7 Genius Ways to Exercise Your Dog Indoors
by Jessi Larson
Most dogs need a healthy dose of exercise each and every day. The trouble is, often times the weather just doesn’t want to cooperate. Depending on where you live, it could be frigid temperatures, heatwaves, rainstorms – or all of the above.
This kind of weather can make walking your dog precarious, if not downright dangerous. Unfortunately, your dog will still need its daily workout, rain or shine.
So what’s a gal to do?
I’ve been in this situation many, many times with Toby. Minnesota isn’t exactly known for its awesome weather. In fact, right now it is -5 degrees. Poor Toby can barely walk outside to go to the bathroom, let alone go on long walks.
All is not lost, however. There are still many ways you can give your dog a solid workout indoors. Here are seven ideas to try out.
You can still get in a pretty vigorous game of fetch indoors. Depending on the size of your dwelling, you might have to rearrange a few things to make space. And it’s definitely a good idea to move valuable and/or breakable things out of the way.
Since the distance is a lot shorter than it would be at the park, this method might take a bit longer to tire out your dog. Still, this is a great way to get in some intense exercise and wear out your feisty furball.
Tug of War
If your dog is physically up for it, a game of tug of war is another awesome indoor idea.
For this, I would say that a rope toy works best. They’re durable and decent for your dog’s teeth. Just make sure your dog is having fun and doesn’t get too aggressive.
Squishy Face Studio Pole
We bought this Squishy Face Studio Pole for Toby a few years ago and it has been a godsend. Even at his gigantic size, this still proves to be a challenging activity. I can imagine that smaller dogs will get an even greater workout!
I never knew the official name of this until I looked it up tonight. Strange, that’s for sure. But don’t let that deter you.
How it works is that you grab the pole and move it around so your dog will have to work to get the fleece toy at the bottom. The elastic-like cord makes the toy jump and fly around. To get at the toy, dogs have to run and jump, thus burning lots of energy.
Also worth noting, everything is made of high-quality, durable material. And believe me, I am a tough critic when it comes to toughness and quality after witnessing Toby destroy SO MANY toys.
Run the Stairs
This is a simple one. If you have stairs in your house and your dog is physically able, why not encourage your dog to run up and down the stairs for a bit?
To get started, you can stand at the top of the stairs and throw a ball down, then encourage your dog to bring it back up to you.
Or, if you’re feeling energetic, you can always run up and down with them.
Do you ever see those professional dog shows on TV and think, how in the world can those dogs do all those cool tricks?
Well, you can start off small with a starter indoor agility kit, like this one from Outward Hound Kyjen. A rainy day is a perfect time to work on learning new tricks. Your pup will get worn out mentally and physically.
Another idea is to play hide and seek with dog treats. Ask your dog to sit and stay, then go out of sight and hide the treat in a location that’s challenging for your dog to find, but not too tough.
Also, make sure they know the general area where you’ve hid it, otherwise they might be searching for hours. Although, that might not be a bad thing!
No joke, we just bought two of these as Christmas gifts for family members with dogs. Toby has both the Buster Food Cube and Buster Interactive Ball, so we were more than confident that other dogs would love them just as much we do.
How it works is that you remove the top and fill the inside with dog food. After securing the top back on, you put the toy on the floor and encourage your dog to push it around the house in hopes of getting bits of food here and there. It’s a great motivator!
For larger dogs who like to chew, I’d recommend the cube. It’s tougher to clamp down on and chew. But for the smaller pups, the ball is the way to go since it’s easier to push.
Without a doubt, dogs get much better exercise going on walks or romping around outdoors. But in a pinch, these activities work wonders.
Do you have any interesting ways you exercise your pup indoors? We’d love to hear them below!