Let’s admit it, dog owners. We can't always get our best furry pals the exercise they need every single day. We could be stuck inside due to bad winter weather or extreme summer heat. Then there's also those days that we just don’t feel like trekking around the neighborhood. No need to feel bad about it, though. Luckily, there are plenty of indoor activities that are just as good for your dog as his daily walks. Click through for 10 fun ways to wear out your energetic pup in the comfort of your own home.
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Never underestimate the power of the tennis ball. Sure, you might not be able to play a full on game of fetch in the house, but rolling a ball down the hallway or up the stairs is a great way to tire out your dog. Just make sure to clear away anything that could get in the way. You don’t want your pup getting hurt!
This classic game never gets old for the canine species. It’s a natural instinct of theirs to grab, hold and tug, so most dogs will happily do this activity until they’re exhausted. Pair this game with fetch for an even better energy burning exercise. A nice long game of tug could also mean a pretty great workout for your arms, depending on what kind of dog you have, of course.
Get creative! Anything that will make your dog have to jump onto or crawl under something will wear him out. Create a mini agility course using household items like boxes, chairs, pillows and almost anything else safe for dogs. Walk him through it using a lead and gradually increase the pace. Learning the course and following your commands will wear out your pooch's body and mind.
Much like cats, dogs are often willing to chase laser pointers. Clear a path in your home, whether it be down a hallway, up some stairs or just confined to one room. Use the laser pointer to attract your canine's interest, then see how crazy you can get. Some dogs will go through great lengths to grab that tiny little red light. Be careful of pointing it at a wall, however, as dogs could hurt themselves or cause damage when pouncing at the laser.
If your dog knows there’s a treat hiding somewhere in the house, he will do everything he can to get to find it. The best way to do this is to get a Kong or other kind of toy that allows you to hide a treat inside. They’re specially designed to give your dog a challenge without frustrating him too much. If you don’t have access to one of these toys, try hiding a treat inside a pile of blankets or in his dog bed so he can sniff and dig it out.
RUN CIRCLES OR STAIRS
You don’t need a full Olympic-size track to run laps with your pup. Try leashing him up and either run in circles from room to room around the inside of your house, or have him follow you up and down the stairs. You may not be able to run as fast as you could outdoors, but do it for long enough and both you and your pup will be panting in no time.
This is a good way to practice good doggy behavior and also get some exercise in the process. If your pup is not good at sitting or laying down on command, this activity will be both exercise and a training session. Bring your dog to attention at your feet and ask him to sit, then lie down, then sit and lay down. Do this repetitively, rewarding him with a treat every so often until he begins doing so on command. You can also increase the intensity of this exercise by asking him to jump up onto a chair before the push-up.
CHEW TOYS OR BONES
Dogs have a natural instinct to chew, and many can work on a bone or chew toy for hours. Buy a variety to test out what your dog loves and to ensure he doesn't get bored. Dogs that are strong chewers can burn large amount of energy just by laying down and letting their jaws get to work.
The treadmill isn’t just a great way for humans to stay in shape; it’s also a convenient way to let your dog burn energy indoors. Use a lead to slowly get your pup used to walking on the treadmill. He may be wary at first, but he should pick it up fairly quickly. Once he’s comfortable, start adding speed until he’s happily trotting and burning that energy away. But be sure to always monitor your dog, because treadmills are made for humans and can be dangerous to your pet.
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DOGGY PLAY DATE
The weather outside might not be ideal for playtime, but why not take the fun inside the house? Invite your pup's furry pal over for some hang time. Throw in a couple squeaky toys and the two canines could keep themselves entertained for hours.
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