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How to Keep A Dog Active with An Invalid Owner

Dogs are man’s best friend, and it is important that when they have an invalid owner, they are well taken care of. I will discuss in this article why dogs need to be exercised, what you can do for them in your absence, and how to keep them happy while you’re recovering.

Regarding the title, how to keep a dog active with an invalid owner, I would first like to clear some things up. First, you need to understand the different conditions under which a dog owner would be considered “invalid” for their dog.

Conditions that Make an Owner Invalid for a Dog

  1. The dog owner has a temporary injury that is causing them pain, but it’s not serious enough to warrant the dog being put to sleep.
  2. The dog owner has an illness that will eventually cause death, so they are looking for someone else who can take care of their pet when the time comes.
  3. The dog owner is in prison.
  4. The dog owner has died or disappeared, leaving you or someone else to care for the dog.
  5. The dog owner never wanted a dog, but it’s too late for that, so they’re trying to find someone who can take care of their dog while they’re away.

It should be clear that recovering from an illness or injury is not invalidating; neither is death. These things happen to everyone at some point, and most dogs will be fine if their owner dies. However, owners who want their dogs euthanized, for this reason, are often considered cruel. So, I wouldn’t recommend telling them you’ve found a new owner while you’re away. That is definitely someone who should be considered invalid.

If you’ve been given custody of a dog because the previous owner died or disappeared, then that’s great! You get to keep a loyal friend and companion for life, and they will teach you how to take care of them just as much as they’ll teach you what they need. But if this isn’t the case, then it doesn’t mean that you have no obligation to take care of their dog when they’re gone. Of course, there’s a chance someone else can do a better job than you at taking care of them, but there’s also the possibility that nobody is better suited for the task than you.

In any of these conditions, you need to think about this a bit. Of course, you aren’t obligated to take on a dog because someone cannot care for them themselves, but it’s better than putting them down or leaving them at a shelter. There is no dearth of activities to do with your dog. There are fun activities to do with your dog in winter, fun activities to do with your dog indoors, fun activities to do with your dog outside, activities to do with your dog on a rainy day, and whatnot.

So, here are the activities you should suggest to an invalid owner for how to keep a dog active:

1. Games

Dogs love games, especially if they’re interactive. Try activities like hide-and-seek, fetch, tug-of-war, and more. Games like these burn a lot of energy and involve some problem-solving skills (which is also fun for your dog).

Now, let’s run by each game and find out what activities to play with a dog.

How to Keep A Dog Active with An Invalid Owner

How to Play Hide-and-Seek with Your Dog?

Hide-and-seek is one of the mental activities to do with your dog that you can both enjoy. You can play hide-and-seek with treats or interactive dog toys. But when you first start playing this game with your dog, it will get confused for a while. The key is to keep your facial expressions very happy and fun. This way, your dog knows they’re doing something right.

Once they learn to play, you can use hot dogs or string cheese treats. You will hide it in your dog’s toy drawer and let them sniff around until they find it. This way, they burn a lot of energy while having fun too! Don’t be surprised if every time you go near the drawer to fetch a toy, your dog starts sniffing around for a treat.

How to Play Fetch with Your Dog?

Most dogs love to fetch, and it’s definitely one of the activities to do with your dog indoors if you don’t have a backyard. You can use their favorite interactive toys or balls that they will be happy to chase after. It’s easy to teach your dog to play fetch — use the word “fetch” when you’re throwing something, and they’ll start chasing after it. When they catch it, praise them! Then you can say “bring it back,” or bring it back yourself. Either way, this game is easy to maintain once you teach them how to play.

How to Play Tug-of-War with Your Dog?

Playing tug-of-war is great for strengthening your pup’s jaw muscles and mentally stimulating them simultaneously. You can use a rope or their favorite plush dog toys, but make sure you teach them how to play nice before getting too involved. Let them know that this is your toy, and they can’t take it away from you.

Once you’ve taught them the rules, give the toy a quick tug and say “tug-of-war.” Then let them win and praise them for it. Make sure to always win in the end to show your dog how high of a value you put on this specific toy.

How to Keep A Dog Active with An Invalid Owner

2. Go for Walks

Walks are activities to do with your dog when it’s winter, activities to do with your dog in summer or activities to do with your dog when it’s raining outside. Whether you’re taking them out for a quick jaunt around the block or an all-day adventure, walks will get their hearts pumping and make them happy.

You can go for walks with your dog either by using a leash or taking them off-leash. Going off-leash is one of the best activities to do with dogs if you live in an area where there aren’t many other dogs around. But it’s important that they stay close enough that you can call them back if they get too far away.

If you go on walks with your dog, make sure not to use the same route all the time. The more fun activities in a day, the better! It doesn’t have to be anything complicated or formal — just go through trails in your backyard or around your neighborhood.  

