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6 Ideas for Indoor Pet Activities

woman training a beagle

Discover fun ways to keep your pet active and fit during winter!

With shorter days and colder temps, it can be difficult to fit in daily walks and other outdoor activities with your pet. Luckily there are a number of indoor activities that will keep your pet active and entertained.

1. Play hide and seek

Hide a treat or toy (or yourself!) and let your pet find it. To start, your pet will need to know the commands “stay” and “release.” Put some treats or a toy on the ground and have your pet remain in the stay position. Then give her the release command and tell her to find the treats or toy. Praise her every time she finds one. Once she has that down, move on to hiding the treats or toy in increasingly more difficult places.

woman training a dog2. Spend time training

Whether you want to work on basic commands or up the ante with some impressive tricks, training your pet teaches control, provides stimulation, and promotes bonding. Try an app like Puppr (iOS, Android), which includes step-by-step instructions with photos and videos, a built-in clicker, and progress tracking. It also has push notifications to remind you when it’s training time.

3. Give your pet an interactive puzzle

Food-dispensing toys provide mental stimulation and exercise for your pet, as well as alleviate boredom. Some require your pet to roll them around to get the treats out, while others are more complex and require problem-solving. A treat maze, Bob-A-Lot, or flip board are all great options.

4. Set up a mini agility course

Arrange boxes, kitchen chairs, and other objects found around your house to create an obstacle course in your living room or basement. Then spend some time each day teaching your pet to go through the course. Once she’s mastered that, change up the course so she can try a new one!

cat playing with a toy5. Play games

You only need one or two inexpensive items to play some simple games with your pet. Grab a ball to play fetch, have a tug of war with a rope toy, or burn some calories with a flirt pole. All are fun games that will keep your pet active and mentally stimulated!

6. Try Doga

This activity, developed in 2003, combines yoga and dogs! While you do typical yoga poses, your dog can benefit from stretching and pet massage during a Doga session. If you’re interested in trying it out, look for classes in your area or check out instructional videos or books.