Looking for some fun indoor dog games to keep your dog’s mind engaged?
It can be hard to keep your pet busy all the time and especially in winters and – when it’s dark when you leave for work and still dark outside when you finally get back.
With the days getting shorter and freezing cold weather outside or on a rainy day, these indoor games to play with your dog will help you keep him entertained indoors.
Why Playtime is Important for your Dog?
Keeping an ESA, especially a dog, also means that you should look after their physical needs also, which becomes quite impossible in winters and rainy seasons. Heavy rains and snowfalls can make going on walks impossible, but you can keep your dogs engaged with a little bit of creativity.
An emotional support animal makes your life so much better and livable. They offer constant support and unconditional love and makes the world a much better place. Knowing how an emotional support animal makes your life better, many people are looking to get their beloved friend and supporter.
But things do not end here only.
Without proper exercise not only will your dog become lazy but they don’t get mental stimulation. When you take your dogs for a walk, they get mental stimulation by interacting with other dogs and wildlife.
However, when it is snowing or raining outside, it becomes difficult to leave the comfort of the house. In such s situation, finding dog indoor games for winter months is a great way of warding away boredom and having something fun to do.
How to Play with your Dog?
Playing doggie games is one of the most enjoyable indoor activities for dogs. There are a number of puppies and dogs games to play inside the house. Dogs are one of the prominent types of animals as ESAs.
If your companion animal is becoming bored and showing signs of destructive behavior such as unwanted barking or chewing, it’s probably due to the fact that they’re not getting enough of this stimulation.
If there are chewed up shoes or curtains in your apartment, then you know what’s really happening. Besides, playing with dogs is really fun and you also get plenty of mental and physical exercise.
Your ESA needs attention and some activity to keep them engaged. So, how to entertain your dog? The following games to play inside are ideal when you are looking for some cool dog games to play indoors and keep your doggies happy and entertained.
Best Indoor Games to Play with your Dog
Well, It's not easy coming up with new ways to keep your dogs active and entertained.
To take the burden off your shoulders, we have put together a list of twelve simple and fun ideas to keep your furry friend busy indoors.
If you are looking for how to mentally stimulate your dog. Then the following are some of the best games to play when you’re bored and want to have some fun with your dog inside the house. These games will not only keep your furry friend entertained but will also provide mental stimulation.
Hide and Seek
Let's start with the easiest game you can play with your pet. If your dog doesn't know how to stay then have a friend or someone else help you.
Leave your pet with a friend while you go and hide in the other room and then tell them to come find you.
Praise and reward them with a treat when they successfully find you.
Hide and seek is a good way to check and improve your dog’s impulse control if they move without getting the “find me” command you can work on that.
There are plenty of dog puzzles available that you can get them to solve. This will help keep your dog mentally stimulated.
If you have the time you can also DIY a puzzle for your little friend, here are a few examples:
- Take a tennis ball and hide treats inside of it
- Hide treats inside a cereal box
- Use PVC pipes and turn into a treat puzzle
- Freeze your dog's toys in a bucket
- Make a puzzle out of a muffin tray and tennis balls
You can create an obstacle course inside your house/apartment for your pet to complete. Be creative and come up with different hurdles for them to cross, start with simple jumps and slowly make them jump through hoops and walk through tunnels.
For creating an obstacle inside your home you don't need specific tools and equipment, you already have the alternatives available at home. Make use of things such as a laundry basket, curtain rods, PVC pipes, hula hoop.
Teach your dog to jump over a hula hoop, or weave through cones, etc. Other than these, some helpful ESA training tips will not only help you keep your dog disciplined, but it will help in keeping it fit and active.
Try whatever works for you and your pet. It is a good way of teaching them to perform different tasks one after the after.
As your pup starts getting the hang of it, add more challenging tasks, and change things up to make it more fun for the both of you. This provides both mental as well as physical stimulation.
You can search online for some crate games for dogs and add them to the routine. These inside games will be especially helpful when you are giving your pup crate training and looking for some motivation for him.
