Exercise Your Dog Indoors

by Nancy Boland

Our dogs need their daily exercise, but some days unexpected things occur, or its too cold or hot outside or the days getting shorter shouldn’t get in the way. Here are some tips on how to exercise your dog indoors to make sure he still gets his exercise in for the day:

 Run your dog up and down the stairs.

Using the stairs is a great way to tire out your dog. The steps add an additional challenge to a dog’s workout, as they engage different muscles than those used on a regular walk or run and add an extra level of difficulty with the change in elevation. Stand at the top of the stairs and throw a toy down to your dog. When your dog grabs the toy, call his name and have him bring the toy to you. After several intervals of that, he will soon be exhausted.

Set up obstacle courses.

Use an old hula hoop for him to leap through or using cushions to create a tunnel for him to navigate. Map everything out and lead your dog through the various obstacles. This game will challenge your dog both mentally and physically.

Make your dog work for its treats.

Take a variety of your dog’s favourite treats and hide the around the house – behind doors, under tables, underneath rugs, etc. Your dog will be so busy tracking down his treats that he’ll physically tire out in the process. Treat dispensing toys are another great way to keep your dog mentally occupied but still engage them physically as they push around their toys and try to get to the food inside.


Engage your dog in a good old fashioned game of fetch. This classic game keep your dog engaged, active, and help to release pent up energy.

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Take a socialised outing.

Take your dog for a car ride and take him to the nearest pet shop. Walk him through the aisles, let him try out toys and sniff around. Chances are other dogs and people will be there so this will be added stimulation too.

Get your dog on the treadmill.

A treadmill is a great way to get your dog a dose of healthy indoor exercise. First, allow your dog to get comfortable with the sight and sound of a running treadmill. Next, place your dog on the treadmill and give him a treat. Turn the treadmill on the lowest speed. Give him treats to encourage him to stay on.  Once your dog is adjusted, you can gradually increase the speed to provide a more challenging workout.

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 Tug of War

With the amount of ropes and toys available that encourage tug of war, it’s not surprising that so many dog owners play this game with their dog. However, you need to be aware of the risk. It’s a game that can bring out predator instincts so you need to make sure you  have control over your dog before you can engage in a productive game of tug of war.

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