Indoor Games and Activities to Entertain Your Pet

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During bad weather, being confined indoors can lead to boredom and potential behavioral issues for pets. Whether it’s due to snow, ice, rain or extreme heat, disruptions to their outdoor routine can impact their well-being. To prevent destructive habits and lift your dog’s spirits, engage them in indoor games and activities. These not only stimulate their minds but also keep their bodies active until the weather improves. 

This blog highlights why daily playtime and exercise is important for pets, identifies key signs of pet boredom to watch out for, and lists fun games and activities to do with your dog. 

Why Daily PlayTime and Exercise Is Important for Pets 

Regular playtime and exercise are not just about preventing your home from turning into a pet-driven demolition zone; they’re crucial for a plethora of reasons that extend far beyond mere physical exertion. 

Physical Health

Engaging in active play serves as a cornerstone for maintaining your pet’s physical well-being. Through regular play sessions, you help keep your furry friend’s heart healthy, ensure their joints stay supple and functional, foster the development of lean muscle mass and enhance their overall balance and coordination. 

Mental Health

Just like humans, pets benefit immensely from mental stimulation. By encouraging play, you’re effectively exercising their brains, sharpening their cognitive abilities and keeping their minds agile and focused. Furthermore, play serves as an invaluable outlet for reducing stress and anxiety levels in your pet, promoting a happier and more contented mindset. 


Beyond the physical and mental benefits, playtime offers a precious opportunity to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. As you actively engage in play, you’re not just entertaining your furry companion but also are forging a deeper connection built on trust, companionship and mutual enjoyment. Through play, you gain insights into your pet’s personality, preferences and unique quirks. This fosters a sense of camaraderie and togetherness that transcends mere owner-pet dynamics. 

Improves Your Health 

The benefits of play and exercise extend beyond your pet. It is more than just fulfilling a basic need. Playtime and exercise with your dog can positively impact your own well-being as well. Engaging in play provides a welcome respite from the stresses of daily life, offering a source of joy, laughter and relaxation. Moreover, incorporating regular exercise into your routine through playtime helps counteract the effects of sedentary lifestyles, particularly if you have a desk job. As you actively participate in play and exercise with your canine, you not only stimulate your own mental faculties but deepen your understanding and appreciation of your furry companion. 

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Signs your Pet is Bored

When confined to the indoors without the opportunity for outdoor play or walks, dogs can often exhibit signs of boredom that manifest in various behaviors. These indicators include restlessness, characterized by pacing and tail-chasing. Repetitive actions like excessive licking, scratching or biting at themselves are also common signs of dog boredom. Additionally, heightened lethargy and increased sleeping patterns may be observed. 

To alleviate their pent-up energy and frustration, dogs may resort to destructive behaviors such as chewing, scratching or gnawing on furniture, curtains, rugs or other household items. In some cases, boredom-induced aggression might lead to conflicts with other pets in the household. You may notice your dog seeking more attention from you than normal. They may incessantly whine, nudge, beg or bark to capture your attention and engage in activities to get rid of their restlessness and boredom. 

To learn more about pet boredom read here

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Indoor Games and Activity Ideas for Your Dog 

Ways to Burn off Energy

Indoor agility course: Transform your living room into an agility course using everyday items you already have on hand. Begin by clearing a designated area, ensuring there’s ample space for your dog to run and jump without knocking anything over. Utilize pillows and blankets stacked strategically for your dog to leap over, a hula hoop for jumping through, an open-ended cardboard box for running through, a low ottoman for jumping onto and a horizontal broom for your dog to dart under. 

Introduce your canine to the course by walking them through it a few times, allowing them to familiarize themselves with the setup. Once they grasp the concept, encourage them to navigate the course independently, guiding them through various obstacles. Reward their successful completion with a treat at the end of each run. 

Hide and seek: Start by having your dog stay in one room while everyone else hides in different spots throughout the house. Once everyone is hidden, call out to your dog or send a whistle signal to prompt them to start searching. When your canine finds you or any family member, reward their discovery with a toy or a treat. 

Tug of war: For dogs with abundant energy levels, incorporating more active play sessions into their daily routine can help keep them satisfied. Tug of war serves as an excellent outlet for burning off excess energy. Using a durable tug toy teaches your furry friend cues such as “tug” and “stop” to encourage mental engagement and prevent mindless tugging. To safeguard their spins, encourage movements that involve more side-to-side and front-to-back motion rather than excessive up and down pulling. 

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Chase bubbles: Dogs can have fun chasing bubbles too. Purchase a bottle of non-toxic bubbles designed for kids. Blow a few bubbles at a time in front of your furry friend, demonstrating how it’s done by pointing to the bubbles and popping some yourself. After the game, you might need to gently wipe their face to clean off any residual bubble solution. 

Way to Engage Dog’s Brain

Enhance basic skills: Teaching your dog various tricks and obedience commands is essential for mental stimulation, improved behavior and enhanced listening skills. Use positive reinforcement to reward desired behaviors and the learning of advanced tricks. Remember to keep these teaching sessions short and enjoyable to keep them fun and not tiring. For more tips on how to train dogs and puppies read here

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Muffin tin puzzle: To play this game, gather a muffin tin, tennis balls and treats. Begin by placing treats in each muffin cup, then cover them with tennis balls. Present the tin to your dog to begin problem-solving. As they grasp the concept, increase the challenge by placing treats only in select muffin cups while still covering the entire tin with tennis balls. 

Treat burrito: To set up this game, simply lay out a towel flat and scatter treats or kibble across its surface. Carefully roll the towel up, ensuring each treat remains in place. Then offer the “burrito” to your pooch for a delightful and rewarding activity. 

Play magic cups: This game involves three plastic cups and a tennis ball. Hide the tennis ball under one of the cups, then shuffle the cups in front of your canine. Prompt your dog to “find it” by nudging the correct cup with their nose or placing a paw on the cup they think has the tennis ball. 

Bad Weather Shouldn’t Stop Play and Exercise 

Maintaining a pet’s physical and mental well-being is paramount, especially during bad weather when outdoor activities may be limited. Recognizing the signs of pet boredom and implementing engaging indoor games and activities not only prevents undesirable behaviors but also fosters a stronger bond between you and your dog. From ways to engage their minds to burning off excess energy, the variety of indoor games and activities discussed here offers a plethora of options to keep your pet entertained and stimulated regardless of the weather outside. 

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