Every dog owner knows how important exercise is for their furry friend. It has a positive impact on both their physical and mental health. Just like these little bundles of joy have on us. That’s why it’s crucial to take them outside and play with them as much as possible. However, it’s not always possible to go on outside adventures, so we need to entertain our pups at home.
If you have a house with a backyard, the solution is simple. On the other hand, if you live in an apartment, your space is limited, and you have to be more creative. But don’t despair! Just because you have a bigger challenge, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Believe it or not, there is a ton of awesome apartment-friendly exercises to try with your dog. And in today’s article, we’re going to talk about our favorite ones. So, let’s scroll!
Play an Indoor Fetch
We all know how our dogs get excited when they hear the word ‘fetch’. Besides ‘snack’ and ‘snuggle’, this is their favorite word. And game! Yes, this is an outdoor game that requires some space. However, it can become one of the apartment-friendly exercises to try with your dog. What great news, right?
All you need for a fun game of indoor fetch is a clear hallway or a vast room. If you live in a two-story apartment, the stairways can work as “Fetching ground” as well. If you live in a building full of stairs, you can also use them for this exciting game. Just make sure your neighbors are okay with it.
This indoor version of their favorite game is excellent for exercising their motor skills. It will tire them well for sure. And this is what every pup needs. It is a fantastic way to make your dog happy and healthy!
Oh, and don’t forget to store the fetch balls safely in between the games. Every time your dog sees the fetch ball, he’ll want to play, and you won’t be able to do it. So, to avoid unpleasant situations, keep them somewhere safe in the meantime.
Are You Down for Some Hide and Seek?
Everybody loves a good game of Hide and Seek. Even though it’s a ‘human’ game, you can turn it into indoor fun for you and your furry friend. And God knows how much our pups love playing games. Oh, and don’t worry – teaching your dog the rules is simpler than you think. Here is what you’ll do:
- Find a good “Home Base”: this can be any place in the apartment, and we recommend your dog’s bed. This is where you’ll command your dog to sit or stay.
- Go hide: find a place in the apartment where you’ll hide. To encourage your pup, in the beginning, choose a spot it can easily find.
- Call your pup to find you: once you settle in your hiding spot, give your dog a command such as “come” or “ready” to come and find you.
- Praise and treats: when your furry friend finds you, praise them and give them a delicious treat. It’s well deserved! Additionally, this will encourage them to continue playing.
This game is not only an excellent physical activity, but it’s also a great mental exercise. It will improve your dog’s listening and problem-solving skills. And to be honest, it’s a great trip down memory lane for you. This kind of game playing with your dog is therapeutic for you as well.
What About “Hide the Treat”?
The game of Hide the Treat is similar to Hide and Seek, but instead of you, your pooch will have to find delicious treats. Sounds good? We certainly think so! So, how will you train your dog to play this exciting game?
Playing this game is extremely easy. First things first, get your dog’s sniff buds excited by showing it a few treats in your hand. Then, give your pup a command to sit while you go and hide these treats somewhere in the apartment or use a snuffle mat during meal times. Make sure your dog can easily reach this place. Once you hide them, tell your pup to start looking for them. If they struggle, make sure to give them a hint. And of course, praise them when they find the treats!
Hide the Treat is a game that will sharpen your dog’s olfactory senses. If you do it enough times, your dog might even learn how to count! Exciting, right? So, make sure to put it on your list of apartment-friendly exercises to try with your dog.
Let Your Pup Be Your Treadmill Buddy
Having a treadmill at home can be good for both you and your dog. This kind of exercise can be highly beneficial to your pup’s motor skills. Additionally, it’s an excellent alternative for running around the park. And don’t worry – it’s not dangerous, and your dog will love it! Here are the learning steps:
- Let your dog watch you while you walk on the treadmill. Talk to your pup while you do it and pass some excitement onto it to boost the energy.
- Turn off your treadmill and put your dog on it. Give it a pep talk to make it comfortable standing on it.
- Once you dog gets comfortable standing on it, turn on the machine and choose the lowest speed possible so your dog can get used to the movement.
- As your dog feels more comfortable on the treadmill, gradually start increasing the speed.
Of course, don’t allow your dog on the treadmill if you’re not there to supervise. Also, be patient. Some dogs take more time to get accustomed to this kind of exercise. But once they do, they’ll love it! And just like that, you’ll have a workout buddy of the dreams!
Don’t Play Gold Tug of War!
Besides fetch, another one of the old-fashioned apartment-friendly exercises to try with your dog is Tug of War between pups. This all-time favorite game is excellent for muscle and core strengthening but should only be played between two dogs. Additionally, it’s a great way to fill a time on a rainy day when you can’t go outside.
So, invite your pup’s favorite dog friend over and let the tug of war party begin! Make sure to always be in control, so your dog releases whenever you want them to. This game can become a little ruff (pun intended), so don’t forget to clear the space first. You don’t want broken lamps, right? This way, you’ll both sleep better that night!
Play the Fun Game of “Jump the Leg”
Another fun apartment-friendly exercise to try with your dog is “Jump the Leg”. How do you play it? Simple! Sit down, push your leg against the wall (or couch), and start tossing treats on both sides. This will make your dog start jumping over your leg every time you throw the treat. As menial as this may sound, the continuous back-and-forth bouncing will make your furry friend tired in no time. It’s a great way for your pup to let of some steam and be rewarded for it. What’s better than that, right?
Oh, and make sure to play this fun game on a traction-friendly surface. This way, you’ll prevent any unwanted accidents. Additionally, make sure you have enough space for your playful friend. You may even have to resort to some furniture removal. Dogs can easily get too excited and start running and jumping around like crazy. So, declutter the place first and then start playing. After all, with a dog in an apartment, you will have to get rid of some furniture anyway. You can’t have a furry friend and a cluttered apartment.
Schedule Play Dates
Every dog likes to play with its furry friends. This is not only fun for them, but it’s also necessary. Interacting with other dogs is exceptionally healthy. That’s why it’s so important to take them to dog parks as much as possible. However, when the weather or other circumstances don’t allow that, you should schedule dog playdates. Invite over your pup’s favorite buddy from the park and let them play inside. You can even make them an obstacle course. It will be fun for them to do and for you to watch. Oh, and don’t forget about the dog’s owner – you’ll make a new friend as well!
Find a friend for your pup and schedule them fun playdates.
To sum up…
As you can see, there are a lot of fun apartment-friendly exercises to try with your dog. They are all great alternatives for their outdoor adventures. Some are even more beneficial for the development of their mental skills. And some are even more tiring than just running around the park.
Therefore, don’t despair about the limited space in your apartment and not having a backyard. You have so many indoor options. So, test your pup and see which games it likes the most. Then, make a daily routine of it and watch your snuggle buddy thrive in the apartment. You’ll have one happy and tired pup sooner than you think!
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