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Does Your Apartment Dog Get Bored?

A dog doing yoga on a mat

Have you ever experienced cabin fever from being cooped up in one place for too long? If so, you can imagine how bored your dogs get when they’re stuck in your apartment all day, every day. Dogs are wonderful companions, but if you live in an apartment or a small house without much outdoor space, your companionship might not be enough to keep them entertained. What can you do? We have some suggestions for entertaining your dog, even when you don’t have much space, or you can’t go outside and play.

Dogs Need Exercise for Their Bodies and Brains

Of course, dogs need exercise, which you provide by taking them on their daily walks. However, dogs also need mental stimulation. This may sound complicated, but you can give your dog some mental exercise by playing games together. Here, we offer some suggestions of activities to entertain your dogs, giving them a workout for their brains as well as their bodies.

  • Try tug of war. It is a classic game that provides great exercise for your dog, whether you are playing inside or outside. A rope toy makes for a good tug of war, but you can use other toys as well, as long as they will stand up to the tugging. Make it challenging, and don’t let your dog win every time! Make sure to train your dog to drop the rope when you say so, so that it is clear that you are the boss.
  • Play hide and seek. This is a fun way to beat physical and mental boredom, and you and your dog can play alone or with other people. Train your dog to play hide and seek by making him stay while you hide, then calling for him to come and find you.
  • Indoor fetch can be safe and fun. In the hallway or on the stairs, away from anything breakable or any slippery floors, use a soft ball to play in the house. Just toss the ball and have your dog retrieve it, and you will probably be repeating this more times than you can count.
  • Fill a toy with treats. A KONG or other non-toxic rubber toy is great for filling with treats or peanut butter for your dog to dig out. If you freeze the peanut butter, you can make the game last even longer! It is fun for your dog and has the added benefit of keeping the dog occupied so that you can get something done.
  • Make your dog work for it. Instead of putting kibble in a bowl, put it in a food-dispensing puzzle toy, a maze bowl, or a snuffle mat. This gives dogs a chance to exercise their natural instincts while they’re eating, and it can also slow a fast eater’s pace.
  • Teach some tricks. Training gives a dog something to do that requires mental exercise. Teach your dog some tricks like high-five, sit, down, stay, come, and spin, and you will be doing something beneficial as well as making your dog just a little bit cooler at parties. Is your dog already a pro at these basic tricks? Try some special tricks like turning lights on and off, taking out the trash, or bringing you a drink! You can also teach your dogs to put their toys away. Especially if your dog is a working breed, it is beneficial to the dog’s overall well-being to have a job to do.
  • Use the treadmill. For dogs who love to walk or run, a treadmill is the perfect indoor activity. Start with the treadmill turned off, then demonstrate how you walk on it. Once the dog is comfortable with the machine, start it at a slow speed and let him or her take it for a whirl. Make sure you never leave your dog unattended on the treadmill, for safety reasons.
  • Do some nose work. Dogs have a natural desire to determine the source of a scent, and nose work gives them a way to exercise their noses. You can try some simple nose work at home, letting your dog guess which hand a treat is in, playing the shell game with dog treats, or hiding some kibble in a rolled up towel.

Let Dr. Dave’s Entertain Your Pet

Playing with your dog in the apartment is all well and good, but if you really want to entertain your furry friend, take him to Dr. Dave’s Doggy Daycare, Boarding, and Grooming! Our staff full of pet lovers has extensive experience in the pet care industry, and we understand that your pets deserve the best of everything. If you don’t want your dog to be lonely while you’re away from home, our dog daycare services will provide socialization with other dogs and a staff that will pay special attention to your pet’s needs. If you need to go out of town, we will keep your dog safe and happy, and we have a certified veterinarian available 24/7 in case of health care issues. Does your pet need grooming? We’ll provide your pet with a spa day worthy of royalty. For more information about all the services we offer to pet lovers and their furry family members, call 408-647-2774 in Saratoga, 408-520-4902 in Campbell, or contact us through our website.