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How to Keep a Dog Entertained in the Yard: 10 Vet-Approved Ideas

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 20, 2024 by Dogster Team

german shepherd dogs resting in the yard

How to Keep a Dog Entertained in the Yard: 10 Vet-Approved Ideas


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Many times, dog owners need to let their dogs out for a few hours in the backyard, but how do you keep them entertained while they’re out there? You can throw them a tennis ball, but maybe they always chew on that thing and they’re getting bored of it. Or maybe you let them out while you’re away from the house, and your dog needs a way to entertain themself. There are a few other options you can choose from that provide your dog the interactive, fun experience they seek out all day.  Continue reading to learn what they are.


Top 10 Ways to Keep a Dog Entertained in the Yard

1. Interactive Ball with Noise

A great toy to keep your dog entertained on their own is a ball that contains a squeaky toy inside. A regular ball will always be a favorite for dogs, but one that makes either a ringing, a squeak, or another kind of noise from the inside will have your dog playing with it for hours. Dogs get excited and curious and will try to dig into the middle of that toy until they’re pooped out.

Schapendoes Dutch Sheepdog playing with ball
Image Credit: Vanitytheone, Shutterstock

2. Doggy Pool

Dogs love water and giving them their own pool to play in is a great option for entertaining themselves. Especially when it’s warm outside, your dog will love splashing around in cool water. It will get them playing and cool them down at the same time. You can even add to their fun by throwing in a chew toy or other water toy to keep them occupied. Be careful to get a pool that can withstand the size and weight of your dog – you don’t want to end up having to buy another one!

3. Durable Chew Toy

An easy, go-to option to keep your dog entertained on their own in the backyard would be to get them a long-lasting and durable chew toy. Get something that is durable and can withstand all weather conditions. When it’s wintertime, you want a rubber-based toy that can be out in the snow with your dog as well. An added benefit would be a dog toy that is easy to find when you need to run out in the rain to clean up!

Dog chewing toy_Chewy_Unsplash
Image Credit: Chewy, Unsplash

4. Puzzle Toys

There are several puzzle-type toys on the market for dogs. This can include toys that have different-sized openings in the toy that your dog needs to get to. You can put a treat inside a toy with sliding blocks they have to move around to increase their fun. These puzzles are usually great for your dog’s brain and for keeping them active. They can even be ones that have a scent in the middle of a contraption that requires them to paw around.

5. Toy Hanging Off of a Tree or Fence

If you have a large tree or another type of hanging structure in your backyard, a great option for your dog to have some fun is to hang a chew toy from it. For example, you might have a tall tree with a strong enough branch or two hanging down. Grab one of your dog’s toys, some rope, and attach a toy to the end of it. Just make sure it’s low enough for your dog to jump up and reach it, and check for anything unsafe around it to keep your dog safe.

male boxer dog playing
Image Credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock

6. Frisbee

The classic frisbee game is a good game for your dog. This is a relatively low choice for playing with your dog in the backyard when you don’t want to get up too many times. There are specific frisbees for dogs that are durable, easy to rinse off, and gentle on their teeth. They love chasing after something and will get obsessed with bringing it back to you repeatedly. Of course, we don’t have to remind dog parents of that!

7. Treat-dispensing Toys

Give your dog some positive reinforcement when it comes to playing with a toy. Choose something that has an inner part to it, like a Kong. These toys are usually made with a material that’s tough and durable on the outside. They have openings on either end where you can throw in your dog’s favorite treat. Dogs love trying to get their noses or tongues inside it enough to get a treat. It’s a good way to reward them for playing and keep them active.

Cute vizsla puppy playing with teeth cleaning chew toy for dogs
Image Credit: ABO PHOTOGRAPHY, Shutterstock

8. Toy at the End of a Stick

A great option for dog owners who are having a lounge day or don’t feel like running too much is the stick toy design. This resembles a cat wand in the sense that it’s a dog toy hanging off the end of a long stick. This can be used for dogs too because if it’s moving around and they are interested in catching the toy, then you have one happy puppy! Just make sure the stick is durable enough that it won’t snap.

9. Tunnels or Seesaws

Bring out your inner dog trainer by getting your dog to play with those tunnels or platforms you see at dog competitions. They are relatively cheaper options for dog toys, and they give your dog the experience of playing. These tunnels are meant for animals to run through at their convenience, so they are made of tarp-like material and will hold up very well. There are other platforms they can play with, or jump on and off, like a moving seesaw that will get their activity level up as well.

Dog running through playing tunnel
Image Credit: `Pexels

10. Remote-operated Toys

If you have a dog that just has too much energy and you’re not up for it, try a remote-operated toy. These toys can zip around a flat terrain via remote control. You can buy a wide assortment of different motorized toys for your dogs. They can be anything from a remote-controlled car, a motorized line that zips across the ground, or a ball that moves with your control. Try out a tennis ball shooter that spits out tennis balls for your dog with the click of a button.


Give Your Dogs Some Backyard Fun

Whether you use a regular tennis ball or frisbee, or you decide to go big and get a speed tunnel for your dog, there are several ways to keep your dog entertained in the backyard. Whether your dog loves to splash around in the summer, or they like frolicking around with their favorite chew toy in the snow, there are many options for them to choose from.

Hopefully, these choices for backyard dog toys will give you plenty of options to pick from and will keep your furry friend entertained all day long.

Featured Image Credit: Ivor Ilic, Pixabay

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