While you continue to quarantine with your pets, you may find you’re running out of activities for your furry friends. Just because you’re stuck indoors, doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity for your puppy to learn! Naturally, your puppy may need more interaction to keep them busy. Because of this, we wanted to provide a resource on how to play with a puppy indoors.
Whether you’re a new puppy owner or have an adult dog, playtime and interaction are beneficial for everyone. Read on to learn more about how to play with a puppy indoors and tips to encourage safe puppy interaction with Trupanion pet program manager J. Marmol.
How to play with your puppy at home
Five tips for safe puppy play
1. Always supervise playtime
Puppies are curious and may get excited to play. An overly excited puppy may accidentally nip during playtime. Always make sure to monitor your puppy, especially if you have other pets and kids at home.
2. Puppy-proof your home
For the safety of your best friend be sure to puppy-proof your house. Be mindful of small objects that could easily be missed, like medication. Also, consider properly storing items like cleaning supplies, wires, food and trash. Naturally, you don’t want your pet to get into something they shouldn’t.
3. Provide age-appropriate toys and treats
If you have other pets in your house, you may be tempted to let your puppy play with their toys. Although pet interaction with toys is encouraged, it’s important to be mindful of your puppy’s needs. Consider offering age-appropriate toys and treats to help with their development. For instance, puppy chew toys may help provide stimulation and curb behavior cues.
4. Know your puppy’s limits
Your puppy is full of energy so it may be hard to tell when they need to rest. A balanced puppy is a happy puppy. Essentially, this means you should provide proper nutrition, exercise, play and rest on a daily basis. Take into consideration your puppy’s age and breed, and give them time to recharge.
5. Be mindful of your puppy’s surroundings
With everyone home, your puppy may not have the space they normally do. While family time is essential, make sure your puppy has a pet-friendly area where they can rest. Also, be mindful of your puppy’s body language, they may be trying to communicate they need space.
The importance of playtime and interaction
Your puppy grows so quickly. Needless to say, you don’t want to miss out on all those puppy firsts! In fact, “since you may have more time at home, it’s a great opportunity to take the time to bond and interact with your puppy. Playtime is a fun and exciting time for everyone involved, it may relieve stress, pent up energy, and lessen anxiety,” says Marmol.
Consider incorporating small play sessions throughout the day. It gives you and your best friend a chance to bond and play more frequently.
The benefits of enrichment and exercise for puppies
Stimulation is a great way to enrich your puppy’s day. Also, “exercise and play may help keep everyone healthy. But it’s also a beneficial time to solidify your bond with your pup and work on skills. The best way to learn is through play, especially with a puppy,” states Marmol.
Consider including some of your puppy’s favorite exercises like fetch, ball or hide and seek throughout the day. This may help with focus and keep your pet entertained while they exercise.
Each puppy is different and has their own preferences, so take the time to personalize the experience for your furry friend.
Indoor games you can play with puppies
Activities may help add variety to your pet’s day. Also, indoor games can help with stimulation and training opportunities. Marmol adds, “puppies are eager to learn and explore, they get excited about everything, use it to your advantage!” Games can help add enrichment to your pet’s day.
Consider the following:
- Indoor scavenger hunt
- Agility course
- Snuffle mat
- Puzzle feeder
- Basic training commands, like “find it” or “leave it”
- Basic training, like crate training or leash training
Enjoy a new learning and bonding experience when you play with your puppy at home
While you’re at home take the opportunity to take a break and play with your puppy. By incorporating enrichment, games and basic training you’re both learning together. This may help your bond and create a new experience for the entire family.
How do you play with your puppy indoors?