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BARKS AND MUSINGS

A Trupanion blog

Five Tips on How to Play with a Puppy Indoors

Kelli Rascoe | April 16, 2020

A brown and white dog carrying a toy through the house

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

A small brown and white puppy sitting in a ball-pit

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 its 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

For more on puppy care, check out this pet enrichment video here.

A Border Collie dog chews on a tennis ball

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.

For more puppy ticks and tricks delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for our New Puppy Newsletter here!

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A WORD FROM TRUPANION

Welcome to the Trupanion blog. A place to celebrate pets, pet health and medical insurance for cats and dogs.

This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Trupanion. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.