Dogs and boredom just don’t mix. Our four-legged best friends need between 30 minutes and two hours of exercise every day. When your dog burns off excess energy, he feels better, behaves better, and gains long term health benefits for years to come.
Unfortunately, providing enough exercise has not been easy for most dog owners lately. Between being stuck inside during the hottest time of the year and COVID-19 precautions, many pups are feeling a bit exercise deprived. If your dog has the energy to burn and you’re looking for ways to keep her busy indoors, here are our favorite indoor exercises for dogs:
1. Get Creative and Engage Your Dog with Toys, Toys, Toys
Toys aren’t just fun and games for your dog. Engaging in play comes along with some amazing benefits. Not only does playing with toys stimulate your dog’s brain, but playing also ignites excitement, burns energy, and helps your dog maintain strong muscles and joints.
To make the most of your dog’s toy time, provide your pup with a variety of toys, and introduce new toys regularly. You can make old toys new again by hiding them away and cycling through them over the course of a couple of weeks.
Be sure your dog has a combination of plushes, balls, and ropes. Toys with squeakers can encourage independent play, while balls and ropes allow you to join in the fun. This will ensure that she has what she needs no matter her mood and play-style.
2. Exercise Body, Mind, and Nose with Scent Games
Our dogs have powerful noses. Use your pup’s sniffer to your advantage by setting up some indoor scent games. Your dog’s heart rate will rise as she hunts and runs around the house looking for her next treat.
All you have to do is put your dog in a room, then hide treats throughout the house. Try hiding them behind, under, and on top of areas your dog can explore. Then open the door and watch your dog get to work.
3. Make Meals an Exercise Opportunity
Is your dog’s mealtime over and done with within minutes of setting her bowl down? Lengthen mealtime and create an exercise opportunity by making earning her kibble a challenge. You can do this with a meal dispensing toys or snuffle mats.
Some meal dispensers are more active than others. Wobblers and balls encourage more physical activity while puzzles and snuffle mats require more mental energy.
4. Invite a Playmate Over
Having another dog to play with is unbeatable when it comes to getting your dog’s wiggles out. A four-legged playmate knows exactly how to keep your dog busy and her heart pounding. Scheduling a playdate is a great way to wear your dog out in the comfort of your air conditioning, especially if your dog is missing the dog park.
5. Try Out Some High-Intensity Indoor Games like Fetch or Tug
For highly active breeds and busy dogs, you will want to give them a higher intensity option for their indoor exercise. Tug-of-war with a durable rope toy is a great way to help your dog stay active.
Playing fetch inside with a rope ball can tire your dog out, too. Simply toss the ball down the hall, stairs, or into another room to maximize how much effort your dog needs to exert. After a few rounds, your dog will be happily panting.
There’s No Better Time to Commit to Keeping Your Dog Healthy and Happy
Despite the soaring temperatures and uncertainty of the pandemic, you can still provide your dog with plenty of exercises and indoor play. Daily activities ensure your dog lives her best life. Start by ordering some new toys, schedule a playday, and prepare for some tail wags. We hope your furry best friend has the time of her life while you stay safe and comfortable.