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5 Tips for Exercising Your Service Dog Inside The Home During Inclement Weather Or Health Challenges

These last couple of weeks have been extremely difficult to manage our pack here at the Service Dog Academy due to inclement weather from excessive heat, poor air quality due to the Canadian Wildfires and my own health challenges. Here is an article I wrote about how to keep your dog active while you are dealing with issues you may encounter.

Keeping our dogs active and engaged is essential for their physical and mental well-being. While outdoor activities like walks and trips to the park are important, there are times when we need to exercise our dogs indoors. Whether it’s due to inclement weather, limited outdoor space, or a busy schedule, exercising your dog at home is a great way to ensure they get the physical activity they need. Here are five tips to help you exercise your dog inside the home.

  1. Create an Indoor Agility Course: Transform your living room or hallway into an exciting indoor agility course. Use everyday objects like cushions, chairs, and hula hoops to create tunnels, jumps, and weave poles. Guide your dog through the course using treats and positive reinforcement. This not only provides physical exercise but also stimulates their problem-solving skills and enhances their coordination.
  2. Play Interactive Games: Engage your dog’s mind and body by playing interactive games. Hide treats around the house and encourage your dog to sniff them out. This taps into their natural instincts and keeps them mentally stimulated. You can also play games like “find the toy” or “tug of war” to provide a physical workout while strengthening the bond between you and your furry friend.
  3. Use Puzzle Toys: Invest in puzzle toys that challenge your dog’s problem-solving abilities and keep them mentally engaged. These toys usually involve hiding treats inside compartments or requiring the dog to solve a puzzle to access the treat. By working to obtain their reward, your dog will be occupied and mentally stimulated, helping to prevent boredom and excess energy.
  4. Indoor Fetch: Playing fetch is a classic game that can be easily adapted for indoor play. Choose a soft toy or a lightweight ball suitable for indoor use. Clear a safe area, such as a long hallway or a spacious room, and engage your dog in a game of fetch. Start with short distances and gradually increase the length as your dog becomes more comfortable. This game provides a great physical workout and allows your dog to release excess energy.
  5. Indoor Treadmill or Dog Wheel: If you have a treadmill or a dog wheel, it can be a fantastic tool for indoor exercise. Introduce your dog to the equipment gradually, using positive reinforcement and treats. Start at a slow pace, allowing your dog to get used to the movement. Be sure to supervise them during the exercise session. Using a treadmill or a dog wheel can be an effective way to provide cardiovascular exercise, especially for high-energy breeds or dogs with limited mobility.

Exercising your dog inside the home is not only convenient but also necessary during certain situations. By incorporating these tips into your routine, you can ensure that your furry friend receives the exercise and mental stimulation they need to stay healthy and happy. Remember to tailor the activities to your dog’s size, age, and energy level, and always prioritize their safety and well-being. With a little creativity and effort, you can provide a fulfilling indoor exercise experience for your beloved pet.


Atlas is a 6 months old trained Migraine alert dog. She is a Labradoodle from Riva’s first Imprinted Puppy Puppy Litter. She alerts to her mothers migraines as well as those of her human children.Find out how you can get a puppy like her to train for you or your child.