11 Indoor Games For Dogs: Bonding Activities for You and Your Canine Companion

June 3, 2023
Annette Thompson

Indoor games for dogs are a fantastic way to keep your furry friend entertained, mentally stimulated, and physically active, especially when outdoor activities are impossible. Just like humans, dogs can benefit from engaging in indoor games that challenge their senses, promote problem-solving skills, and provide an opportunity for bonding with their owners. This article will explore the benefits of indoor games for dogs, discuss various games you can play indoors, and provide some training tips to make the most of your indoor playtime sessions with your four-legged companion.


Indoor games for dogs are a fantastic way to satisfy their physical and mental stimulation needs. These games offer an excellent opportunity for dogs to burn off excess energy and engage their instincts. They are especially beneficial when outdoor activities are limited due to bad weather, busy schedules, or living in an apartment with restricted space. Let’s explore the numerous advantages of indoor games for dogs and discover some exciting game options to keep them entertained and fulfilled.

white and brown short coated dog on brown bear plush toy Indoor games for dogs

Benefits of Indoor Games for Dogs

Physical exercise

Engaging in indoor games for dogs is an excellent way to ensure they receive the necessary physical exercise. Games such as hide and seek, tug of war, and indoor fetch keep them entertained and elevate their heart rate, contribute to maintaining a healthy weight, and foster muscle development. Regular participation in these activities is also instrumental in preventing obesity, a condition that can give rise to various health complications in dogs.

Mental stimulation

Indoor games for dogs offer more than just physical exercise; they also provide vital mental stimulation. Boredom can lead to destructive behavior, but engaging in games indoors allows dogs to channel their mental energy. Puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys, and obedience training games are excellent options to challenge their problem-solving abilities and keep their minds sharp. These indoor games for dogs are a win-win, promoting both physical and mental well-being.

Bonding with the owner

Indoor games for dogs provide physical and mental stimulation and strengthen the bond between you and your furry companion. Dogs are social animals that thrive on interaction with their owners. Engaging in indoor games together creates a positive association and deepens your relationship. It’s an opportunity to praise and reward good behavior, reinforcing their training while having fun. Enjoying these indoor games for dogs is a win-win for both you and your canine friend.

Considerations Before Playing Indoor Games with Your Dog

Before engaging in indoor games for dogs, it’s important to consider certain factors to ensure the safety and enjoyment of both you and your furry friend. Keeping these aspects in mind can create a positive and rewarding experience while playing indoor games for dogs.

Dog’s size and breed

When selecting indoor games for dogs, it’s important to consider the unique energy levels and exercise requirements of different dog breeds. Factors such as size, breed, and age should be considered to ensure a suitable choice of games. Smaller breeds may thrive in games that require less space, while larger breeds may benefit from games that allow them to stretch and play freely. Adapting the games to your dog’s needs and capabilities will create a fun and engaging experience.

Safety precautions

When engaging in indoor games for dogs, it is crucial to create a safe environment. Take the necessary precautions to eliminate potential hazards interfering with the play. Remove fragile items and keep toxic substances out of reach. Additionally, ensure that electrical cords are secured, and any loose wires are properly managed. If the games involve jumping or running, clear the space of obstacles to prevent accidents or injuries. By maintaining a safe indoor environment, you can enhance the enjoyment and safety of indoor games for dogs.

Indoor Games for Dogs

Explore some exciting indoor games to keep your dog entertained and mentally stimulated.

Hide and Seek

Indoor games for dogs like Hide and Seek are beloved classics. Begin by instructing your dog to sit and stay in one room while you find a hiding spot in another. Use their name or a command to signal the start of the game. Please encourage them to search for you and reward their successful finds with praise and treats. This engaging game stimulates their sense of smell and strengthens the bond between you and your furry companion. Enjoy the excitement and interactive fun of Hide and Seek as one of the fantastic indoor games for dogs!

Treat-Dispensing Toys

Indoor games for dogs, such as treat dispensing toys, are an excellent way to provide mental stimulation and keep them engaged. These interactive toys feature hidden compartments where you can place treats or kibble. As your dog interacts with the toy, it will be rewarded with tasty treats, making it an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Treat dispensing toys are a great addition to your collection of indoor games for dogs, ensuring they stay mentally stimulated and entertained.

