Keeping Your Dog Cool with Indoor Games

by | Dog Care |

Summers in Ontario are known for being very hot and very humid, making a few minutes outside feel like much longer. While the best time to walk your pup is in the early morning and in the evening when temperatures are cooler, that doesn’t mean you and your dog can’t have fun in between! There are lots of indoor games, both store-bought and homemade, that you can play inside the house to keep your dog physically and mentally stimulated this summer.


dog on treadmill
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Just because your dog can’t run outside, doesn’t mean he can’t burn off some energy indoors. When introducing your dog to a treadmill, remember to take it very slow, be patient, and always keep a close eye on your dog. The treadmill is a great source of exercise once in a while, but shouldn’t completely replace your pet’s outdoor walks.

The Find It Game

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The Find It Game is a classic. Show your pet its favourite toy or a tasty treat, then say “find it!” and toss it somewhere on the ground. Challenge your dog by throwing it slightly further each time, or play a variation where you ask your dog to stay, then hide the prize somewhere in the room or toss it in another room. Release your dog from the stay command and let the game begin!

Hide and seek

dog hide and seek
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Playing hide and seek with your dog is a great way to review the sit, stay, and come commands. Ask your dog to sit and stay in one room while you hide in another room. When you’re ready, ask your dog to come and reward your successful dog with either praise or a treat.

Arrange a doggie play date 

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Games are more fun when they’re shared with others! Why not invite one of your dog’s pals over for a play date? Then the next time, you can have the play date at the other pup’s house.

Interactive toys

interactive dog toy
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There are lots of store bought games and interactive toys where dogs have to move around pieces to try and find the hidden treats. These toys not only keep your pet busy, but you’ll be helping to stimulate your dog’s mental activity.

Muffin Tin Game

Muffin tin game
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The muffin tin game proves that some games just need a little creativity and some household items. Take a muffin tin, or an empty coffee cup tray, place a few treats in the cups, and cover some of the treats with tennis balls. Your dog will then start to uncover the treats one-by-one by pushing the tennis balls out of the way. You can make the game increasingly harder by placing treats under only some of the tennis balls and using a larger muffin tin.

If you’re stumped at what games your dog would most enjoy, you could start by assessing its breed. Dogs like retrievers tend to like fetching games like “find it,” while most hounds enjoy sniffing games like the muffin tin game.

For more indoor game ideas for dogs, check out this episode of our Animal’s Voice Pawdcast!