Next time your dog is bored, break out this list and let the fun begin. We’ve compiled our favorite dog pastimes so that your pup will never be bored again.
1. Hide and seek
This game is easy and fun and is basically a spin-off of the find it command. Simply hide your dog’s favorite treats and toys and let them find it. You can also place one item under several boxes and let them find the right box or try a Snuffle Mat to beat the boredom blues.
2. Upgrade your dog puzzle
You can upgrade your dog puzzles, such as the Kong Wobbler, by placing a tennis ball or other dog toy inside with the treats. The old puzzle toy will instantly become new and provide some entertainment while your dog tries to figure out how to get their toy out. This also works well with HOL-ee Roller ball but they may not be as challenging since the dog can see the toys inside.
3. Make your dog a fleece box
This is a fun game for dogs that like to sniff. Take an old fleece blanket and cut it into strips. The size of the strips will depend on the size of your dog. You’ll then take a dog treat and place it on the end of some strips. Simply roll up all the strips (like toilet paper) then place all the strips into a box and let your dog find the treats.
4. Make the most of your leaf pile
If you have fallen leaves, rake them up then hide toys under the pile. This game does require some extra yard work but your dog will have a blast. Another version of the game is to collect the leaves in a cardboard box then hide the toys inside. Let your dog rummage through them. Some clever dogs will then put their toys back into the box so they can play again.
5. Hide treats inside re-purposed toilet paper rolls
Save up your toilet paper rolls and when you have a collection, hide treats inside then pinch the ends closed. Put the rolls into a cardboard box and let your dog go to town trying to get to the treats inside. You can also use paper towel rolls.
6. Find the sound
Dogs have a great sense of smell and hearing. Instead of hiding treats, hide a blue tooth speaker and have your dog find the sound. You can play a variety of sounds like a cat mewing, a bird chirping, a puppy barking, the possibilities are almost endless.
7. Water bottle pit
Instead of recycling your water bottles, save them up and create a bottle pit. When you’ve saved up a bunch, put treats into the bottles and toss them all into a kiddy pool. Let your dog go crazy trying to get to the treats.
8. Blow bubbles
Some dogs love to chase bubbles all around the yard and this game is fun for all. Simply buy some non-toxic bubbles, take them home, and begin blowing. For dogs that like this game, it provides lots of exercise.
9. Create an obstacle course
You can buy items for your obstacle course but you can also make your own with things you have around the house. You can have your dog jump over a broomstick balanced on two chairs, step through the rungs of a ladder lying on the ground, and weave in and out of small objects from around the house. All it takes is some creativity and imagination.
10. Open boxes
Cats aren’t the only pets that like boxes. Simply place a toy or treat in the box and let your dog open it. You can ratchet up the fun by nestling two or more boxes together and layering treats in between the boxes. If you have a dog that loves to shred, this game is perfect.
11. Turn an old ball into a dog puzzle
Take an old tennis or hollow rubber ball and cut a slice into it. Put some dog treats into the ball and you have an instant, exciting dog puzzle. Ball loving dogs get super delighted over this game.
12. Re-purpose old jeans into a dog toy
Denim is durable and doesn’t tend to shred like rope can so it can make a durable toy for most dogs. Simply cut into strips and tie a knot in the middle to make a tug toy, or make a pocket puzzle to hide a ball or treat in. If you like to sew, you can even make stuffies with a ball hidden inside.
13. Go somewhere new
Change up your routine by going somewhere new. A new park, a walk in a different neighborhood, or even taking a different route is stimulating and exciting for your dog. Try taking a drive in the country to sniff the cows, or into the city with all the busy sights and sounds. The key is to give your dog a new experience.
14. Play a new game
Instead of playing your usual game, try something new. A flirt pole, Frisbee/disc instead of a ball, or soccer are all activities that dogs love and most dogs have not tried them all. Your dog will thank you for the change of pace.
15. Outdoor treasure hunt
Hiding treasures outdoors adds an element of challenge because there are more distractions. Try hiding some special treats around your yard and ask your dog to find them. You may need to lead your dog for the first time or two but soon enough they will have the idea and love using their nose to find the hidden prizes.
16. Make a digging box
If you have a dog that loves to dig you can make your own digging box. Simply make a sandbox or use a kiddy pool filled with sand. Hide your dog’s favorite toys and let them dig for it. Your dog might like their digging box so much they begin hiding their own toys in it.
17. Water games
If your dog loves water, there are plenty of activities you can do. Play in a kiddy pool, visit a dog park with a swimming pool, play in the sprinklers or hose, go to the beach, or take your dog swimming. You can add an element of fun by bringing floatie toys.
All these are great ideas but the most important part of boredom busting is spending time with your dog. It really doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it together and it’s something that y