Puppy Playtime Ideas for Autumn

Puppies need two forms of exercise. They need to exert energy with physical exercise, and they also need to be intellectually challenged with mental exercise. That’s where puppy playtime comes in! But what are puppy playtime ideas for autumn all about? Mind games! Amazingly, when a dog engages with a mentally stimulating game for 10 minutes, […]

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Puppies need two forms of exercise. They need to exert energy with physical exercise, and they also need to be intellectually challenged with mental exercise. That’s where puppy playtime comes in! But what are puppy playtime ideas for autumn all about?

Mind games!

Amazingly, when a dog engages with a mentally stimulating game for 10 minutes, one that doesn’t require any physical exertion, he will become more tired than if he had been taken out on an hour-long walk! 

This autumn, as the temperatures drop, try these D.I.Y. puppy playtime ideas from Petland Cleveland. Your puppy can play these games either outside when it’s beautiful or inside when it’s too cold to be outside for long. Our D.I.Y. puppy playtime games will mentally stimulate your puppy, keep him entertained, and be a great source of bonding between the two of you!

A cute Yorkshire Terrier puppy sniffs out yummy puppy treats in a living room as he plays the scavenger hunt game for dogs.

SCAVENGER HUNT (Puppy Playtime Idea #1)

You can make a simple D.I.Y. scavenger hunt for your new puppy. All you need are puppy treats. We recommend that you use puppy treats that are made for puppy training, since those are tiny. You don’t want your puppy to consume a lot of big treats during any game or training session because that could cause weight gain and be unhealthy.

Whether you play inside or outside, the first time you play be sure to “hide” the treats “out in the open.” Simply place the puppy treats around a room in your home or in the backyard. As your puppy gets the hang of the scavenger hunt, you can get more creative hiding the puppy treats. Flower pots, piles of raked leaves, and lawn decorations can be great hiding spots. 

The trick is to not let your puppy watch you as you hide the treats. So, keep him inside while you’re placing the treat in the scavenger hunt area outside. Then let the puppy playtime begin!

Filling old plastic bottles with dog treats creates a fun D.I.Y. puppy game for your dog this autumn.

TREATS IN A BOTTLE (Puppy Playtime Idea #2)

If you have a plastic bottle and puppy treats, you have all you need in order to set up this fun, mentally stimulating, D.I.T. puppy game. Be sure that the plastic bottle has been washed, rinsed out, and dried. First, puncture a handful of holes into the body of the plastic bottle. Drop three or four puppy treats into the plastic bottle. Leave the top off. 

The treats inside of the bottle will be easy for your puppy to sniff and smell thanks to all the holes. Set the bottle on its side, either inside or outside in the fresh autumn air. And watch as your puppy tries to figure out how to get the treats out of the bottle!

This is a fun, entertaining game for puppies, because it’s actually not obvious to them how to clamp their teeth onto the plastic, tip the bottle upside down, and get the treats to fall out. Some puppies will be playing this game for a long while! 

Playing hide and seek outside with your puppy this autumn as a fun puppy game is what this blonde woman is doing with her Cardigan Welsh Corgi purebred dog breed.

HIDE & SEEK (Puppy Playtime Idea #3)

Hide and seek is a fun game for your puppy to play, which helps him to practice the important skill of using his sense of smell, hearing, and logic to find you. This could come in handy later in life if, too.

You can play hide and seek with your puppy either inside or outside. We recommend first playing hide and seek inside until your puppy gets comfortable with the game. Then you can move the game outside. 

The first game you play, be sure to have some treats on hand. When you begin walking away from your puppy to go hide, make sure you stay within your puppy’s line of sight and don’t go too far. It’s best if the first time you “hide” it’s pretty obvious where you are. This will help your puppy comprehend the nature of the game. As soon as you’re out of sight, call your puppy, and when he finds you, give him a treat. When your pup has grasped the idea of this puppy playtime game, make the hiding places more ambitious and include the whole family so he can find each of you one by one.

All you need is a clean, empty muffin pan or cupcake pan to make a fun mentally challenging games for dogs.

MUFFIN PAN FUN (Puppy Playtime Idea #4)

All you need to play this game is a muffin or cupcake pan, and as many tennis balls as there are muffin molds in the pan. Alternatively, you can use a cardboard egg carton and smaller balls like golf balls, but we only recommend this if your puppy is a very small breed, like a Teddy Bear or Chihuahua. Do not expose a large dog breed, like a Saint Bernard, Great Dane, or Bernese Mountain Dog to golf balls. Even puppies of this breed are large enough to choke on a golf ball!

For this game, simply place one puppy treat at the button of each muffin mold on the muffin pan. Then cover the treats by placing a tennis ball into each muffin mold hole. Present your puppy with the muffin tray full of tennis balls.

Your puppy will sniff, smell, and quickly understand that there are treats under the tennis balls. And it will be his job to figure out how to lift up each tennis ball to get to the puppy treats underneath. 

An adorable puppy plays inside a cardboard box filled with newspaper and hidden dog treats to show a great fun puppy game to play with your dog this autumn.


It really doesn’t take much to make a puppy happy. Dogs don’t need fancy toys or expensive games. They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and the same can be true of puppies! Your discarded recyclables can be transformed into a puppy palace!

For this next D.I.Y. puppy game, all you need are old cardboard boxes and newspapers. If you have many cardboard boxes, you can use duct tape to attach them, creating a “tunnel” or a grid of open-top boxes that will encourage your puppy to hop from one open box to the next. 

Once you’ve arranged your cardboard boxes as you like, crumple up the newspapers into loose balls and fill the boxes ¼ with balled and crumpled newspaper. For the tunnels, just add enough crumpled newspaper to make the tunnels cozy and mysterious. 

Then hide puppy treats under the newspaper in various places. Once the puppy palace is ready, welcome your puppy inside. He’ll quickly smell the treats, get excited, and get to work finding each and every yummy reward!


A sweet young girl hugs a cute white Maltese puppy as they sit in an orange and golden pile of raked autumn leaves.

Autumn is easily our favorite time of year. We only wish it didn’t pass by so quickly. We hope that the puppy game ideas in this article will help you and your furry friend make the most of this short, refreshing season! 

At Petland Cleveland, we continue to be thrilled to offer a wide selection of purebred puppies for sale in Ohio at our two locations. We sell puppies in Parma, Ohio, and in Strongsville, Ohio. Check out our blog for countless articles on how to raise the perfect puppy and read our new puppy guides, too. 

Come into our Parma or Strongsville locations to meet our available puppies. Our knowledgeable pet counselors can walk you through a dog breed comparison to help you choose the best dog breed for your lifestyle. From black Labrador puppies for sale to Mini Poodle puppies for sale, Petland Cleveland will help you make the perfect match to a healthy puppy that will give you joy this autumn and beyond!

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