Puzzle Toys

Puzzle toys challenge your dog’s problem-solving skills. These toys typically have hidden compartments or compartments that require your dog to figure out how to access the treats inside. They come in various shapes and sizes, catering to different difficulty levels. Start with an easier puzzle and gradually increase the complexity as your dog becomes more proficient.

Tug of War

Tug of War is a great indoor game that allows your dog to exert energy and build strength. Use a sturdy rope or a tug toy designed specifically for dogs. Establish clear rules and boundaries to ensure the game stays safe and controlled. Remember to let your dog win occasionally to keep them motivated and excited.

Indoor Fetch

Playing fetch indoors can be a modified version of the classic outdoor game. Use soft toys or lightweight balls specifically designed for indoor use. Clear a designated space without obstacles, and encourage your dog to retrieve and bring the toy back to you. This game provides both mental and physical exercise for your dog.

DIY Agility Course

Create a mini agility course using everyday household items. Use chairs or broomsticks as hurdles, cushions for tunnels, and blankets for jumps. Guide your dog through the course, rewarding them with treats and praise for completing each obstacle. This game helps improve coordination and confidence and challenges your dog’s problem-solving abilities.

Snuffle Mat

A snuffle mat has hidden pockets or compartments to hide treats or kibble. It simulates foraging behavior, engaging your dog’s sense of smell and providing mental stimulation. Sprinkle treats or kibble on the mat, and watch as your dog sniffs, searches, and enjoys finding hidden treasures.

Interactive Feeder Toys

Interactive feeder toys, such as food-dispensing balls or puzzle feeders, make mealtime more engaging for your dog. Instead of placing their food in a regular bowl, they use these toys to make them work for their meals. This stimulates their problem-solving skills and extends their mealtime, providing mental stimulation.

Obedience Training Games

Incorporate obedience training into indoor games to reinforce commands and enhance your dog’s training. Use games like “sit and stay,” “down and roll over,” or “find the treat.” Make the training sessions short, fun, and rewarding. This not only mentally challenges your dog but also strengthens the bond between you.

Scent Games

Dogs have a fantastic sense of smell; scent games tap into this natural ability. Hide treats or toys in different areas of the house and encourage your dog to find them using their nose. You can gradually increase the difficulty by hiding them in more challenging spots. This game provides mental stimulation and helps build your dog’s scenting skills.

Shell Game

The shell game is fun, and interactive and tests your dog’s memory and observation skills. Place a treat under one of three cups or containers, shuffle them around, and encourage your dog to choose the correct one. Reward them when they make the right choice. This game is mentally stimulating and keeps your dog engaged.

Training Tips for Indoor Games

When playing indoor games with your dog, it’s important to incorporate positive reinforcement and follow these training tips:

  • Use treats, praise, and toys as rewards to motivate your dog during the games.
  • Be consistent in your commands and reward system to reinforce good behavior.
  • Keep training sessions short and frequent to maintain your dog’s focus and interest.
  • Patience is key. Allow your dog time to learn and understand the rules of the game.
  • If your dog gets frustrated or loses interest, take a break and try again later.
  • Always end the game positively, even if it means adjusting the difficulty level to ensure success.

Frequently Asked Questions on Indoor Games For Dogs

What type of treats should I use for my dog when playing games?

Treats are a great way to keep your pup engaged and motivated while playing indoor games! Whether trying to master a game of fetch or teaching tricks, the right treatment can make all the difference.

With so many varieties available, it’s important to consider your dog’s unique tastes and preferences when selecting treats for game variation. Choose something high in protein, like freeze-dried liver or chicken jerky, which will reward your pup with energy, nutrition, and delicious flavor.

To add some extra excitement, why not try something new each time? With a little creativity, you’ll have your pup begging for more.

Is it safe to leave my dog unsupervised while playing indoor games?

When it comes to playing indoor games with your dog, safety should always be the priority. While playing indoors can help improve your pup’s mental health and socializing skills, it’s best to supervise their playtime for their safety and peace of mind.

Leaving them unsupervised could lead to accidents or unwanted behaviors. If you must leave the room for a short period, consider setting up some puzzles or other activities that will keep them occupied until you return.

