Are you looking for ways to exercise your dog when it’s raining outside?
Every dog is different. While the calmest dog breeds will benefit from just 30 minutes of exercise a day, active breeds such as the German Shepherd could need up to 2 hours.
But don’t let a rainy day get in the way of your dog’s daily needs.
This blog post gives you 15 ways to exercise your dog indoors on a rainy day.
1. Play Hide and Seek
There are two ways you can play hide and seek with your dog. You can either hide a treat for your dog to find, or hide yourself and let your dog come and find you. Playing hide and seek can be a lot of fun for your dog, although they may need time get used to the game.
Start by hiding a treat or two in an easy to find spot, then tell your dog to find the treat. Once your dog has the hang of finding treats, you can put them in harder-to-find locations. Just make sure you don’t put them anywhere where your dog could damage anything (like in a vase).
2. Play Tug-of-War
Tug-of-war is a very physically demanding activity for your dog, which is great when you need to help your dog burn some energy. Simply use a tug toy to play tug-of-war with your dog.
Some people fear that playing tug-of-war will make your dog more aggressive. Although it won’t make your dog more aggressive, you should train your dog to keep their teeth off of your hands. To do this, simply stop playing tug-of-war any time your dog’s teeth touch your hand. Over time, they’ll learn not to bite while playing.
3. Use a Dog Treadmill
Treadmills aren’t just for people! You can purchase treadmills made specifically for dogs. Once your dog is used to the sight and sound of a running treadmill, you can work on teaching them how to walk on it for a workout. If you’re looking to buy one, here is an article with recommendations on the best dog treadmill.
Keep in mind that you should never tie your dog’s leash to the treadmill or leave your dog unattended. As they get accustomed to using the treadmill, you can try faster settings to provide a more challenging workout. There are even manual dog treadmills that move at your dog’s own pace.
These dog treadmills can range from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars.
4. Stuff & Freeze a KONG
A stuffed KONG can be a great way to exercise your dog, especially if you don’t have the time to actively play with them. Stuff a KONG with peanut butter or some other treat, then freeze it. Once frozen, a stuffed KONG can keep your dog busy for at least half an hour.
KONGS are great because they are both fun and challenging for your dog. If you have to leave your dog while you go to work or run errands, a frozen KONG can keep them busy while you’re out. The mental stimulation will keep your dog entertained, while the physical stimulation will help them expend some of their energy.
5. Run Up & Down the Stairs
When the weather’s bad, running up and down the stairs can be a great workout for your dog. Stairs offer a challenge to your dog, and can help them use up their energy quickly.
Stand at the top of the stairs and throw a toy or a ball down the stairs. Your dog will chase the toy and return it to you, completing one trip down and up the stairs. Before too long, your dog will be worn out from a healthy workout.
6. Create an Obstacle Course
An obstacle course can be a fun way to play with and exercise your dog indoors. It doesn’t have to be a complicated course. Because you can repurpose things already in your home, you won’t need to buy any specialized equipment. It doesn’t have to be big or complex – an obstacle course can be set up even in a small space in your home.
Have them jump through a hoop or scoot through a tunnel made with couch cushions. Let them weave through boxes. When you create an obstacle course and guide your dog through it, the agility required can help them use up their energy.
Fetch is a classic for a reason. Dogs and humans alike love it. All you have to do is throw a toy or a ball, and your dog will chase it and return it to you.
It makes a great way to exercise your dog when it’s raining outside.
When playing fetch indoors, make sure you’re in a space where nothing will get damaged. You don’t want to toss a ball and have it break your TV! If you have kids, you can get them involved in playing fetch with your dog.
8. Blow Bubbles
Bubbles aren’t just for kids, but your kids might want to do this activity with your dog. A bottle of bubbles is inexpensive, allowing you to have them on hand no matter what your budget may be. Pull out the bubbles and blow them. Your dog will have fun chasing and popping the bubbles.
For a hands-free version of this activity, automated bubble blowing machines can also be purchased. Just set up the machine and let your dog enjoy the endless bubbles it produces! Although it’s hands-free, you will want to make sure you’re in the room in case the machine gets tipped over. Always supervise your dog when using a bubble blowing machine.
9. Learn a New Trick
Use indoor play time to teach your dog a new trick. If your dog is rusty on basic commands, take time to reinforce them. You can teach (or re-teach) them how to sit, stay, lay down, or come here.
More complicated tricks can also be learned by your dog. Teach them to crawl underneath an object or to shake your hand. The mental and physical stimulation can keep your dog engaged, especially if they are restless.
10. Puzzle Toys
In a similar vein, puzzle toys are great for keeping your dog entertained. These toys can be bought or made. Many of them involve putting a treat in a compartment, which acts as a reward when your dog figures out the puzzle.
If you don’t own any puzzle toys, you can create one with things around the house. Put a little peanut butter on the inside of toilet paper tube. Your dog will have to lick inside it without it getting pushed away. A treat in a box can also provide a fun puzzle challenge for your dog, as they figure out how to get into the box.
11. Play the Shell Game
You’ve probably seen the shell game played with children. A small object is placed under one of three cups, and the cups are shuffled around. The child then guesses which cup contains the object.
When playing with your dog, put a small treat under one cup. Shuffle the cups around, and let your dog try to find the treat. This mentally stimulating activity can be paired with one of the more physically demanding activities, giving your dog a full mind and body workout.
12. Have Your Dog Work for their Food
On rainy days, you can have your dog work for their food. Food dispensing toys can keep them occupied and help them use up all that extra energy.
If you don’t have a food dispensing toy, have them do tricks before you feed them. Reinforced previously learned tricks or teach them new ones. Then, after they’ve worked on those tricks, put their food in their bowl to eat.
13. Try a New Toy
Buy or make a new toy for your dog. This is a great option, especially if you have things you need to do around the house. Your dog will love playing with their new toy, with or without you.
If your dog has a lot of toys, try rotating what toys are available to them. That way, even old toys will seem new to your dog. You can also make toys for your dog out of old shirts and rags.
14. Play Keep Away
Keep a way can be a great way to get the whole family involved while playing with your dog. Throw a toy or ball between people, keeping it away from your dog. Your dog will run back and forth between people, getting a full workout.
Occasionally let your dog get the toy to keep them interested. If you don’t want to throw something in the house, you can have people take turns calling the dog over to them. Give them even more of a workout by calling them between different rooms.
15. Travel to the Pet Store
Let’s be honest: at some point, you might just want to get out of the house. If your dog is good around other people and dogs, you can take them to the pet store to walk around. At the store, you can buy a new toy or puzzle for your dog to enjoy when you get back home.
Let your dog walk around the aisles with you. Let them sniff and try toys. Almost without exception, your dog will have more space to walk around at the pet store than at home. This outing can be a great way to get a workout with your dog, while also giving them time around people. When the dog park isn’t an option, the pet store can be.
Well, I hope I gave you some ideas for ways to exercise your dog indoors when it’s raining.
You can experiment with some or all of these 15 exercise ideas to see what works best for your dog.
Let me know if you have any comments or other ideas to add to the list.
I hope your dog gets a great workout!