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Fun Outdoor Games for Dogs to Keep Them Fit and Engaged

At A Glance

Walking your dog is part of the responsibility of every pet parent. But sometimes, it is not enough. Add some outdoor games for dogs in your daily routine to keep your dog physically and mentally healthy.

Outdoor games stimulate the brain and prevent your dog from becoming bored or getting anxious and depressed. It also helps improve the bond between a pet and a pet parent.

Last Updated on: Sep 25, 2023

Keep your walks with your pooch more fun and exciting by adding some fun outdoor games for dogs into the equation.

Everybody knows you need to walk your dogs every day. But the point of the walk is to keep them active and fit. Going outside and seeing the environment, as well as other people and other dogs, will also provide dogs with mental stimulation. All these can still be achieved with outdoor games.

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

Why You Should Include Outdoor Games for Dogs in Your Routine

Dogs were originally bred to do work. Today, dogs are bred for companionship. They become members of the family. Just like any member of the family, they eat and sleep at home. But unlike regular members of the family, dogs don’t have a school or an office to go to during the day.

When the pet parents come home, there may only be time for a quick walk. The routine could easily get boring for both the dog and its owners. Adding outdoor games for dogs is surely a welcome addition to the routine.

There are a handful of reasons why this is necessary:

Fun Way to Exercise

outdoor party games for dogs - fun way to exercise

Exercise–humans and dogs need it. Outdoor games could help both humans and dogs get their needed exercise for the day and have fun in the process. Playing keeps you fit and healthy.

The best place to have a game is your backyard, if it’s big enough, or your nearest public park. If you’re driving to the park, make sure you have a cargo liner specifically for dogs to protect your car from possible dog mess and scratches from the dog’s claws.

Provides Mental Stimulation

Playing games involves thinking, so it stimulates your dog’s brain activities. Mental exercise keeps the dog alert. Certified dog trainer Andrea Gronwald said that many canine behavioral problems are due to the lack of mental stimulation.

“We now know that mental enrichment is just as important for dogs as physical exercise. Research has shown that increased mental activity results in improved mental health and cognitive function in dogs. It builds confidence, releases stress, and strengthens your mutual bond. In short, your dog will live a happier life.”Andre Gronwald, certified dog trainer

Prevents Anxiety and Depression

Both physical and mental stimulation will prevent anxiety and depression in dogs. So, a brief outdoor game could take your dog’s health a long way.

Improves Bond

Busy pet parents need time to bond with their dog. Because the dog lives with you at home, there may be an automatic bond. But spending time playing with your fur baby is an opportunity to improve that bond. By doing so, your pet will trust you more and will be more obedient to your commands.

Best Outdoor Games To Play With Your Dog

outdoor games for active dogs - best outdoor games to play with your dog

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of playing outdoor games for dogs to exercise and bond better, let’s take a look at the best outdoor games to play with your pet:


It’s a no-brainer. Playing catch or fetch is the simplest but continues to be one of the most enjoyable games between dogs and owners. And it doesn’t get boring because you can use so many different things to play catch with.

The following are some of the best toys your dogs can fetch:

  • Rubber ball
  • Frisbee
  • Flying squirrel toy
  • Toy bone
  • Treats


Yes, you can play soccer with your dog and there is a ball made exactly for such activity. The Chuckit! Kick Fetch Dog Toy is a two-in-one ball made specifically to play fetch and soccer with your dog. The ball is not shaped like a regular soccer ball to make it easier for your dog to hold the ball in its mouth. But it is good enough to be kicked around and for your dog to practice a header. It is in bright colors, too, so it is always visible to your four-legged best friend.

Soccer and other ball activities are also great outdoor party games for dogs. So, think about it the next time your furbaby celebrates a birthday.

Hide and Seek

No, you are not hiding from your dog. In this case, you will be hiding toys (or treats) and your dog will try to sniff and find them for you. Hide them all over the backyard but only in areas where your dog can find them. Don’t put toys high up on a tree, for example. If you are hiding toys, make sure you reward your dog with a treat every time it finds one.

Obstacle Course

owner playing with her dog

Whether you are planning on joining a dog show or not, an obstacle course is a fun activity for your dog. Creating the obstacle course can be fun for you, too, if you enjoy making things. You don’t need expensive materials to make obstacle courses. A hula hoop, curtain rod, or a long stick will make do for your jumping course.

Simple poles or soccer cones could make for a DIY weaving course. Used boxes could make fun tunnels too. Get your creative juices flowing to amp up outdoor games for active dogs.


Tug-of-war is a wonderful game for dogs as it touches on their predatory nature but in a safe and healthy way. It is a physical game that also reinforces the bond between the pet and the pet parent. But just like any great parent, you have to know when to play hard and when to let your dog win the game. If you don’t give your dog a chance to win, it won’t enjoy the game that much.

Dog’s teeth are strong but make sure you use the appropriate rope for a tug-of-war with your dog for safety reasons.

“​​Pick a dog toy that is designed for tugging, and that you won’t use for other games such as fetch. The toy should be durable and flexible. The best tug toys are typically made out of rubber or similar material and have a comfortable handle that keeps your hand away from the dog’s mouth.”Jenna Stregowski, registered veterinary technician

Water Play

Perfect for summertime, give your pooch a little pool to wade and splash in. A blow-up kiddy pool will be fun enough for your dog. You can put some of your dog’s toys in the pool, too, for maximum fun. And if your blow-up pool is big enough, you can even join your dog in it. You can even play fetch in the pool.

You can even take the game to the beach to give your dog ample space to really enjoy the water and the outdoors.

When the weather is great, your dog can benefit from staying outdoors for 30 minutes to two hours. But when it’s cold, keep their outdoor activities between 15 and 20 minutes. Make sure you make it more fun by adding outdoor games for dogs to your daily outdoor routine. It would make your dog physically and mentally fit. It would also increase your bond with each other.



I am a full-time mum of two kids and a beautiful golden retriever. Writing is my passion: from food journalism to pets, parenting tips, etc. I can write on just about everything under the sun. I have been writing for the past 7 years and during that time, I have been a regular contributor to several blogs and pet magazines. I have also written feature articles, POV pieces, and dabbled in a few different formats of writing over the years.