gorgeous poodle dogs sitting on dining room chairs at a table with plates and food

Here at Me & My Pets HQ, it’s grey, rainy and there’s a chill in the air. Except for a few heat waves that might occur randomly in October, we’re pretty sure summer is officially over – sad times.

The thing is, nothing beats heading out with your dog – even in the rain! Splashing around in puddles is fun (for them at least!) and there’s nothing wrong with a bit of mud.

But with the days getting shorter and the colder weather heading our way, there are definitely going to be times when you swap playing games in the garden for playing games indoors.

Of course, the weather should never interrupt your dog’s regular exercise regime. It’s just nice to have options when it comes to playtime.

Keeping your dog entertained and having fun while in the house with you is also a great way of keeping them happy, healthy and mentally stimulated. Especially as boredom in dogs can lead to other problems such as excessive chewing, barking or destructive behaviour.

Playtime is also a chance to reward your dog and give them lots of praise, which is great for their general happiness and wellbeing.

Here are our top 10 indoor activities to do with your dog!

1) Play hide and seek

This is ideal if you have two people in the house, so you can teach your dog how to play. The first person holds a treat in their hand which your dog sees. Then they find a place to hide – it can be somewhere pretty obvious at first – while the second person stays with your dog. The first person then calls your dog’s name and the dog should come to find you. Reward them with the treat and celebrate their win!

Using this technique, you can start to make it harder as they learn, and you can even get the whole family involved.

Just be aware of any behaviours which you don’t want to encourage such as door scratching and jumping on people. And you also want to be mindful of your dog’s abilities, so don’t make it too hard, or your dog may feel frustrated.

So, keep it simple and fun, to ensure it’s a fun activity to do with your dog.

2) Tug-of-war

Tug-of-war is a great game to play with your dog. Not only will it help to strengthen their jaw, it’s a great way to bond together. It can also be an incredibly useful tool for redirecting your dog’s behaviour if they keep biting. Rather than scold your dog, you can redirect their behaviour to the rope toy so that they can tire themselves out as well as bite something that’s appropriate to chew.

Grab a rope toy and let your dog play tug-of-war with you. The only rule is that they must wait for you to give them permission to grab the rope. Hold the rope out above their head. If they jump to grab the rope, hide it behind your back and say “Oops!”. Keep doing this until they learn your command to get the rope. Praise them when they do it correctly.

boxer dogs playing with a red and white rope toy

3) Puzzle toys

Dogs can be extremely intelligent and their potential to learn is pretty amazing.

Stimulate their minds and help them to stay engaged by playing puzzle games with your dog. This can be hiding treats under cups, shuffling them and then getting them to guess where the treat’s gone. Or get them a puzzle treat dispenser to keep them entertained for a little while.

4) Teach them a new trick

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks – we disagree! There are lots of things your dog can learn, and a new trick is a great way to spend time together as well as keep your dog entertained.

New tricks can be things such as spin, play dead, fetch, standing on hind legs, barking on command and shaking hands.

5) Let them help you around the house

Many dogs were originally working dogs, so many of them will be geared up to help you throughout the day. The plus side to this is that they get to spend the day with you too!

Although your dog’s ability to pay bills and do general admin might be lacking, you can invite them to help you with smaller tasks such as fetching, finding things and pulling things open.

6) Schedule a puppy play date

If your dog is socialised and happy to be around other dogs (who are also vaccinated and socialised) then scheduling a puppy play date could be just the ticket!

This is a great way of keeping them entertained. Just keep an eye on their play to make sure it’s harmless. That way, everyone comes out happy and tired out – perfect!

7) Search and sniff

Dogs love treats – who doesn’t!? Give them something fun to do as well as something yummy to eat at the end of it all!

Search and sniff can be done in lots of ways. One option is to get a clean muffin tin and a selection of tennis balls. Place a tennis ball in each muffin holder and hide a treat under one of them.

Once you give your dog permission, let them search for the treat and enjoy the reward at the end. If your dog is struggling, feel free to step in and help get them back on track.

dilbert the corgi sniffing his brand new pig toy

8) Movie night

Snuggling up on the couch with a dog is one of our favourite things to do here in the Me & My Pets office. A matching onesie and a few treats later, and you’re set to enjoy an evening on the sofa together! Make sure to get cosy under a fleece blanket for the ultimate night in!

9) Pampering night

Having a pampering day is a lovely way to spend time together and is great for when you just need to relax.

Give your dog a bath and tend to their fur and claws. And if your dog enjoys it, you might even like to give them a massage!

There are lots of dog massage guides online that you can follow to help.

10) Doggie dinner date

We love food. Dogs love food. So, why not schedule a dinner date?

You can enjoy some dog-friendly foods together (feel free to add to yours!). Perhaps a little fish, or some chicken and then finish off with a little bite of fruit. Many dogs love strawberries and watermelon.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you could even make pup cakes! Just use a dog-friendly recipe and make sure you don’t give your dog too much food at once.

You can find out more about how much to feed your dog here.

When we’re not out for walkies or playtime, these are some of our favourite ways to spend time with our dogs. For more inspiration on how to spend time with your dog, head over to our Instagram and Facebook pages @meandmypetsofficial.