Great Indoor Dog Games for Apartment Living
Lack of mental and physical stimulation not only results in a bored dog, but can actually create destructive behavior, such as getting into the trash or destroying items in the household. And obviously, there are the physical health issues related with lack of exercise, like loss of muscle mass and weight gain. It is much easier to prevent these than to fix these health issues, which is why indoor dog games are important for keeping your pet happy and healthy. Here are some great indoor exercise ideas when you can’t get to the doggy park.
Jump the LegSit in a chair and stretch one leg out in front of you. Now toss treats to both sides of your leg, so that your dog must jump over it to get them. Make sure that you only play this on a surface with good traction, to prevent any accidents!
In and Out
Put a treat in your dog’s crate. Show him and let him run into the crate to get the treat. Continue to move further and further away from the crate, eventually letting him race to his crate even from another room. As an added bonus, this game will also strengthen the positive association with the crate and make it a happy place for your dog.
Hide and Seek
Hide some treats underneath a blanket on the floor and let your dog figure out how to get to them. Solving this food puzzle will really work your dog’s brain; dogs are not naturally good at understanding that they must lift one corner to gain access to the treats underneath. Repeat the games a couple times. Repeating brain games will teach your dog to pay attention to his thinking process and strengthen his memory.
Lay a blanket floor in front of you and place some treats on it. Now take one end and roll up the blanket, just like a yoga mat (or a burrito, get it?). Present the treat burrito to your dog and let him figure out how to get all the treats inside. Again, unrolling it usually does not come to the dog’s mind right away, so the puzzle fun will keep him entertained for quite a while.
Sniff BoxTake a cardboard box and fill it with crumpled-up newspapers. Now drop treats in there and let your dog use scent to find them. Sniffing is a very calming activity for dogs, so this game is especially great for the anxious pup.
Hopefully these indoor games give you some ideas for how to keep your dog happy and healthy in the confines of your apartment home. Remember that the amount of exercise your dog needs will depend on many factors, including its breed, age and health, so talk with your vet about an appropriate exercise routine that will help him stay healthy without causing him discomfort.
Do you have any great apartment games you play with your pup? Let us know in the comments!