Why is it Important for Your Dog to Stay Active While You are Recovering?

Dogs need to be kept active while their owners are recovering because it helps with the grieving process, boredom, anxiety and frustration. In addition, a healthy dog is a happy dog. However, it can be difficult to find ways to keep your dog active when you are not feeling up to physical activities.

What Is the Best Way to Keep Your Dog Active?

There are outdoor activities that you and your pup can enjoy together, no matter the weather or your condition. Perhaps your friend, family member or neighbor is willing to help you and your dog stay active together. They can take your furry friend out for walks, play fetch in the backyard, go on car rides or do some training games. Whatever it is that you and your pup love doing together, try coming up with creative ways so they can enjoy themselves while you recover.

There are also many indoor activities to do with your dog while you are recovering from an injury. These include playing catch, teaching new tricks, and simply keeping the dog engaged with interactive toys.

How Can You Keep Your Dog Busy While You’re Away from Them?

There are a number of things you can do to make sure your furry friend is entertained while you’re not there to provide them with activities. One way is to buy interactive toys that will keep them engaged for hours on end. You can also hide treats or kibble around the house for them to find or put them in a puzzle toy. If you have a backyard, be sure to set up a play area for them with plenty of toys and outdoor space to run. And lastly, make sure you always have plenty of food and water available to them.

So now, here are some creative ways and additional seasonal activities that anyone can do with almost any breed of dog.

How to Keep A Dog Active with An Invalid Owner

Summer Activities to Do with Dogs

Dogs love to play in the water and be outside, so summer is the perfect time for outdoor activities with dogs. Try taking your dog swimming or on supervised hikes and backpacking trips. You could also go on a long run with them in the morning or help them improve their fitness by biking with them or doing some agility training together.


This is a great way to keep your dog cool and exercise at the same time. Most dogs love swimming, so it’s the perfect outdoor activity for them. They can also help you cool down as well by fetching a stick or ball out of the water.


If you have a trail nearby, consider going on a hike with your pup. Start off easy and only go on short trails until you know how much they can handle since hiking is an excellent outdoor activity that will get both of you physically fit. Dogs need physical activities just like humans do to keep themselves healthy.


If biking with your dog sounds more up your alley, then this is another fun outdoor activity to do with your dog. As with hiking, start off slow and let your dog get used to the activity first before trying it out on longer trails. Be sure to keep them leashed at all times because you never know what could happen if they were to run into the road towards an unsuspecting squirrel or cat.

Agility Training

This outdoor activity with your dog will encourage both of you to be more physically fit while having fun together. Not only is it good for your dog’s physical health, but agility training can also help your dog stay mentally engaged through the learning process.  

Winter Outdoor Activities


This outdoor activity is perfect if you live in an area that gets fairly cold and there’s snow on the ground. It will get you moving with some outdoor physical activity with your dog after sitting still for so long over the winter holidays.


If it snows where you live, then consider going sledding or tobogganing together with your pup. You can take them out to an open field nearby or go to a nearby hill and slide down it with them. Just remember to be careful since this outdoor activity could potentially injure your dog if they were to run off suddenly before you go down the hill. Make sure they are always leashed at all times.

Dog-Friendly Snow Sports

Other than the above activities, you can also try dog-friendly versions of outdoor sports like skiing or snowboarding with your pup. Though not recommended for dogs unaccustomed to strenuous physical activities, this could be a good alternative outdoor activity if you’re recovering from an injury or want something more relaxing to do with your dog.

Indoor Activities to Do with Your Dog on a Rainy Day or When You’re Not Feeling Well

If outdoor activities aren’t possible for you on certain days, don’t fret. Try coming up with little ways to keep your dog active indoors instead with some of these activities:


If your dog is medium-sized or larger, then try taking them up and down the stairs several times. Just make sure that if they are small enough to fit through the rails, they can jump over it by themselves so they won’t get stuck in between. Your pup will surely thank you after spending most of their day lying around inside.


If you have a backyard (covered), consider setting up some goals for them to fetch the ball or stick in. You can even set up targets so they can practice their agility training indoors. After they run off all that energy, they’ll be tired and ready for a nap.


If your dog can’t go outside to play fetch, then you can bring the outdoor activity indoors with their favorite toy. Though you may need to get up and move around a bit more than usual due to playing with them, it’s a good physical activity that will keep your dog healthy – just don’t overdo it since your mobility might be limited due to your injury or illness.

Summing it Up!

These activities above are just some suggestions on how you and your pup can stay active together; customized outdoor activities like these will depend on what outdoor activities both of you enjoy doing together or if there are any outdoor activities at all where you live. So, give these things a try and see if they could help keep you both physically fit.

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