How do I ensure my dog gets enough physical and mental stimulation while playing indoors?

You never have to worry about your pup getting enough mental and physical stimulation when playing indoors!

With 11 indoor dog games, you can quickly provide your dog with challenging mental puzzles and play boundaries that will keep them engaged for hours.

And the best part is, these exciting indoor activities are perfect for pups of all sizes and ages! Whether it’s a fun game of hide-and-seek or even an interactive puzzle toy, your pup will love spending time inside with these exaggeratedly stimulating activities.

So don’t wait any longer – start planning some exciting indoor games today and give your dog the physical and mental challenges they crave!

How can I tell when my dog gets bored with an indoor game?

If you’re worried that your dog is getting bored with an indoor game, there are a few ways to tell.

Pay attention to their enthusiasm level when playing – if it’s lower than usual, they may be ready for a new toy selection or a change of game rules.

If this is the case, try adjusting the game’s difficulty level or introducing something new and exciting.

Remember that dogs need physical and mental stimulation to stay engaged; mixing up their routine can help keep them entertained and healthy!

Are there any special considerations I should consider when playing indoor games with my dog?

You’re looking for a way to make playing indoor games with your pup even more fun.

Before jumping into the action, take a moment to pause and reflect on the special considerations to remember.

One key factor is toy selection – pick something to engage your pup’s interest and capture their attention.

Another point is playtime duration – remember that too much time spent indoors can cause boredom for you and your pup!

As long as you remember these two rules of thumb, you and your furry friend will surely have a fantastic time playing indoors like never before!

Can all dog breeds play indoor games?

Yes, indoor games can be adapted for different dog breeds. However, consider your dog’s energy level, size, and breed traits when choosing games that suit them best.

Are indoor games suitable for older dogs?

Absolutely! Indoor games can be tailored to accommodate older dogs’ age and physical abilities. Choose games that involve less jumping or running and focus more on mental stimulation.

How often should I play indoor games with my dog?

To determine the frequency of indoor games for dogs, it’s important to consider their unique needs. Generally, aiming for several short play sessions throughout the day is beneficial to provide both mental and physical stimulation.

Regularly engaging in these indoor games for dogs can help keep them mentally sharp and physically active, promoting their overall well-being. Adjust the frequency based on your dog’s energy level, age, and individual requirements to ensure they receive the appropriate amount of stimulation.

Can I make puzzle toys for my dog?

Indoor dog games can be more interactive by creating DIY puzzle toys using common household items such as cardboard boxes or plastic bottles. By repurposing these materials, you can engage your dog’s problem-solving skills and keep them mentally stimulated.

However, it’s important to ensure the materials’ safety and supervise your dog during playtime with these homemade toys. This way, you can enhance their indoor game experience while maintaining a secure and enjoyable environment for your dog.

Can indoor games replace outdoor exercise for dogs?

Indoor games for dogs are an effective way to provide mental and physical stimulation. However, it’s important to remember that outdoor exercise is crucial for their well-being. Dogs benefit from exploring the outdoors, interacting with other dogs, and encountering different environments.

While indoor games are a valuable addition to their routine, they should complement outdoor activities rather than replace them. Balancing indoor and outdoor experiences ensures your dog receives a well-rounded and fulfilling lifestyle.


It’s time to unleash your creativity and have a blast with your furry companion! These 11 indoor games for dogs are designed to provide your pup with the mental and physical stimulation they crave.

From classic games like hide-and-seek and fetch to more adventurous activities like treasure hunts and obstacle courses, there’s a game to suit every pup’s personality and energy level.

By engaging in these exciting games, you and your pup will have a great time together and support their overall health, happiness, and activity levels.

While you’re having a blast with your pup, remember that there are strays and unwanted dogs in Mexico hoping to find their forever homes in Canada and the US. You can make a difference by supporting Bone Voyage Dog Rescue, an organization dedicated to this cause. Whether you volunteer, foster a dog, or donate, your contribution can bring hope and joy to these deserving dogs. To learn more about how you can help, contact Bone Voyage Dog Rescue at +52 3329718011 or at [email protected].

So let the good times roll and create lasting memories with your pup while also positively impacting the lives of other dogs in need.

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