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10 Tips for Staying Active with Your Dog at Home


on September 28, 2020

It was a tough summer. Whether you’re stuck indoors because of quarantine, smoke, or hurricanes, you are likely feeling a little crazy – and you can bet your dog will feel the effects, too. Here’s how to train your dog’s mind and body without leaving the comfort of your home. (Note: these tips will also work if it’s too cold in winter to play outside!)

  1. Guide your dog up and down the stairs. If you have stairs in your place, this is a great option for tiring puppies and younger dogs. We don’t necessarily recommend it for older dogs as it can put a lot of stress on the joints.
  2. Take part in fun social media challenges. Your fellow dog owners have gotten creative during these strange times, and you can find a variety of fun challenges on Instagram – such as the Toilet Paper and Obstacle Challenge – that will keep your dog (and you) entertained longer than you want to admit.

  3. Play hide and seek (with treats)! Hide dog treats in strange places around your home and watch your pup work overtime to catch them all. Not only will this make him run in circles, but it will also train his nose. You know, for the sniffing Olympics.

  4. Play hide and seek (with you)! Tell your dog to sit and stay in a room and then hide. Call out her name and expect to be bombarded with puppy kisses in 1-2 minutes.

  5. Give a dog a bone. There’s a reason dog bones are a fan favorite: In addition to dogs being super happy because of #treats, chewing on bones helps clean teeth and narrows your dog’s focus. This will tire him out at some point because as anyone who has ever studied (or worked from home) for anything knows, it is difficult to focus.

  6. Take the time to exercise. Getting stuck inside is a great opportunity to teach your dog more than just “sitting” as you always intended. The mental exercise also strengthens the bond between you and your pup, which is always good.

  7. Invest in indoor puzzle games. Dogs get tired when they use their nose and brain as well as their bodies. Therefore, mental stimulation is a great solution to fatiguing a dog who is wired at 10 p.m. (read: When You’re In The Middle Of A Movie And Are Low On Energy). Strategy games like this activity board or handing out toys can keep your dog busy – and maybe even calm! …May be.

  8. Turn your hallway into a runway. We mean that literally – throw a toy at the end of the hall and watch your dog run like that. If you have hardwood floors and neighbors downstairs, keep in mind that this game may be noisy for them.

  9. Air bubbles. Yes, you read that right: blowing bubbles for your dog is a great way to feel productive (in his mind, catching a bubble is the equivalent of an 8 hour work day). It’s such a popular dog activity that someone invented these 100% non-toxic bacon-flavored bubbles in Fido’s favor. So please.

  10. Install a pet door so your dog can move around freely. Despite your best efforts to entertain themselves indoors, sometimes a dog just has to run around outside and chew on grass or stare at the fence or bark at a cloud for a while. If you have a back yard, this doesn’t have to be a supervised activity – and if you have a dog door, your dog can be pampered whenever they want. Remember that devastating smoke can affect dogs too. So check the air quality and limit outside time if the air is unhealthy.

Bonus tip! Take advantage of the last sunny days before the temperatures drop by setting up a hose and kiddy pool in the backyard for hours – once your puppy is completely soaked, you can even take the opportunity to give him a spontaneous bath. He’ll never see it coming.


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Robert Dunfee