As a dog owner, you are probably diligent at getting your dog outside to enjoy nature and exercise each day. It’s essential to your dog’s health, and it’s good for you, too! What happens on a rainy day? While you might be able to make the most of some bad-weather days without much planning, there are going to be those days when you and Fido just stare at each other because you’d rather be outside running around. The good news is there are lots of things you can do inside, even if you have a small space!
Playing hide and seek is a classic. Most dogs like to hang out with their humans, so it will be natural for your dog to look for you when he’s lonely indoors on a rainy day. Whether your home is large or small, there’s always somewhere clever to hide. Consider:
Behind a bedroom door
Under the bed
In a closet
In a cupboard
In the shower
Behind the couch
Under a blanket in plain sight
Get creative and see how long it takes your dog to find you. Is he better at finding you if you’re not completely closed in somewhere, or is your hound just as good when you’ve shut yourself in a closet? It might be interesting to learn about your dog’s instincts!
Another classic dog game, tug of war can be played with anything you don’t really care about, such as an old towel, but there are also toys made just for tug of war with a dog. The PetSafe Grip and Tug Dog Toy is just one option. It’s safe for both the dog and the owner, made of braided fleece, has a handle that makes it easy for humans to hold onto and can be washed in your machine. There are also some cute tug toys, such as the Charming Magic Mats Dragon Dog Toy , and some real tough rope toys, such as the Grriggles Mighty Bright Rope Dog Toy .
One of the good things about these and other tug of war toys is you don’t need much space at all. It’s not like the game you used to play on the playground with your friends with a long rope and 20 people. It’s just you and your dog, and you’re basically just seeing which one of you is stronger and who can hold on the longest. You only need a few feet of space for that, so push the coffee table out of the way and have some fun!
You can make homemade bubbles with dish soap and water, or you can purchase some. In either case, dogs love chasing bubbles. Pull out the bubble wand and watch your dog get tricked every time the bubbles pop! If you’re ready to relax, you can play this game from the comfort of your bed or your couch. All you have to do is blow the bubbles. They fly through the room on their own, and your dog takes after them without you having to do anything!
Every house has obstacles that can help a dog get some exercise. Get creative as you look around for things your dog can do to stretch his agility and improve his imagination. Some ideas might include:
Crawling under a dining room chair
Jumping into and out of a box
Running around a reclining chair
Going up or down a staircase
Walking across some type of “balance beam”
Jumping up to tap a ball hanging from the ceiling
Going over or under a bed
As you can see, none of these obstacles take any additional purchases or exterior influences. You can come up with an entire obstacle course using items you already have at home. If there’s a particular trick or skill you’re working on with your dog, include that in the course. To get your dog to complete each task, use commands he already knows, paired with you showing him what to do, and include a treat at the end. How does your dog do?
A puzzle ball is another indoor activity that doesn’t take up much space at all, but it will keep your dog busy for as long as he can’t figure it out! Puzzle toys have treats inside, so when the dog is able to figure it out, he gets one of those treats. Whether you use something like the Nina Ottosson Puzzle Dog Toy Treat Tumble or the KONG Lock-it Treat Puzzle Dog Toy , play with your dog so he gets that interaction that’s so important between pets and their owners. You could roll the ball to your dog, steal it from him or just get down on the floor with him, encouraging him to find the treat.
The shell game is tricky and exciting for humans, but dogs love playing it as well. Collect two or three plastic, opaque cups and some small dog treats . You want to use small treats so your dog doesn’t overdo it. Put the cups upside down on the floor. With your dog watching, place one treat under one of the cups. Tell your dog to find the treat and he’ll go straight to it.
Do this about seven or eight times. Once your dog understands how the game is played, start putting the treat under a different cup each time. Finally, you can place the treat under a cup, then slide the cups around to throw him off. It’ll be a greater challenge this way.
Rainy days can be hard on dogs that are used to going outside for exercise every day, but there are plenty of games to play indoors. Get creative, look around at what you have in your home and create a game to get you and your pup moving inside.