Let’s face it, when it’s -15 degrees outside with a real feel of -38 F, ‘winter activities with your dog’ that require going outside are NOT happening.
Here are some INDOOR activities to do with your dog when it’s too cold to think about going outside!
1. Work on training.
This is a perfect time to work on training and teaching them tricks. It’s a little more difficult with two or more dogs, but what we do is take one dog into another room and then switch!
Here are a couple sites that I love going to for tips and training:
Dr. Sophia Yin and Your Pit Bull and You
If you have a treadmill, you can also work with your dog on treadmill training for a great exercise program.
2. Make feeding time a challenge.
Try hiding their food somewhere in the house and make your dog search for it. Tip: you can leave a trail of food for them to make it easier! You can also use toys such as the Kong Wobbler. I’ll admit it, I’m guilty – frozen peanut butter Kongs.
3. Use interactive feeders/dog puzzles.
These are great because they encourage your dog to figure out the puzzle, even if they get it within a few minutes. We have this one below and Lola and Rio LOVE it. The only problem is that Lola has began to eat the actual game. Lola’s motto: If you can’t easily get to it, just eat your way through whatever is in the way.
(we purchased this toy on Amazon here)
4. Play ball in the hall.
Our house gets a little crazy, but luckily we have a straight shot from the living room through the kitchen and into the dining room – this has now become Lola’s running path.
5. Hide & Seek!
Lola absolutely loves this game and she totally rocks at it, to. She’s pretty much got us figured out. And it’s HILARIOUS when she finds us. She begins barking and jumping around, she gets so ticked that we hide from her! Rio on the other hand – he’s still a rookie and it takes him a few minutes to find us in fairly obvious places (i.e. behind a door). We’re slowly working up to more difficult hiding places, but Lola usually rats us out.
*If you’ve done all of that and still run out of ideas (or have a very high-strung dog, ex: Lola), many cities have indoor dog parks or doggy daycare providers (we go to Camp Bow Wow). Many of them even offer half-days for a minimal fee and they are guaranteed to be tuckered out after playing with all the other dogs!
*Oh and add sleeping to that list because let’s face it, we all like to cuddle up on these cold days.
(Check out my 5 Cold Weather Activities for Dogs on Victoria Stilwell’s site!)
Have you made my Small Batch Peanut Butter Banana + Flax Seed Dog Biscuits?!
And if you haven’t read my ’10 Signs You Shouldn’t Adopt a Pit Bull’, it comes highly recommended by moi.
33 Replies to “5 Indoor Activities To Do With Your Dog”
I’ll get on Mom’s case to do some of those. We might not have below freezing temperatures but we have rain. And rain and I DO NOT mix.
Lol! Yeah…we don’t do so well in rain either! Thanks for stopping by, Dina!
I have the exact same feeding toy, and I hate it! My giant schnauzers try so hard to get at the hidden treats, but those tiny circles are very difficult to move even with opposable thumbs, and the toy is very easy to slide all over the floor. I finally decided for their sanity to throw out that toy! I have several Aikiou feeders, which I think are wonderful. My dog also likes a soft plastic ball that has a hole for inserting kibble, he rolls it all over the house with his nose and eats the kibble as it comes out (some dogs might easily eat through the plastic, but mine figured out ‘the game’ pretty quickly.)
Haha, yeah it’s not the greatest one for Lola, but we set it on the carpet for Rio and he loves it! I’ll have to look into the Aikiou ones :). We also have one of those balls, again – good for Rio, Lola tries to eat THROUGH the ball, haha. Spoiled pups, huh! Thanks for saying hi, Jessica!
Something Rocky and I play indoors is “search”. But instead of searching for people, he searches for treats. I put him in a separate room, close the door, and tell him to wait. Then I hide small training treats around the house. When I’m done hiding treats, i let him out of the room and tell him to “search”. He has to use his nose to find the treats. It keeps him busy and active. Start off with easy places and move to harder ones.
This is an awesome idea as well! I think we’ll be doing this…tonight ;). Thanks, Heather!
Those are all really great ideas! I remember I used to employ my dog as a kid when we played hide and seek with friends. I’d tell her to go find them and she would lol.
Haha, love it! Thanks, Ann!
I love playing Hide and Seek with our dogs! We’ll have to work on training. One of our dogs has an ACL injury, so its a little harder to get his energy used up so he can rest his leg, but our doggie we adopted in June isn’t caught up on all the tricks his injured brother is, so this is a good opportunity to catch him up. Thanks for the helpful hints! When its negative 14 outside, the doggies still want to go play at the park!
