play games inside with dogs

8 Great Indoor Games for Dogs (Great for Rainy Day Ideas!)

Has a rainy day ever had you wishing you knew some indoor games to play with your dog? Maybe cold or inclement weather has you and your pup suffering from cabin fever. Exercise helps dogs sleep better and maintain a healthy weight, just like people, and play is also a great way to keep the bond with your pet going strong.

8 Indoor Games for Dogs to Keep Busy When it Rains

While it is easy to find outdoor activities such as playing fetch or swimming, indoor activities are usually limited to giving your pets a toy. If you typically just give your pup some dog toys and call it a day, you should consider trying something new! There are many fun indoor dog games to play that can keep your pet or pets happy, plus give you the satisfaction of knowing you were able to teach your dog a new trick.

Whether you are stuck inside looking for ways to keep your dog entertained or just hoping to level up your pup parenting skills, this list of indoor games to play with your dog or dogs will be sure to keep everyone happy!

1. Towel Roll

This game is a lot of fun. Play it by involving treats and (you guessed it) an old hand towel. Get started by taking the treat and rolling it up into the towel, beginning by placing it closer to the edge of the roll. The next step is to let your dog investigate, and eventually he or she will have to figure out the best technique to unroll the towel to find the treats. Some dogs are smart and will try to beat the system by shaking the towel or turning this into a game of tug of war. You can keep yours from doing this by stopping the game and starting from the beginning. You both get to have fun while your dog gets to eat treats. 

2. Leg Weave

This boredom buster game lends itself well to smaller spaces and keeps your dog mentally stimulated. You can teach your dog this trick indoors or outdoors as well. All you need is some treats and a little patience. The objective is to get your furry best friend to weave through your legs. Put one of your legs slightly in front of the other and hold a treat in one hand. Make sure they see the treat and get them to follow it with their nose. Once the treat has your dog’s attention, bring your hand through your legs to the other side so that they will follow. Then switch legs and have your dog go the other direction. Eventually, you can train your dog to weave back and forth while you walk together!

3. Obstacle Courses

An obstacle course is a very adaptable way of training your dog and keeping them healthy. You can use any objects around the house to set up an indoor dog course. You can use a cup (or several), toilet paper, paper towels, books, and just about anything around your house that is safe. Using treats, slowly guide your dog through the course. As they learn the objective of the game, you can start standing at the end of the course and then have them run through on their own to get to you on the other side. Dogs feel excited and encouraged when you celebrate their accomplishment, and you’ll feel pretty accomplished as well when you can get your dog to do an intricate path without your guidance.

4. Clean Up the Toys

This game teaches your dog practical skills! Choose a word for this command such as “put it away.” Start by having your dog pick up a toy and hold on to it. Then have them bring it to a basket or toy box and drop it in. Once your dog has gotten the hang of everything, gradually spread the toys out each time. You can even level up by teaching them the names of their toys and having them bring the specific one in your command. This is a great exercise for mental stimulation and can come in handy when your living room starts to look like the dog toy aisle exploded.

5. Tag

This game requires two people and is a great indoor exercising game for your dog. Each person should have a few treats and go to opposite sides of the room. Take turns calling your dog back and forth between you and celebrate whenever they come to the person that called them. Tag helps train recall and also gets your pet physically active while stuck inside. Continue to call back and forth progressively faster while moving further apart, maybe even to different rooms where you are out of sight of one another. Work up to only giving treats every third recall and offer peanut butter or celebration and encouragement as a reward instead. This is also an excellent exercise for building name recognition and trust with a new rescue dog.

6. Hide and Seek

Playing hide-and-seek is similar to playing tag, but can be played with just one person. This activity is perfect for dogs who understand basic commands of sit, stay, and come. Have your dog sit and stay while you go into another room and hide. Once you’re hidden, call your dog to you and let them come and find you. Once they successfully find you, be sure to celebrate their triumph!

You also can hide items, like their favorite tennis ball. Another option is hiding several tennis balls around the house and have your dog find all of them. Put treats with each ball so that they can follow the scent. Dogs have a keen nose, and this allows them to practice that natural skill.

7. Puzzle Toys

Invest in some interactive puzzle toys that challenge your dog to figure out how to retrieve hidden treats. These toys come in various difficulty levels, so you can find the perfect one for your pup. Puzzle toys are one of the best indoor games for dogs, as time passes in a really fun way that doesn’t take any energy from you!

8. Trick Training

Rainy days are excellent opportunities to teach your dog new tricks or reinforce old ones. Use positive reinforcement and treats to train your dog to sit, stay, shake, roll over, or even learn more advanced tricks.

There are many awesome indoor dog games that you and your dog can play on rainy days or any days for that matter! Not only does playing games with your dog help them stay mentally and physically active, but games are also a fantastic way to spend time with each other. Many dog activities go beyond a simple game of fetch. Many indoor games can also become outdoor games for when it’s nice outside.

These boredom busters will also help you and your dog practice commands you may already know as well as learning a few new tricks! 

Get an Emotional Support Dog Letter

With the weather sometimes cramping our style and making it hard to take your pup outside for playtime, rest assured that there are many alternatives. Inclement weather doesn’t have to tame your pup’s fun as you can easily find ways to entertain your furry companion indoors.

Whether it’s Towel Roll, Leg Weave, Obstacle Courses, Clean Up the Toys or Tag, Hide and Seek, or Puzzle Toys, these activities are sure to provide endless entertainment for both you and your pup! Not only will these games give you more quality time with your dog, but they can also help you understand them better while reinforcing old commands or teaching new tricks.

So don’t wait any longer – get up and start playing! And if you want to take it to the next level with your pup being allowed to be by your side wherever you go, then why not get an ESA letter? Take our free pre-qualification test today!

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