Boredom Busting Dog Box … and ways to entertain your dog at home

What to do with your dog indoors? Or outside while keeping your distance? My little pup – now about 16-years-old and dealing with dementia – has slowed down significantly. It feels like he went from turbo to turtle overnight … sadly, the clock is ticking.

However, that’s not true for everyone.

Many of us have been given the gift of time with our fur babies, and I for one am grateful for that. But if your fur buddy is getting bored, or is lobbying for your attention while you work from home, what can you do?

How do you entertain your dog at home?

To answer this question, I turned to the people doing it daily and writing about it: fellow pet bloggers. Curating leads to learning, so this was fun for me too – plus, there’s a Boredom Busting Dog Box Contest … keep reading.

Welcome to dogtrotting’s Curated Help for Keeping You and Your Dog Happy During Quarantine.

Let’s start with eight ideas from Shed Happens: some ideas involve your attention like my favourite – practice leash walking indoors particularly if your dog pulls (like mine did). Or, if you need to buy some time for yourself because likely you’ve got to work, try the bucket/treat activity to keep Rover self occupied. Check out Easy and Effective Ways to Entertain Your Dog at Home.

More Enrichment Games for Dogs

Many games appear on lists regularly: tug of war, hiding treats randomly under cups, and similarly ball and muffin tin game. Rescue Dogs 101 explains these and more but make your own indoor dog obstacle course might be an idea to involve the kids. Check out 11 Fun Enrichment Games to Play with Your Dog Inside to find out how to create one.

OR Go Dog Nashville has divided the list into benefits – physical, mental and emotional stimulation – categories and honestly, ‘learn to relax’ might be my favourite. Check out Top 12 Activities to Keep Your Dog Entertained Indoors here

white dog with Hear Doggy dog toy

Similarly, obstacle courses play a starring role on Happyoodles’ Boredom Buster list and they offer several ways to set up options – including tunnels to buy – but importantly, there’s checklist of behaviors that might indicate your dog needs stimulation, such as destructive chewing, escaping, stealing person items and more. Find out if your pup needs Boredom Busters on Happyoodles. 

Socializing Pups in Social Isolation

Socializing a pup – that’s an issue I hadn’t considered when first researching this information. What if you’ve gotten a new puppy and now must stay away from others? According to Big Dog Mom, zero to 16 weeks of age is an important time for dogs to learn socialization skills. Social distancing clearly poses s challenge when your puppy needs new people and public spaces to explore. If you’re facing this problem, find out How to Socialize a Puppy at Home: 15 Creative Tips here.

Speaking of puppies, apparently Boston Terriers are a particularly busy breed – according to Maggie Loves Orbit, which also offers a list of indoor games to keep your dog busy. My favourite is the roll up towel option because that’s so easy, so obvious and yet I didn’t think of it. If you’re crafty, try a few DYI toy options with toilet paper rolls and chip tubes. Check out what indoor games keep Boston Terriers here

DIY Busy Dog Box

Here’s a great idea from Wear Wag Repeat: create your own busy box. Changing out the dog’s toys helps keep them interested because one they haven’t seen in a while is ‘new’ in the moment. Similarly, filling a surprise box with random toys and treats they must ‘unpack’ themselves. Hey, you like opening packages too, right? Learn how to make your own DIY Dog Busy Box here.


Boredom Busting Dog Box Contest

Speaking of opening surprise boxes…. gets lots of toys and treats sent our way, and one little aging cocker-cross mutt can only utilize so much. Guess what? Here’s a box of toys, chews, treats and a fleece dog blanket (I’m obsessed with making – check out how here). Approximate retail value: $50.

You can have fun opening it – or let your dog.

Leave a comment below – tell us about your dog, or how your dog has been coping with quarantine. One winner will be selected by random draw and I’ll contact you via email for a mailing address.

Contest open to U.S. and Canadian residents. Contest closes July 15, 2020.


  1. my experience: 1. do more walks 2. buy new toys 3. find more dogs to play with

    1. Love the list. #3 is on my list for my puppy, so I recently signed her up for doggie daycare.

  2. Great info…thanks for sharing!

  3. Karen Frewert · · Reply

    Emmi and Elton have been doing ok. I’ve been working all along and they have a live-in babysitter so they are never alone. On walks in the beginning, I would teach her social distancing keeping her away from other dogs and humans. Over time, it worked. Now that things are a little more relaxed and the dogs can get back together, Emmi would great the dogs but bark and growl at the owner!!! She used to be so super social and love everybody. It’s a slow go.

  4. Natalie · · Reply

    My dogs are best friends, my trio. They love playing together and with me. Not much has changed for them lately.

  5. Julie Dawson · · Reply

    My girls have continued agility practice in the backyard, kayaking on the lake, and being lazy.

  6. Linda Szymoniak · · Reply

    I have three rescued Treeing Walker Coonhounds With my husband working from home because of the pandemic, it’s my job to keep these crazies busy – and especially quiet – during the day while he’s working. The boys are older and happy to just spend most of the day sleeping, but my girl – Megumi – is just three years old and full of energy. I think the items in this box would be a great help in keeping her busy.

  7. We have been playing in our yard alot fetch, frisbee and walks and hanging out watching movies and 🙂 chew toys!

  8. Rose Reeder · · Reply

    Our dog is just the same during quarantine as he has always been a house dog and gets lots of attention.

  9. Allison · · Reply

    Being home more has allowed me to get my dog out for more walks!

    1. You won! Please look for an email in your yahoo account.

  10. Sandy Weinstein · · Reply

    even though i am retired, i have been sheltering at home. rarely leaving the house. thus, the girls are so used to me being home all of the time, they have gotten very, very attached. we did have some pet emergencies, both had to have major surgeries earlier this month, which was very expensive, over 3k. most of the time, we run or walk at my home, since i live on 11 + acres, cant even see my neighbors which is great. the dog parks were closed in my area but i dont go anyway. I have been grooming them which i normally do anyway. we have been playing some games indoors. when i had to go to the vet i had to wait in my car for hours. i had to go to the dental vet as well, which is 180 miles one way, had to do drop off. it was a dental emergency. everything was closed to not much to do while waiting all day. all 3 of us have had birthdays, me in may, Tressa in june, and harley in july.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about the vet emergencies – my dog just had emergency eye surgery. It’s not a good time for that.

      1. Sandy Weinstein · · Reply

        so sorry to hear about the eye surgery, i hope your baby is ok. not a good time for any dr visits for both humans and dogs.

  11. My dogs have been going to the puppy park, backpacking on local trails, and taking trips to dog friendly cafe’s and coffee houses. We lost or beloved Artie in early June, so Bowie is helping our new rescue puppy, Burgess learn the ropes. We adopted Burgess about two weeks ago and he is a 9 week old, husky mix. We are so blessed that Bowie is gentle with him.

  12. Hayze has been loving the attention! We have been starting to go back to work though, so he has to be outside instead. Those toys in the box would give him something to do. He has also been doing some destructive chewing, so thanks for the link you gave us!

  13. Lynda Nye · · Reply

    MacDuff is keeping busy by supervising the building of a new deck in the backyard. Bonnie is busy being ever vigilant in her (assumed) duties to keep the yard squirrel and cat free!

  14. Sara Alfred · · Reply

    Business as usual for our two. They check in with us working at the table once in a while, let us know they are here by their snores. Two English bulldogs so they are pretty chill to begin with. I have noticed that our male has become more chill and our female who is the older one seems to be more cuddly and playful!

  15. Wendy Browne · · Reply

    Maggie and Orbit have great ideas for my own Boston. We live in a 3rd story apt in Houston heat and need indoor activities.

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