Indoor Enrichment for Dogs: 5 Fun Games to Engage Your Pet

by Jamie Tedder on Mar 25, 2024


Dogs are social, intelligent, and active animals. As pet owners, we aim to provide them with a happy, healthy, and well-rounded lifestyle, and that involves creating a safe environment and varied opportunities to exercise their bodies and stimulate their minds.

So, What is Dog Enrichment & What are the Benefits?

A dog enrichment activity is any engaging experience that provides mental and physical stimulation for dogs. These activities should satisfy their instincts and needs, such as exploring, foraging, and playing. Additionally, it should help activate their brains and sharpen their problem-solving skills.

Overall, the goal of enrichment is to keep your dog mentally engaged, boost their overall well-being, and reduce the stress and anxiety associated with a lack of stimulation. It should also keep them from engaging in destructive and undesirable behaviors common in understimulated or bored dogs—excessive barking, digging, scratching, chewing, and howling.

Indoor Enrichment Activities to Do with Your Canine Companion

Taking your furry friend for regular walks provides both physical and mental stimulation. Besides helping your dog maintain a healthy weight, strengthen muscles, and improve heart health, the sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors engage their senses, providing mental enrichment. Dog parks also offer opportunities for socialization with other dogs and meeting new friends.

However, there are times when going outdoors for a walk is less than practical. This could be due to weather conditions, physical injury, or illness. Plus, your dog may also benefit from some variation in their routine. In such cases, consider these enrichment activities to keep your dog active and entertained indoors.


Treat Puzzle Toys

Puzzle toys provide mental stimulation and use dog treats as a reward, making them an excellent way to keep your dog engaged and burn off excess energy. Food-based enrichment options, such as using a lick mat or a treat dispenser like a treat tumbler, are great starting points to keep your dog entertained and mentally stimulated.

Ball Pits

Creating a ball pit indoors can be a fun way to engage your dog's nose work and digging skills. You can easily set one up using cardboard boxes or a kiddie pool filled with plastic or tennis balls if you prefer something more durable. Adding treats to the mix can make it a fun egg hunt activity for your dog, too. If you don't mind a bit of mess, swap the balls with sand for a better digging experience.


Playing hide-and-seek with furry friends is always a great idea, providing a way to have fun and bond with them. There are two ways to play: you can hide, and your dog finds you, or you can hide a toy, and your dog finds it. Teaching your dog basic commands like "sit" and "stay" is essential for the game. This allows you to hide, and your dog can search for you or the toy. You can also teach your dog specific search commands like "find me" or "find it" to make the game more interactive. As your dog gets the hang of it, you can increase the difficulty by hiding their favorite plush toys in more challenging spots or increasing the distance you hide from your dog.


Teach New Tricks

Spending time indoors can be a fantastic opportunity to teach your dog new commands or fun tricks like "shake hands" or "rollover" and provide mental stimulation. Even better, you can teach your dog to "go potty" in a designated area indoors, such as a grass pee pad for dogs. Gotta Go Grass® potty pads for dogs provide a convenient indoor bathroom area, which can prove useful in apartments or during rainy days.

Consider enrolling them in obedience training classes, which not only help with learning commands but are also a great way to socialize with other pups. Practicing what you learn during classes at home, especially on rainy days, can reinforce these skills and strengthen your bond with your four-legged friend.

Dog-Friendly Obstacle Courses

When a trip to the dog park isn't an option, you can still engage your dog with a challenging indoor activity and provide both physical and mental stimulation. You can easily set up an obstacle course with items readily available in your home: buckets for weaving around or a broom for a makeshift jump, similar to agility course jump bars. You can also roll towels and line them up to create a ladder exercise.

Your obstacle course doesn't have to be complex. Consider your dog's abilities and get creative in switching things up to keep it interesting. It's a fun game that allows you to spend quality time with your dog, providing a few hours of entertainment for both of you.



Taking a few minutes out of your day to play with your dog can be incredibly rewarding. Besides strengthening your bond, it can also serve as a break from your everyday responsibilities.

The possibilities are endless. As you engage in these enrichment activities, you'll discover more about what interests your dog and how you can tailor its experience. What matters is that you ensure the activities are safe and enjoyable for both you and your furry friend, considering their skill level. Remember, safety is paramount, so always supervise your dog.

Do you have more ideas to share? Feel free to leave a comment!

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