Five Handy Indoor Exercises For Dogs

Ideally, you would always be able to take your dog out twice a day for a walk, but of course there are days when things crop up; your son has an accident and needs to go to hospital; the pipes burst and you have to stay in to wait for the plumber; it could be anything.

This is when poor pooch gets the rough end of the stick and has to stay in all day. A mooch round the garden isn’t exactly the space he needs or wants. But even if you are house bound, you can make a difference to your dog’s health and well being by using these five indoor forms of exercise.

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1.       The stairs

Stairs are not just great for the dog stairs are also good for you! We are always being told to use the stairs instead of the elevator after all. The trick here is to be at the top of the stairs and throw a favourite toy down to the dog, then call him and get him to come up the stairs with the toy.

The elevation of the stairs give a new level of difficulty for the dog, next to a regular flat walk, so repeat this process a few times, and you will find your dog will be panting in no time.

2.       The Treadmill

Do not put your dog in Lycra for this one, it’s not a good look! This can be the perfect way to take your dog for a virtual walk, if you have one of these machines – but just don’t rely on it all the time.

Put the dog on the treadmill at the lowest speed and stand in front of it, giving your dog a treat now and then. The leash can be used as an aid to keep him where he has to be, but don’t ever tie a dog to one of these machines.

As the dog gets used to it, you can increase the speed one by one, so long as the animal is comfortable – it’s a good workout for him.

3.       Laser torch

A laser light or a simple torch can be a good aid for exercise, if you happen to be bed bound, or can’t get up. The dog will be intrigued by the light as you shine it from point to point across and room, and will generally try and follow it.

This is not cruel, so long as you make sure not to shine the light into the dog’s eyes. The dog will be using his mental and physical energy on a task like this and still be getting a bit of a run about.

Image by TijsB

4.       Use of food

Hiding small treats (such as dog biscuits) for your dog to root out is another way of keeping him on his toes. Tuck biscuits underneath rugs, behind doors, on top of radiators and other such hiding places.

The dog will be able to sniff them out and will be hunting high and low for the treats. Toy treat dispensers can also be found, and it takes the dog some amount of exertion to work out how to get the treat out. This keeps their brain alert and they won’t suffer from boredom, either.

5.       Tug of War

Quite an easy game to have with your dog, using any old toy or blanket. The dog loves this kind of play, but it does tend to bring out heir “predator” instincts and dogs can sometimes get nasty.

This game therefore requires the owner to have full control over the dogs’ instinct and behaviour, so it requires trust between the owner and the dog. A healthy tug of war should be a playful event, not a show of strength, its exercise and not a competition!

If you have any other ideas for indoor play and exercise, the please let me know.

Louise Blake is an excited first time mum to be, and spends most of her free time nesting and getting the nursery ready! She works as a design account manager and loves all aspects of architecture and home design. She’s a huge animal lover, and when not out taking her dog for nice long walks, she writes blogs for Natural Vet Products.


  1. I’m one of the most people who love dogs. well you can’t blame us of being a pet lovers, because there are some instances that our dogs or pet would really put some smile in our every stressful day. I considered my dogs not just a pet,but as a friend and part of our family. so this article is informational to me, because now I know some of the exercises that I can do with my dog without leaving our house. 😀

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