13 Ways to Entertain Your Dog on a Rainy Day
Rainy days can be a drag for everyone—the weather’s gloomy, all you want to do is curl up in bed, and your dog (who lives for his twice-a-day walks) goes a little stir crazy when he can’t get outside. But we can help you have fun and entertain your pup when the weather is yucky outdoors, thanks to these 13 rainy-day activities.
Go for a walk in Walkee Paws!
Have a pup who never wants to miss out on their daily stroll? Good thing you don’t have to hide indoors when it’s raining cats and dogs outside! Thanks to Walkee Paws dog leggings, your pup’s paws and legs will stay protected from rain, mud, dirt and more, so there’s no excuse to stay cooped up inside on a rainy day.
Play Hide & Seek
Whether you’re hiding their go-to toy, a smelly treat or their favorite human (you!), engaging in a game of Hide & Seek with your pup is a simple way to wear your dog out, work their brain and have some fun for yourself. Have your pup “stay” in one room (either by giving a command or having them hang out in their crate) while you hide the chosen object in another room, then “free” them to search for the item. Once they find it, give them an excited “Yes!” and a scratch behind the ear to reward them for their hard work, then repeat the game until you’re both tired out.
Pull out the puzzle toys
There are so many ways to challenge your dog’s mind, burn off extra mental energy and keep your furry friend engaged when an outdoor adventure isn’t an option. You can purchase any number of puzzle toys at your local dog store or online, or you can make your own at home with items you already have on hand.
- Lay a small blanket or towel flat on the floor, and scatter kibble or small treats across it. Roll the blanket up, then let your dog try their hand (er, paw) at unrolling it and sniffing out the food.
- Take an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll, fold one end until it’s closed, toss a few treats in, and close up the other end before giving it to your dog.
- Tuck a few of your dog’s favorite treats or dry food into an empty cereal box, close the top, then let your dog go to town trying to open it to retrieve the treats. If just one box doesn’t pose much of a challenge, you can nest different-sized boxes within one another, with different snacks inside each of them.
- Grab a muffin tin from the kitchen; put treats or kibble in a couple of the trays; then cover each tray with a tennis ball. Let your dog use their nose or paws to push the tennis balls aside and find the hidden treats.
Indulge in a long-lasting treat
Whether it’s a big ol’ bully stick or a Kong filled with frozen peanut butter, let your doggy treat themself to a snack that takes some time to work through. You can also try feeding them their regular dry food in a snuffle mat, or smear yogurt, peanut butter or pumpkin puree on a licky mat for a tasty and time-consuming challenge.
Create an indoor agility course
No need to purchase fancy agility equipment (unless you want to!)—you can make your own at home using furniture and everyday household objects. Evenly space out a row of boxes or other objects on the floor and let your dog weave through them. Pull out a kitchen chair and have your pup crawl under or jump over it. Make a small fort with a sheet and have your canine go through it like a tunnel. With a little creativity, there’s no end to the fun obstacles you can put together for your pooch!
Engage their athletic side
Turns out you don’t need a big yard, local park or open field to give your dog the exercise they crave (especially on a rainy day). You can actually give them a major workout in the comfort of your own home! Pull out a soccer ball and kick it around with your canine; engage in a rousing game of tug with their favorite toy; or toss a tennis ball down a long hallway for an indoor game of fetch. You can also make your own “flirt pole” by grabbing a pipe (or even a broomstick), tying a piece of string or rope around it, then attaching a toy or ball to the end of the rope. Move the pole around the floor or up in the air to play keepaway with your dog and encourage them to chase after or jump up for the toy.
Introduce a new toy
Speaking of toys, while your pup may adore their favorite squeaky toy or never go anywhere without their comfort stuffy, every dog loves the excitement of getting something new! So the next time you’re at the pet store, stock up on a couple of new toys, then whip one out on a rainy day to give your furry friend something novel to explore.
Work on basic obedience
Did you know that brushing up on current skills or learning a new trick is an excellent way to engage your dog’s mind and burn some extra energy? Run them through all the commands they know (rapid-fire drills are fun for both of you!), help them learn how to roll over, try your hand at clicker training, or teach them to put away their own toys in a dedicated basket.
Build a ball pit
Have a canine who goes crazy for anything ball-shaped? Make their rainy-day dreams come true by buying or building your own ball pit! Fill up your bathtub, a baby pool or even a cardboard box with dog-safe balls, then invite your pup to jump right in and have, well, a ball!
Try the Cup Game
Play the classic jumbotron game at home by grabbing three cups and a smelly treat. Place the treat under one cup while your dog is watching, then move the cups around and let Fido pick out which one the treat is hiding under. This game is a blast for both of you, and you can easily make it simpler or more challenging depending on your dog’s skill level.
Do some scent work
Grab a variety of empty boxes and spread them out across a room while your pup is hanging in another space. Drop treats or a few pieces of dry food into a couple (but not all) of the boxes, then invite your pup into the room to search for the hidden treats. Once they’ve gotten the hang of the game, make it even harder by hiding treats in only one box or nestling multiple boxes within one another.
This child-approved activity is also a hit with our four-legged friends, many of whom have a blast chasing, jumping at and trying to catch bubbles floating through the air. Keep it simple with a basic bottle of bubbles, or go wild with an extra-large bubble wand or even a bubble gun!
Turn on Doggy TV
Have a couch potato on your hands, or want to put in as minimal effort as possible to keep your pup entertained indoors? Tune into dogtv.com or videos on YouTube, which are designed to provide visual and auditory stimulation for canines while also alleviating stress and anxiety.