5 Fun Indoor Games to Play with your Dog

While we love nothing better than an adventurous walk with our canine companions, sometimes, venturing into the great outdoors is the last thing we fancy, especially in the winter. Whether the weather is simply too dreadful to contemplate leaving the house, or our furry friend simply isn’t up to an outdoors adventure, there are times when playing indoors is the preferred option for both pooch and pooch-parent. If you’re after some inspiration for ways to entertain your pup within the four walls of your house, we’ve hunted down five of the best indoor games for dogs that will kill boredom in a flash!

Stairway Dash Dog Indoor games

1. STAIRWAY DASH

If you have a flight of stairs in your house or apartment, put them to good use by utilising them as a way for your pet pooch to get some indoor exercise. Start at the foot of the stairs to avoid risk to your dog’s joints and instruct them into a sit position before throwing a ball or toy to the top of the stairs. Allow your dog to descend the stairs at their own pace – as it’s the return journey that will risk injury. Repeat this game until your dog is worn out; and be sure that your stairs are free from clutter before starting it! This is not a suitable game for dogs with bad joints or arthritis.  

Dog Hide N Slide dog indoor games

2. DOG HIDE N’ SLIDE

Swede Nina Ottosson has spearheaded a range of durable and interactive games for dogs that will exercise both their bodies and their minds. One of our favourites is the Dog Hide N’ Slide – a game that you can feel with a variety of treats that will encourage and challenge your pet pooch to problem solve in order to seek their reward. Made of a unique composite material it’s easy to clean and won’t splinter or snap when your dog plays with it.

dog muffin tin tennis ball game
3. THE MUFFIN TIN BALL GAME

A great game to play with your pet pooch which will both entertain them and strengthen their sense of smell is the muffin tin game. You’ll need twelve tennis balls, a couple of dog treats broken into pieces and a muffin tin. Place the treats into a selection of the muffin cups, before placing all twelve balls in all twelve spaces and then encourage your four legged friend to unearth the treats from below the balls.

kong tug

4. TUG OF WAR 

Sometime, it’s the old fashioned games that stand the test of time, and tug of war is a great example of a simple but effective game that can provide endless hours of indoor fun for your canine companion. Using either a tough rope or a durable toy like this Kong Tug Toy, will give both owner and the pet pooch a fun and competitive work out. Make sure you set the rules with your dog and stop if they get too rough. 

5. CLEAN UP 

Why not kill two birds with one stone by teaching your pup to play clean up in a fun and interactive way? With a variety of dog toys on offer, pet ownership can sometimes mean a cluttered house, so enlist the help of your four legged friend to get your abode looking spick and span again. Have a basket or box to house the toys, and train your dog to know that ‘put it away’ means to fetch a toy and carry it to the box. Reward your pup with a treat and the end of the game and feel assured that you have a handy game up your sleeve for whenever the house is in need of a tidy!

Lucy is a Sydney-based book and travel writer, formerly from the UK. She grew up with three sisters and a house full of pets, including a beloved black Labrador. Since moving to Australia she likes nothing more than dog-sitting for friends, and heading out to explore the city's many walks with a furry companion in tow.

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