From playing to running, fun things to do indoors with your dog

Quina Baterna

May it be the bustling streets of your local dog park or the calming feeling of a hike, there are plenty of things around to excite your dog. Going outside is an incredible experience worth having for many dogs and one that many owners look forward to sharing with them.

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However, there are many times that we just can’t help but stay inside. Whether it is due to extreme weather like stroke-inducing heat or frostbite cold or due to your dog’s medical conditions, there are moments that it is just not a good idea to bring your dog outdoors.

Thankfully, staying at home does not need to be boring. Here are some fun things that you can do with your canine friend in the safety of your own home:

1. Teach Your Dog House & Obedience Skills

Taking the time to teach your dog some basic skills is an endeavor that you will benefit from for the rest of their life. Basic skills such as knowing where to do their toilet needs, what rooms are off-limits, and what surfaces they are allowed to stay in are essential to keep your home clean.

Alternatively, obedience skills such as sit, stay, and stand can be helpful when it comes to training them to do more complex tasks. Make it a goal to teach your dog the value of learning for your praise, not just for food. They will likely find a lot of joy and pride in impressing you with more interesting tricks later on!

2. Watch TV Together

While dogs do not see the exact same thing as us when watching television together, there have been cases of dogs who still get very engaged. Studies have shown that dogs are more receptive to stimuli from TV in the form of dogs barking, toy squeaking, or commands.

Many dogs are also known to be more attentive to shows with dogs, cats, or animals they can recognize on the screen. Some great that you can watch to get dogs excited are movies like 101 Dalmatians, Hotel for Dogs, and Marley & Me.

3. Play Together with Toys

Toys are a great way to keep your furry friend happy and fit. There are dozens of toys available in the market - tug of war ropes, balls, to frisbees. Be sure to get one that you can safely use inside your home to avoid any accidents.

Aside from playing with their toys, dogs can also bring the toy they want to play with to you and put them back into their storage space afterward. Not only will the process of playing be enjoyable for your dog but for you too.

4. Solve Puzzles Together

A challenge is healthy for everyone, especially your dog. For intelligent dogs that get bored easily indoors, giving them a few puzzles to solve will entertain them. There is a type of puzzle for every dog - treat dispensers, multi-layered gambling tower, and interactive treat balls.

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Through mixing treats and games, pups will be easier motivated to solve increasingly difficult puzzles every time. To avoid boredom, rotate the puzzles and regularly buy new harder ones for your dog.

5. Hide and Seek Away

For dogs that have to urge to shepherd in their bones, work is the same as play. German shepherds, Border Collies, and Corgis love the thrill of keeping things where they are supposed to be. While this meant that they were once top choices to keep cattle where they should be, there are other ways to make herding fun again.

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Hide and seek is a great game to teach your dog. It not only strengthens your dog's ability to locate family members, but it is also a great way to train their noses. You can even make them herd everyone into the dining room when it is time for dinner!

6. Run on a Treadmill

For active breeds and puppies who have enough energy to power a city, dog treadmills are great machines. Perfect for having regular exercise and building endurance, dogs can have the experience of running even without being outdoors. Treadmills are useful for dog owners who live in small homes or cities wherein there is little room for their dogs to run to their heart’s content.

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Alternatively, treadmills are also great to help obese dogs get back into shape without the risk of heatstroke or freezing in the cold. There are also underwater treadmills used to relieve pressure on the joints while helping obese dogs lose weight safely.

7. Take Your Dog for Agility Training

When treadmills are not enough, fear not. There are many indoor agility training courses all over the United States where your dog can learn how to use every muscle in their body. Agility training combines various types of obstacle courses for your dog to conquer.

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If you do not have any indoor training facilities nearby, try to create one at home. You can make your dog run up and down the stairs, line up heavy tables for them to hop over, or buy cheap hoops that they can jump through. Creating an agility course for your home is a fun way for families to bond.

8. Teach Your Dog to Talk

With tools once used for human speech therapy, many dog owners are thrilled to know that they can teach their dogs how to talk. With techniques used for people with verbal speech deficits and button tools, canines can express themselves like never before.

Dog lover Alexis Devine was able to teach her Old English sheepdog and a poodle mix over 40 words that help her dog say her needs and wants. With Devine's success in training her dog, many people seek to replicate it and communicate better with their dog.

Make The Inside Just As Fun

May it be for bad weather or medical issues, there are many things that you should consider when thinking about bringing your dog outside.

Thankfully, the inside does not have to be so bad. From watching TV, playing with educational toys, and getting active, there is no shortage of fun activities that are possible in the safety of your own home.

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Quina is a writer, cat mom and artist. Her greatest joys in life are creating remarkable experiences and writing about them.

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