6 Ways to Exercise Your Dog Indoors
Dogs are a part of our family, which means their health is a priority for us. Living in an apartment building, you might be worried your dog isn’t getting enough exercise, especially when we cannot get outside for too long due to inclement weather. There are lots of great indoor activities to ensure your dog stays healthy and entertained with a mix of mental, physical, and environmental stimulation. These activities are also a great way to strengthen your bond with your pup. So, get ready to have some fun while staying active indoors with these activities!
Create an Indoor Obstacle Course
Get ready to get those creative juices flowing! Creating an indoor obstacle course is a great way to provide your pup with exercise and give them the mental stimulation they need to stay healthy. And a bonus perk is that agility helps sharpen your dog's obedience and focus!
You can use many different household items to create obstacle ideas such as tunnels, opportunities for jumping, and zig-zagging. For example, you can use cardboard boxes with the bottom removed to build tunnels. Add as many cardboard boxes as you wish to make a tunnel your pup is comfortable going through. To create hurdles, you can use rolled-up blankets to encourage your dog to jump over and use empty household containers (i.e. old soap bottles or milk cartons) to create zig zags that you can use to guide them through. Use your best judgment on which items to use depending on your dog's size.
Once you have created the obstacles of your choosing, start using treats to encourage your dog to begin the course. Then, as they start getting the hang of it, incorporate verbal commands and hand gestures to guide them through the obstacles. Don't forget to celebrate every success and remember to have fun! And if you have the space, you can upgrade your obstacle to include chairs, laundry baskets, and other furniture to create some challenges!
If you prefer purchasing a few items to help build your indoor obstacle course, check out Chewy's selection of agility training.
Nose Work Games
Dogs thrive on exploring their environment with a sense of smell. You can provide this stimulation indoors with a game of treat hide and seek! Hide your pup's favorite treat throughout a few designated spaces in your apartment. For example, under the bed, behind the door, underneath a cushion to get you started. We recommend sticking to a smelly treat when you first start, making it easier for your pup! Don't forget to praise your dog when they find the treat and as they get better, make the game harder by hiding treats in a new room to keep the game interesting for them. The game is excellent since it encourages them to use their nose to uncover the treats and gets your dog using their legs and exercising.
Play Indoor Fetch or Tug of War
Please don't underestimate the value of interactive play when it comes to keeping your pup active! Playing an indoor tug or fetch game is a great way to give your dog more mental stimulation and exercise. Tug is an excellent choice for indoor interactive play as it is a great way to burn off energy and keep your pup mentally stimulated as well. Make sure to release and let your dog win sometimes to keep the game fun for them! These games are also a great way for you to take a break from your day and have some quality bonding time with your pup.
Play Hide and seek
Who doesn't love a game of hide and seek? It is a great way to encourage your pup to stay active indoors while also having some fun! While playing this game, you will have the opportunity to teach your dog a few commands, such as sit and stay or reinforce these commands. Start by setting up a home base and have your pup sit and wait while you hide. Then, call your dog over to find you once you have located your hiding spot! Make sure to praise your pup once they have found you and instantly treat them, so they get the hang of the game. This game will become a family favorite and can also be played with multiple family members!
Teach a new trick
Exercising doesn’t only mean it has to be physical. It’s also important to exercise your pup's mind and keep them challenged. How many tricks does your pup know? There is always a new trick they can have up their paws beyond the basics! Teaching a new trick provides mental stimulation and helps to increase their focus. It also benefits you as you can show off their tricks at your next family get-together!
And if you live in a Bark Building, you're in for luck as residents get special access to the Dogo Training App. Check out the Perks page on your building microsite for a 7-day free trial and a membership discount for Dogo!
Work for their treats
Puzzle toys or the classic Kong toy is an excellent way to keep dogs preoccupied and mentally stimulated. Place your dog's kibble, and a few favorite treats coated with peanut butter or pumpkin inside the Kong and freeze it. It not only can serve as a special treat but a great way to keep them engaged indoors and give them something meaningful to do! You can also purchase a treat-dispensing ball that will keep them excited and test their motor skills. And if you want to get creative, you can create your homemade puzzle toys using shoeboxes and muffin tins. Don't forget to check out our post on a few of our favorite toys to help keep your dog busy and mentally stimulated.
We hope these indoor activities help keep your pup active indoors. Remember, living in an apartment does not mean your dog cannot stay engaged mentally and physically!
As always, we're happy to bring informative content your way to help keep our furry friends healthy and happy. Make sure to follow @BarkBuildings on Instagram for more tips! Or, if you live in a Bark Building you can always reach out to your Pet Concierge for more specific tips and pet parenting guidance.