Puppy Indoor Enrichment Ideas

January 9, 2023

Doodle puppy

Puppies have a LOT of energy! Although you may be doing your best to keep them entertained by taking them for walks, playing with them, or allowing them to run free in the backyard, you may find yourself with a pup that just wants to keep going! Especially in the colder months here in Kansas City, it is not always possible to do all the outdoor activities that you and your pup do when it’s warmer

Do you ever find yourself wondering how to keep your puppy entertained when it is freezing outside? Some puppies will take it upon themselves to find ways to burn off energy, and they don’t always engage in the best behaviors and find themselves getting into trouble. Keep reading to learn about ways to keep those puppies entertained indoors! Let’s talk about enrichment.

What is enrichment?

When we talk about enrichment with dogs, we are talking about providing them with both physical and mental stimulation to improve their quality of life. In this blog, we will be addressing how to keep your puppy entertained indoors. 

Dog licking a Kong toy


The first important tip to keeping your puppy busy is ensuring they always have several toys available to them. We recommend having at least 8-12 toys on hand and rotating the toys available for your pup. Doing so keeps the toys interesting and fun! Some of the toys we recommend are:

  • Un-split antlers
  • Cow bones
  • Nylabones
  • Kong brand toys 

Playing with toys indoors can be just as fun as playing with toys outside, especially if their favorite person gets involved! Playing fetch with toys that are not going to cause damage to your home and furniture or even rolling toys across the floor for your puppy to chase will allow them to have fun with both you and the toys.

Treat-dispensing toys and puzzle feeders

Toys that dispense food and treats, as well as puzzle feeders are a great way to keep your puppy occupied for longer periods of time. The classic Kong is always a great choice for a food dispensing toy, however, there are many different options, and you can never have too much variety! With the Kong, you can fill it with your puppy’s favorite snacks or even just their kibble. This allows you to get creative! 

Create layers of different food items so your puppy can taste different flavors as they go. Once your puppy has mastered getting the food out of the Kong, you can increase the difficulty by running water through the filled Kong, popping it into a Ziplock bag, and freezing it! This will create a more challenging game for your pup, providing mental stimulation. 

There are many different types of puzzles out there, so pick the puzzle(s) you think your dog will enjoy the most. Dogs will typically try a variety of techniques to get the food out faster and can improve their skills over time. Each puzzle has a different level of difficulty that is often displayed on the packaging. If your dog is new to puzzles, try out a beginner or level one puzzle before moving on to a more difficult one. We actually prefer these types of methods over feeding your puppy out of a standard food bowl, because it allows them to play a game while filling up at the same time!

Puppy training for indoor enrichment

Lick mats

Continuing down the path of food, lick mats provide your puppy with activity and allow them to try some different textures of food. We love to put wet dog food, pumpkin, and other appropriate vegetables, plain Greek yogurt, peanut butter, applesauce, coconut oil, and so much more on the lick mat for our pups to enjoy. You can also freeze the filled lick mat to make it last a bit longer. The mats are generally a soft rubber material, so always make sure you are supervising your puppy to ensure they do not consume the mat itself!

Hide and Seek!

Maybe your puppy is not very motivated by food. A fun way to entertain your puppy without food when they’re bored is to play hide and seek! Have your puppy stay or wait until they become distracted while you hide. Your puppy will be wondering where you went and will go find you. Once your dog finds you, give them some loving pets and some praise, and repeat! 


Our favorite way to keep puppies mentally stimulated is training! That’s right, kill two birds with one stone by working on obedience with your puppy. Teach them commands that you can use in your everyday life, such as sit, lay down, stay, wait, or place. You can also get creative and teach them something fun, such as rollover or play dead. Your puppy will be able to burn off that energy while learning some valuable commands! 

For more training and enrichment ideas, reach out to your area’s local Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Behavior Specialist!