Rainy Day Activities

Dogs need stimulation – rain or shine. They don’t have computers, video games or books to read on those rainy days when they can’t go outside to play.

Here are some tips for keeping your dog active and happy…and out of mischief!…on days when he is stuck inside.

Doggy Day Care/Playtime

Canine socials and doggie daycare provide great opportunities for your dog to socialize with other canines and release energy!

Pittsburgh resources:

  • Animal Friends’ canine socials
  • Camp Bow Wow
  • Lucky Paws:
  • K9 Kingdom:
  • The Dog Stop:
  • Misty Pines Dog Park:
  • Bow Wow Doggie Daycare:

Hide-and-Seek—with Food!

This game relies on your dog’s olfactory skills to find treats!

  • Begin by placing a small piece of your dog’s favorite treat in front of your dog and saying the cue, “Find it!”
  • Continue to give your dog the treat, but hold it further away from each time, following with the words, “Find it” every time.
  • As you progress in the game, you can hide the treat in different areas and point your dog into the right direction with the words “Find it.”

Behavior Practice

Work on basic training cues by using small treats. Good communication with your dog is the root to a strong relationship! Work on the following:

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Down
  • Come


Some dogs love running on treadmills! This can be a great way to exercise your dog inside.

  • A treadmill can be scary for a dog at first. Don’t expect him to know how to use it immediately. Help your dog become familiar with its movement by placing treats on the treadmill while it is powered off. Repeat this for a few days, then gradually work up to inviting your dog to take treats off the treadmill while it is moving slowly.
  • After your dog readily takes treats from the treadmill, you can begin to use it for exercise!
  • Make sure your dog is wearing a leash. Lead him forward on the treadmill with treats as you turn it on at a slow speed.
  • Don’t be discouraged if your canine is unsure or frightened the first time. Continue to help him associate the treadmill with good things such as toys or treats.
  • Once your canine is comfortable on the treadmill at a low speed and climbs on willingly, you can work on gradually increasing the speed.
  • Make sure to never tie your dog to the treadmill and leave the room. ALWAYS be there to supervise and make sure your dog is enjoying his run!

Kongs and other Chew Toys

Chew toy training teaches dogs what is appropriate to chew. In time, you can help your dog develop a preference for rubber chew toys over other household items. Chew toy training can also help keep a dog calm, quiet and preoccupied. For example, eating food from a Kong is a wonderful project for a dog that alleviates boredom and helps to pass the time.

Here is a recipe for Kong filling:

  • Soak dry kibble in water (or chicken broth) until it becomes spongy.
  • Add something tasty to the mix, like canned food, peanut butter or honey.
  • Stuff a small piece of something special, like freeze dried liver, cheese oe hot dog into the small hole at the smaller end of the Kong.
  • Fill the Kong with the soaked kibble and press it in tightly.
  • Cap it off with a tablespoon of canned food or peanut butter.
  • Refrigerate or freeze until it is time to serve!

Playing Fetch

If you have space, engage your dog in a game of fetch in the basement or hallway.


Take advantage of a rainy day just to brush your animal. It is a wonderful bonding tool and it also helps reduce dander, which can minimize allergens in the home.


Some animals respond well to watching other animals on TV. Go ahead, turn on Animal Planet or Finding Nemo and see what your canine thinks!