Another great game for dogs to keep them busy is teaching them how to chase puzzles. You can get a pet bubble-making toy or make one yourself, all you need is water, soap, and a straw.
Many dogs get excited when they see bubbles; it is a cheap and easy way to keep them active and occupied.
Playing with your dog indoors doesn't get much easier than this.
- Blow 1-2 bubbles at a time
- Make your pet pay attention to the bubbles
- Try catching the bubbles and encourage them to do the same
Make sure that they stay away from the soap mixture and after you are done playing wipe your dog’s face with a damp cloth to avoid the soap irritating its eyes. This is one of the best games to play with your dog because it is a mild dog running game that allows them to have a brief run session every now and then.
Which Hand Game
It is probably among the most famous indoor games to play with a dog. This is a great game to get started with. All you need are some dog treats.
Let the dog choose the hand in which you are holding the treat. If he chooses the correct hand, open it up and give him the treat.
If your dog chooses incorrect hand, do not discourage. A gentle touch would be helpful in encouraging your friend.
Make A Doggie Play Date
The best way is to invite your pup’s friend(s) over for a playdate. This is an easy indoor dog game. This will give them a chance to play and engage with their own species while you can relax.
However, there are a few things you need to consider prior to hosting a playdate.
- Carefully plan the guest list
- Dog proof the apartment in advance
- Get ample supplies beforehand (bowls, treats, collars, and leashes)
Teach Your Dog A New Trick
Training your dog to perform new and interesting tricks are perfect ESA and pet dog games activities indoor. Since you have the time, you can make your pup learn something fun with the right amount of practice and technique.
Here are a few tricks you can teach them to do on command:
- Turn the light switch on/off
- Shower you with kisses
- Jump a skipping rope
- Put their toys away
- Play Fetch your slippers
- Come when called
- Open/close doors
- Shake hands
- Take a bow
Teaching them new tricks is good for their mental stimulation, it also increases their focus and helps improve impulse control.
Treat your dog to a nice and relaxing massage; there are plenty of physical and emotional benefits of doing so.
However, massaging a dog is quite different from massaging a human, instead of the deep tissue massage concentrate on gentle motions.
Here's a quick step by step massage process:
- Start with petting them gently
- Use the tip of your fingers and massage the neck in circular motions
- Apply the same technique on the shoulders
- Massage the legs and the chest (if your dog doesn't like being touched on the legs, skip that part)
- Massage either side of your dog's spine using circular motions
- Lastly, massage its back legs and paws
Massage your dog for 5-10 minutes.
Names of Dog Toys
Teach your dog to identify their toys by their names. Start with a toy they are familiar with for example a ball that they recognize. Get them to bring the ball by calling out the name and appreciate them with a treat, repeat this process until they are able to distinguish between different toys based on their names.
It is one of the ideal small dog indoor games that you can play with your Chihuahua or Pug easily.
Find Your Favorite Toy
Place all the toys in some spots of the house and tell your dog to find his favorite toy. Keep it a lot of fun by giving a rewarding treat when your dog succeed.
If your dog has not played this game before, start with placing the toys in plain sights to get him used to the idea. After a few rounds, make it more challenging by hiding the toys in a tougher spot.
The Three Cup Games
This is another simple yet fun game you can play with your dog. All you’re going to need is three identical cups/bowls and few treats.
Place a treat under a cup in front of them and then shuffle the cups. Encourage your dogs to look for the treat by choosing the correct cup. It is one of the easiest indoor nose games with a dog as the dog will have to use his sense of smell to find the treats.
Tug of War Game
Playing a tug of war is one of the best ways to engage in a meaningful play with your furry friend.
It's a great way to keep your dog active mentally and physically. And the best thing about this game, it does not require a lot of room so you can easily play it indoors.
Research says that dogs that play tug games with their owners are found to be more obedient so it is also one of the ideal indoor dog training games.
These are some of the best fun indoor games that you can play if your dog loves to spend time with you.
These indoor games for dogs are definitely a great way to mentally and physically exercise your dog. When preparing to play with your dog, make sure that you choose a safe and well-lit area to avoid any accidents. If your dog wins, then do give them a treat as a prize!