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Rainy Day Activities for Dogs: 17 Fun Ideas

Written by: Matt Jackson

Last Updated on June 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

yorkshire terrier dog looking out the window

Rainy Day Activities for Dogs: 17 Fun Ideas

Some dogs love nothing more than getting wet and soggy. Others will hide under the table to avoid the slightest of showers. But, if you aren’t taking your dog out on rainy days, they still need to get the exercise and mental stimulation they would normally enjoy. It can be more challenging to provide the stimulation your dog needs when it’s wet out, but it certainly isn’t impossible.

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with your dog on a rainy day, we have curated 17 ideas to keep you and your pup entertained, and you can read them all below.

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The 17 Rainy Day Activities For Dogs

1. Obedience Training

dog-during-obedience-training
Image Credit: Jaromir-Chalabala, Shutterstock

A dog is never too young, too old, or too bored to be trained. And if you’re stuck indoors without the opportunity to get outside and burn off some energy, it is a great opportunity to put in some work on your basic commands. Ideally, you should put aside some time every day to work on training, even if it is only a few minutes.

Not only do commands like sit, stay, and down make life with your dog easier, but the actual act of training offers mental stimulation. Your dog has to concentrate to determine what you want and then react to the commands. Spend the hour you would have been out walking learning a new command or mastering old ones.


2. Go to Puppy Classes

canines being trained in an indoor puppy class
Image Credit: Svitlana Hulko, Shutterstock

If you can convince your dog to get out of the house for a few minutes, you should be able to find a puppy class or some other class you can go to. Puppy classes are a great opportunity for your dog to socialize because they will meet other dogs, be around people, and they will learn some of those essential basic commands.

Alternatively, agility classes or flyball competitions are also great ways to burn off energy and they usually take place indoors.


3. Visit Dog-Friendly Places

akita inu at restaurant giving paw to woman
Image Credit: GaudiLab, Shutterstock

While some venues prohibit dogs, there are a lot of cafes, bars, and other venues that welcome dogs. You will still have to venture out in the rain, but it will be enriching for both of you and it will help whittle away an hour or two of your day.


4. Socialization

Three cute Pomeranian puppy dogs playing on the floor at home
Image Credit: Stefan foto video, Shutterstock

Walks provide physical exercise and mental stimulation for dogs, but they also offer an opportunity for socialization. Your pup will meet and greet other dogs and come into contact with people. If you can’t get out, your dog doesn’t have to miss out completely.

Arrange a playdate with dogs you’ve met at puppy classes or invite friends over and have them bring their dogs. Not only do they get to work on their social skills, but a play date will help tire both dogs out, and you can chat over a cup of coffee.


5. Upcycle and Make New Toys

corgi Cute Dog Sitting Near the Big Boxes
Image Credit: Alex_Maryna, Shutterstock

Grab cardboard boxes, old newspapers, and other items that are ready for the trash, and turn them into makeshift toys. Dogs aren’t as inquisitive as cats, and most aren’t as obsessed with climbing inside things, but if you get down and play with the “toys” with your dog, it will encourage them to take part.

You’ll both have fun, and you don’t have to spend a fortune on new toys. You can even use these items to set up agility courses or to start training your dog in dog parkour.


6. Indoor Fetch

Dog playing fetch indoors
Image Credit: Przemek Iciak, Shutterstock

In the same way some dogs love water and others hate it, some dogs love nothing more than chasing a ball or toy around a field or even the garden. But, if you can’t get outside to play, that doesn’t mean your dog can’t still enjoy a good game of fetch. Use a soft toy and be sure not to throw the toy too hard or too far.

You can always mix it up by throwing it through the door and into another room. You can also get balls with unpredictable shapes that make it difficult for your dog to determine where it will land. And you can try training the “stay” command before throwing the ball to add an extra layer of difficulty.


7. Indoor Tug

woman playing tug of war toy with dog
Image Credit: Hero Images Inc, Shutterstock

Grab your dog’s favorite tug toy and start playing. Tug can be a challenging game if you try playing on a laminate floor or another slippery surface, though, so find a rug or carpeted area. Alternatively, let your dog on the couch where they can get a good purchase to really pull at the toy.


8. Offer Treat Toys and Puzzle Toys

Corgi dog bent over interactive educational puzzle toy
Image Credit: Masarik, Shutterstock

You don’t have to spend every minute of the day entertaining your dog, even when it’s raining. Certain types of toys let your dog entertain themselves. Treat dispensing toys require your dog to roll them around or perform some other action so they dispense the treats.

