How to Keep Your Dog Busy Indoors: 7 Brilliant Ideas for Entertaining Your Fur Friend

The Dilemma for Dog Owners

The COVID-19 lockdown and stay-at-home advisory for containing the spread of the novel coronavirus is making most of us crazy due to boredom. Parents are looking for unique and creative indoor activities for their kids while others are searching for the best shows to binge-watch. Meanwhile, dog owners have another major problem at their hands – keeping their canine companion busy without having to set foot outdoors.

Dogs are generally very energetic creatures which is why taking them out for walk and play is an essential everyday task for owners. If their activities are affected due to any reason, they will quickly come up with ways to entertain themselves on their own. This is when you end up with torn curtains, damaged pillows, chewed up shoes, and other similar destruction around the house.

Boredom in dogs can also lead to other bad behaviors such as excessive digging and unnecessary barking.

Even if your pooch seems to be adjusting well until now, it’s always a good idea to have a few tricks up your sleeve. You never know when the need might arise.

So, without any further ado, here are some brilliant ideas on how to keep your dog busy indoors.

Fun Games to Play with Your Dog at Home


1.     Track the Treats

Dogs love activities that allow them to use their strongest sense – the sense of smell. Games that involve nose work will not only make them happy but are also guaranteed to tire them out effectively. Grab some of your pooch’s favorite treats and hide them in different corners of the room. Teach them to bring it back to you before allowing them to gobble it up. It’s better to use chopped up fruits and vegetables instead of store-bought treats as raw foods are a healthier option compared to the alternative.

2.     Shell Game

This simple game lets you entertain your pet without requiring you to get off the couch. Take three identical cups or bowls and place them upside down on a flat surface. Hide a ball or any other small item under one of them and then shuffle them rapidly. Ask your dog to pinpoint which cup or bowl hides the item now. Reward them with something every time they get it right.

3.     Teach Them How to Tidy Up

It might not seem like a practical idea but teaching your pet how to tidy up can be a savior when there’s little else to do. Scatter their toys around the room and then ask them to fetch and drop them in a basket one by one. Then ask them to put/ drag the filled toy container to the desired spot. Just like humans, learning new skills is mentally stimulating for dogs as well. Plus, if they master this skill, you will have a ready helper who can bring you your keys, wallet, and mobile phone whenever you may need them.

4.     Have a Tug of War

Tug of war can be an enjoyable activity for you and your fur friend alike. Just make sure to use a sufficiently strong rope. Using a scarf or thin strings can increase the risk of injury of both you and your dog. Some people thing that games like tug of war make dogs promotes destructive behavior in dogs, but that’s not the case. However, for safety purposes, try not to do this in your living room. Your backyard, driveway or any other relatively open space is a better fit.

5.     Let Them Assist You in Household Chores

Yes, you read that right. Many pooch parents don’t realize this but instead of being on your heels doing nothing but wagging their tail, your pet can be of considerable help in certain household chores. For instance, you can tell them to hold the water pipe and aim it at the car tires while you scrub and wash them clean. Or let them balance the pillow on their nose as you make your bed every morning. You can also train them to load the laundry basket – the options are many. You just need to think a bit pawperly to see how your canine companion can facilitate you.

6.     Make Mealtime More Meaningful

Rather than simply serving their food on a plate (pun intended), stir things up a little. Make mealtime a bit challenging for your dog because it will not only keep them occupied for a few more minutes than usual, but also because it serves as a mental exercise for them. The best to go about it is to use food dispensing toys. As is evident by the name, these toys are specially designed to make dogs work for their food. They can be in form of a ball with a hole that dispenses dry dog food when the ball is rolled at a certain angle or any other type of food container with a similar mechanism. If you cannot find one at your nearest pet store, simply order one online.

7.     Teach Them New Tricks

Just like most of the other activities on this list, teaching your dog new tricks will have a positive impact on their mental health in addition to relieving their boredom. Some simple ideas to get started include training your pooch to knock on the door, wave goodbye, shake hands/ paws, give a high five, walk backwards, jump rope, switch a light on and off, and at the end of all their performances, take a bow!

Know more creative tips on how to keep your dog busy indoors? We’d love to add them here.  Please share your ideas by shooting us an email to OR if you would like to share a picture of your fun, we love seeing our customer’s furry babies on our Facebook page, so please consider posting yours too, if you have time.

by Bobby J Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration: