Cold Out? Try These 5 Indoor Activities With Your Dog



Winter is a difficult time for pet parents in terms of keeping our furry friends occupied. It's easy for pets to get a bit of cabin fever, so you might have to be creative in finding ways to siphon off their pent up energy. It doesn't have to be tricky, though. Here are 5 easy and fun ways to get movin'.

RELATED STORY: 5 Winter Nutrition Tips For a Healthy Dog

1. It's Treadmill Time!

If you are one of the thousands of people who own one of these contraptions, this can be a great way to help your pooch blow off some steam during the chilly winter months. And while they may be skeptical at first, if you start off slow and gradually up the speed, most dogs will grow to love it.

2. Make Them the Stair Master

Another easy way to have your dog burn through their extra energy is to run them up and down the stairs. An exercise most easily done with two people, one at the top and the other at the bottom of the stairs, a little monkey-in-the-middle on the steps is a surefire way to give your dog a good run indoors. The same thing can be done in a long hallway, but the stairs add the extra element of the climb.

3. Teach Them Something New

Wintertime is a great opportunity for some training. If you know that your dog isn't always the best at a certain command, take this time to rehearse. It will give you a more obedient dog, and it gives them the mental stimulation they're not getting by just laying on the sofa.

RELATED STORY: Top 9 Tricks to Teach Your Dog Now

4. Play Hide and Seek

A fun twist on the classic game, you can hide treats around your house and watch as your dog searches high and low, engaging them for upwards of an hour (depending on how many treats you lay out). You might need to point a couple out to get them started, but this game is a low involvement way to keep your dog from climbing up the walls. Also, if you want to try a different angle, go back to basics and hide yourself, seeing how long it takes them to find you!

Or, if space is tight, you can try one of these fun, interactive games. They take up no space at all, and can provide hours of entertainment.

5. Do Some Doga

This interactive pastime is basically what it sounds like -- yoga with your dog. Doga is a great way to increase your balance, dexterity, and peace of mind, all while spending time with your pup.


Subscribe to The Wet Nose Press to get the latest on health news, recalls of faulty or dangerous products and pet foods, and more!

Try an Indoor Training Class With Your Dog

Since winter makes outdoor fun and games a challenge, this can be the perfect time to sign up for an indoor training class. Most facilities have climate controlled areas that also allow for a romp when the dogs have finished their drills.

Ask your veterinarian for recommendations. For the most benefit, you need to be with your dog for the training. A โ€œsend awayโ€ may train your dog to obey and follow the direction of the trainer, but you need your dog to mind you, too. Dog training classes teach owners as much as they teach the dog.

What to Look for in an Indoor Training Class

Look for a training class that offers different levels. Some train for competition sports, and others for fun matches, so be sure you know what you want out of the class before you sign up. Also ask for references, and request to watch a class to see how the trainer (and other dogs and owners) behave. You want the dogs and the owners to have fun, without any fear or scary techniques being used.

Ask if the trainer has certification and what that means. There are different kinds and these are not nationally regulated so anyone can โ€œsayโ€ theyโ€™re a trainer. Look for those who state they are โ€œpositiveโ€ trainers who use reward-based training. That means they reward dogs for doing the right thing, rather than looking for mistakes to punish. After all, once training is done you want your dog to still love you.

Pet Training Organizations

Some organizations to check out for trainers include the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, the International Association of Animal Behavior Associates, and National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors. You can also check with the American Kennel Club site for dog sports and clubs that sponsor training activities.

Amy Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant, consultant to the pet care industry and the award winning author of 23 pet care books.

Was this article helpful?

You May Also Like

Image for Winter safety tips for your dog
Winter safety tips for your dog

It can be confusing how best to prepare your dog for the winter, so weโ€™ve curated the most important tips

Read More