Puzzle toys can be even more complex and might need your dog to press certain levers or pull tiles to figure them out. A good puzzle toy can keep your dog entertained for hours.


9. Hide and Seek

Corgi dog hiding under the bed
Image Credit: Alexander_Evgenyevich, Shutterstock

Hide and seek is a popular pastime with dogs that have strong senses of smell, but most dogs will enjoy the game if there is a treat reward waiting at the end. Show the dog the treat and then hide it somewhere obvious when you first play. Next time, move it slightly further away and make it more challenging.

Eventually, you will be able to hide it in a completely different room and have your dog seek it out. Alternatively, have somebody restrain the dog while you go and hide yourself before calling out and having them come find you.


10. Play the Cup Game

Dog playing shell game with her human
Image Credit: Aleksey Boyko, Shutterstock

An extension of hide and seek is the cup game. You need three cups and one dog treat. Let your dog watch you place the treat under one of the cups and then mix the cups around before letting your dog find the treat.


11. Set Up an Indoor Agility Course

shetland sheepdog and indoor agility course
Image Credit: Nehris, Shutterstock

Use cardboard boxes, dog toys, and anything else you can lay your hands on to make an indoor agility course or obstacle course.

If your dog has never done agility, start with a single obstacle and use treats to encourage positive completion of the obstacle. As they progress, you can add extra obstacles and turn it into a full course. This can be good training for agility classes or dog parkour, but it is also just a fun game to pass the time.


12. Set Up an Indoor Digging Box

happy French bulldog inside the box
Image Credit: Rawpixel.com, Shutterstock

Some dogs like to get outside so they can dig, and if the weather is preventing this behavior, there are indoor alternatives. Use a cardboard box and fill it with rolled-up paper. Put treats under the paper and let your dog get to them. You can also get digging mats and digging boxes designed for this very purpose.


13. Encourage Calm Window Watching

jack russell terrier dog looking at the window
Image Credit: thka, Shutterstock

Some dogs will watch the action unfold on TV screens, but most are largely indifferent to what is happening on the silver screen. But doggy TV is different. Doggy TV is your window and it’s a great source of amusement to some dogs. Have treats on hand, and when your dog sits and calmly watches what is going on outside, give them treats to reinforce the calm behavior.


14. Play “Keep Away”

border collie dog holding toy ball in mouth
Image Credit: Julia Zavalishina, Shutterstock

Keep away is a popular game between kids and involves two people throwing or kicking a ball between themselves while a third person tries to get that ball. If you have the personnel, you can play a version of this game in your home, trying to keep the ball away from your dog instead of another person.


15. Play

young woman with her dog playing with ball at home
Image Credit: Josep Suria, Shutterstock

Whatever your dog’s favorite game is, take some to play it. Whether it’s chasing a rolled-up pair of socks around the room or chewing on a rubber bone, get involved.


16. Bathtime

little dog getting a bath
Image Credit: UfaBizPhoto, Shutterstock

If you’re stuck indoors, it could be a good opportunity to get some of those dog-owning chores done that you usually put off. Give your dog their daily brush, clean their teeth, and, if needed, bathe them.


17. Brave the Weather

man with dog on leash running on a rainy day
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

Unless there’s a physical reason not to, or the weather is cold as well as wet, you can still put the leash on and head outdoors for a walk. Choose areas that offer some protection from the elements or make sure you both have your most protective raincoats on.

A bit of rain won’t harm most dogs, and you might find that your pup actually enjoys getting in the puddle once they’re out of the house.

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How Long Should Dogs Be Out in the Rain?

You shouldn’t leave your dog out in the rain all day, but most dogs can handle a bit of rain for a short period. Try to avoid being out for much longer than half an hour if the weather is okay.

Dogs need regular exercise, and walks are a great way to provide physical exercise, mental stimulation, and socialization. Ideally, you should still walk your dog in the rain, but you may need to invest in a dog coat if the weather is especially bad or your dog is very reluctant to head out.

Dogs can’t get ill from being out in the rain, but their coats and skin can suffer if they are left too wet for too long. Be prepared to dry them when you get home, and some dogs love being towel-dried.

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Conclusion

Some dogs love getting out in the rain while others will shy away from anything more than a drizzle. If you are stuck indoors on a rainy day, you will need to find other ways to offer exercise and mental stimulation. Above are 17 activities you and your dog can enjoy on rainy days. Brush up on your training, play your dog’s favorite games, or invent new games to keep them entertained.


Featured Image Credit: Valerie Nik, Shutterstock

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