Hi Christine! I know what you mean – after Rio’s surgery it was quite the change. But a good time to work with a second dog!! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Great post! We play the search game for treats all the time at our house. The challenge is that we have three dogs that love the game so we also get to work on taking turns and sit/stays.
Thanks for sharing these ideas.
Hi Mark, yeah things would get a tad bit crazy with all three of them running around, lol! Thanks for stopping by :).
Great suggestions! This winter has definitely been challenging with the extreme cold temperatures many areas have been experiencing.
Thanks, Marie! Yes, I know much of the country has been pounded with this polar vortex. Bring on Spring & Summer…
Fun! When you play hide and seek with your dog(s), how do you let them know it’s ok to start looking without giving away your location? Or does one person hide while another signals the dog?
Ditto on the the treat-hiding game. My dog loves that one. We call it “Find It!”
Usually we have two people playing, otherwise put the dog in a sit-stay and then whistle or call them when you’re ready. With Lola, she knows the game so one of us has to hold her, lol. They absolutely love it and get really good at it with a few practice runs ;).
Great post! Been looking around for ideas on what to do with my dog when there is snow outside. Thanks for the tips!
I like your hide and seek idea. Ace and I play that game sometimes if it’s too hot to go for a walk or if he just seems to need a little extra interaction in his day. It’s nice when he actually views me as the reward! Although, I think he’d prefer to find me holding a treat.
We also play lots of “Find it” where I hide his toys, similar to hiding the dog’s food.
Thanks for sharing! My lab, Harper, loves to play outside and is having trouble adjusting where it’s dark when I get home from work!
I have a long haired Chihuahua and a Pomeranian. They are my baby girls. The Chihuahua fell in love with a red teddy bear that my husband bought me for Valentine’s Day a few years ago. She has to have her Teddy every night to sleep. When we are inside because of the rain or it being too cold outside, we will hide her Teddy and she will keep looking until she finds it. The Pomerainian is a very hyper little girl so she has to have a variety of toys to play with such as socks, gloves, and undergarments. She will run off with our socks before we can even put them on. However, she does have a special thing that she does. She plays Patty Cake with me. She knows this gets her attention so she has learned to use her talent to train us to get what she wants. My babies are special and unique in their own ways. I have learned what unconditional love is through these little Blessings God has given me. Thank you for letting me share my little babies actions with you. And, thank you for all you do for the dogs that are abused and neglected. God will bless you for you loving tender heart. 🙂
Oh my gosh, that’s adorable that they play hide and seek w/ the teddy and patty cakes! Dogs are the best.
Thanks for the comment :).
Love these ideas! Do you have any trouble taking your pit to doggy daycares? Our pit-lab mix often gets denied entry due to breed prejudice, so we have play dates we set up with furry friends when the weather just isn’t inviting. When we lived closer to the city, we would also take “walks” at pet stores and work on obedience around other animals. If all else fails, a cow bone stuffed with peanut butter does the trick (he gets through a Kong too quickly!).
We called one place that had breed restrictions…many, many breed restrictions! But Camp Bow Wow loves them and we appreciate that they do not have these restrictions but rather separate based on size :).
And one more thing- take nice pictures)) We realy love it! Our pics are on insta @pipi_chandler))
These ideas are awesome! My boyfriend and I recently adopted our first dog, a 5 month old lab/pit/something mix, and he is a very hyper puppy! He loves his kong but we needed more options, this is very helpful. I’m so happy I found this site, I’m about to spend the next hour binge reading it haha
Thank you so much for stopping by! 😉
I have a larger dog (1/2 GDS 1/2 Belgian Malinois). She is almost two and loves to nap on our new sectional we bought. Currently, we are snuggled under a fort made of two chairs, a couple pillows, and a large blanket above us. It’s like being a kid again. She loves it.
My vet recommended a coconut for my pit bull to play with. I couldn’t find a toy she wouldn’t destroy in 10 seconds. A coconut has fiber which is good for the dog, it’s round and rolls like a ball and they can’t chew through it.
Hi Lisa! Interesting – might have to try this…although I foresee dents in my wood floors – ha. Thanks for sharing!
hi, I have a neurotic border collie who is obsessed with toys ,not food . he`s not great with other people ,fearful if they put their hand down to him, this is very awkward at moment as I`ve broken my wrist and cant walk him ( he`s not great at lead walking either, I used to put him in car and take him to woods) need to keep us both occupied so we don’t go stir crazy.