you would tie long hair up into a pony tail.
After her shorts were on, her tail was sticking through and they didn’t fall down we were in tears from laughing so hard.
Daisy didn’t seem to mind the shorts at all. She would walk around with a huge smile on her face just happy to be out of that cone.
We then decided that she needed a shirt.
So we grabbed an old shirt from the drawers and put it on her just like you would a small child. Both her front legs through the arm sleeves wrapping the waist section around her waist. We then proceeded to tie the excess with a rubber band.
Daisy was quickly walking around the living room strutting her stuff in her stylish boxers and street shirt.
This was by far one of the most memorable moments I will have with Daisy. If you haven’t played dress up with your dog you should seriously consider it. Any clothes will work.
#7.) Have a photo shoot
If you decide to follow idea #3 and dress up your dog you can join this idea along with it! Having a photo shoot will work with every dog regardless of your photography experience.
All you need is your phone with a camera or just a regular old digital camera. Don’t put too much thought into what camera to use. Make it more about spending time with your dog and keeping him occupied, not the actual pictures.
Get some props from around your home like some Mardi Gras beads, old hats, belts, flowers or whatever you wish! Put them on your dog and start snapping photos!
This can be a creative and fun experience for both you and your dog. When you’re done you can share your photos and experience on your social media sites with your dog friends.
#8.) Time for a bath! & a thorough grooming
Take advantage of your indoor time by giving your dog a long thorough bath. Follow it up with a good nail clipping, hair brushing, and and some teeth brushing!
We like to go all out on our dogs when we decide to give them baths. We pull the two different hair brushes out along with the hairdryer and nail clippers.
When using a hairdryer be sure to use the cool setting. You can use the hot setting but some dogs may find this uncomfortable so do a test by holding the hairdryer a good distance from your dogs fur.
You can bring it in closer but don’t leave it for too long. You don’t want this to be a negative experience for your dog. If they get burned or have a scarring experience they won’t want to do bath time again.
When clipping their nails be sure and use a proper dog nail clipper. You don’t want to cut too deep and puncture the vein. This will leave your dog scarred and reluctant to get his nails trimmed again.
#9.) Do Yoga or A Workout Video
This may seem a bit odd to some dog owners but for others it makes perfect sense! With the growing trend of working out and a new gym popping up on every corner more and more people are starting to work out. Why not add your dog into your routine? He likes to work out too.
How do you work out with your dog?
Simple. Find a good workout video on Youtube, turn up with music and start moving! Eventually your dog will start to move around and be active too. If he doesn’t then you’ll have to entice him by holding a treat in your hand and waive it around.
It’s up to you to find ways for getting your dog active in your workout program. Every dog is unique and stimulated differently. Some dogs will generally start to jump up and down on you while others will grab a seat on the couch.
#10.) Record dog videos of their indoor activities!
While entertaining your dog indoors consider recording all their funny moments and share with your friends or watch again in the future! With everyone having smart phones recording your dog has never been easier.
We have many folders on our computer full of images and videos of our pups doing all the above activities.
You don’t have to be a professional cameraman or director to get some priceless video. Just pull it out and start recording!