Not every day is a perfect sunny day. Sometimes you just can’t get out for a walk or go to the dog park.
And you know your dog is happiest and healthiest when he gets a good workout!
There are simple exercises you can do with your dog in your own home … even a tiny home, and you don’t need any special equipment!
What You’ll Need
You’ll just need a few common household items to get started exercising you dog indoors. Let’s make sure your best friend gets all his steps in!
- Plastic storage bins
- Your dog’s favorite treat or toy
Now you have your “exercise equipment” ready, let’s get started with some fun indoor dog exercises.
5 Indoor Exercises For Your Dog
Run And Jump
Just 10 minutes back and forth of this one will get your dogs panting!
You’ll need: A hallway, a doorway, and 2 plastic storage bins.
- Place one plastic bin in the doorway
- Place the other at the end of the hallway
- Stand at one end of the hallway
- Toss your dog’s toy or treat down the hall and through the open doorway
Now those storage bins are hurdles for jumping!
Bend, Twist And Reach
Bowing and stretching is a natural way for your dog to release tension … so it’s a great choice when he’s not getting enough physical activity.
You’ll need: A table with a low base, and a treat or toy.
- Safety first! Make sure the table’s secure. Remove items that could be knocked over.
- Place the treat or toy in the center underneath the table
- Let your dog try to get hold of the treat or toy
Crawling is a natural behavior bred into some herding and hunting dogs. The Crawl is an indoor exercise you can do with your dog.
You’ll need: A dresser and 2 storage bins.
- Open the middle drawers of the dresser
- Place the bins in front of the open drawers to make a tunnel
- Place your dog at one end
- Stand at the other end yourself
- Coax him through the tunnel
Lifting himself up onto his hind legs and balancing is great for your dog’s core strength.
You’ll need: A high backed armchair or sofa, and some delicious treats.
- Place the treat on the corner of the chair back (or on the armrest for smaller dogs)
- Let your dog reach up and grab the treat
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Digging is a really instinctive activity for dogs. It’s also a very tiring exercise! Using his front paws to pull the pillows toward him creates a similar motion to actual digging.
You’ll need: A narrow space (between the side of the sofa and the wall works well); some old pillows or heavy blankets, treats or a toy. Place the treat or toy in the space and then stuff the space with the pillows or blankets.
Note: You’ll want to use older pillows or blankets as they can get a bit shredded by the digging!
There are two levels to the digging exercise.
- Let your dog see the treat or toy
- Make sure he watches you place it under the pile of pillows or blankets
- Encourage him to dig for the treat or toy
This teaches him how the game works … and he still gets the physical exercise from digging.
Once your dog gets the hang of the game, move on to the next level.
- Have your dog wait in the next room
- Hide the treats or toy under the pillows
- Let your dog search and sniff out his hidden reward
This game has several benefits:
- Searching gives your dog something to focus his mind on, so it’s a great mental workout.
- It gives him a job to do.
- He gains confidence (and a reward!) when he succeeds. You can celebrate his victory with him!
With a little creativity, exercising your dog indoors can be fun for both dogs and humans!