While dogs love playing outdoors, it’s also important to know how to keep them entertained indoors, especially when you live in an apartment community. Living in an apartment means you don’t always have easy access to an outdoor space like a dog park where your pup can run around independently. Bad weather and extreme temperatures can also make taking your dog outside less than exciting.
Having indoor dog activities available will keep your furry friend entertained when the weather keeps you from venturing outside. In this article, we’ll share some of the best things to do with your dog indoors. We also interviewed our Senior Communications Specialist, Melissa Lucas, about her favorite indoor dog activities with her lab/chow chow mix, JD.
How to Keep Your Dog Entertained Indoors
Here’s how to entertain your dog, even if you’re stuck inside for the day. Keep in mind that every dog is different, so it might take some trial and error to find the best indoor pet activities for your dog, specifically.
- Give your dog new toys and puzzles. When your pup spends more time indoors, it’s important to keep them mentally stimulated. One way to do this is with puzzle toys, which require dogs to search or dig for treats by playing with the toy. You can also rotate toys in and out each week to give them a bit of extra stimulation, or even hide them to create a treasure hunt.
- Learn a new trick. A day inside is the perfect time to teach your dog a new trick, whether it’s a handshake, high-five or even giving a cute kiss. Not only will this keep your dog occupied, but it’s also a great way to bond.
- Set up a window seat. Even if you can’t go outside, many dogs still enjoy watching what’s happening through the window. If possible, set up a bed or chair near a window or sliding glass door so your dog can observe what’s happening outside. If your apartment doesn’t have a good view of the outdoors, consider showing them videos of dogs and squirrels to keep them entertained.
- Try agility games. It’s still important for your dog to get their energy out on days you won’t be spending much time outside. If you have enough space, set up a small obstacle course for your dog to run and jump through.
- Snuggle and enjoy each other’s company. Don’t underestimate the power of spending time with your dog. A day indoors is the perfect opportunity to connect with your pet, especially if you normally have a busy schedule. “JD loves to just snuggle up and be near me,” says Melissa. “He is often inquisitive of the other animals we have at home (we foster young and sick kittens), and he will lay at our feet or at our sides while we work to socialize them.”
Best Toys To Keep Dogs Busy
Here are some of the best toys to keep your dog engaged while you’re spending time in your apartment.
- Kong toys. These hollow rubber toys can be stuffed with treats or peanut butter for a stimulating snack. They can also be used to play fetch or as chew toys.
- Snuffle mats. Another great puzzle toy, these mats will have your dog adorably searching for snacks.
- Tug toys. Tug-of-war toys are a great way to get your dog’s energy out. You can purchase them or make your own.
- Chew toys. Dogs have an innate need to chew. Offering chew toys will engage them, deter them from gnawing on things like furniture and shoes, and help keep their teeth clean.
- Squeak toys. Many dogs love the sound and texture of squeaky toys. Some dogs even spend hours working to extract the squeaker from inside, which is perfect if you need to keep them busy for a while.
- Old clothes or bedding. Your dog is highly attuned to scents, so they’ll like playing with anything that smells like you. Melissa’s dog loves lounging on pillows and bedding and playing with toys that carry a connection to his owner. “He’s really snuggly, and once he knows I am comfortable and safe, he makes himself comfy, as well.”
Tips For Indoor Dog Activities
If you’re spending most of the day indoors with your dog, it’s important to stick to a routine. Bathroom breaks should happen at the same time each day, as well as walks if the weather allows. And while it’s very important for your dog to get some exercise throughout the day, it’s also very important to let them rest and recharge. If you have kids or other pets at home, make sure your dog gets some time away from them to avoid overstimulation.
Melissa also recommends that dog owners be prepared for more pet hair around the house. “Increased time indoors and change of seasons will lead to more pet hair accumulation,” she says. “Invest in lint rollers, a good vacuum or maybe both.”
Find Fido a Happy Home with Southern Management
If winter weather has you feeling down, snuggling and playing inside with your dog is a great way to cheer up. Even if you can’t go outside, there are still plenty of fun activities to do with your pooch. Southern Management has pet-friendly apartments throughout the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas to ensure your whole family feels comfortable and happy at home. Contact us today to learn about our available rentals.