The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused most of us to have to stay indoors, our pets included. For some, the option of regular dog day care is unavailable, so how do you occupy your pup during the day? If you are working from home, keeping your dog entertained while you work may be a challenge. Our dog trainers have a couple of tips to make this time of isolation and social distancing a bit easier on you and your furry friend.
Create a Daily Routine – Dogs tend to prefer structure and are happiest when they follow a consistent schedule. If your daily routine now involves you being home all day, establishing a new schedule will benefit both you and your pet.
If your dog is excited that you’re home and constantly wants to play, plan and try to adhere to specific play times as best you can. This way, your pet will know when to expect to have fun and when they should be relaxing so you can get things done.
Learn or Improve on Tricks & Commands – Working on tricks is not only entertaining, but it’s also productive! The options are endless – shaking hands, rolling over, barking on command, etc.
Improving on tricks is also a great mental workout for your furry friend. When working on basic commands, make them hold them for seconds at a time, increasing as you go. Holding a command for 15 seconds is actually a tiring mental workout for them!
Try Food Related Toys & Puzzles – Toys and puzzles that involve your pet finding a tasty snack can keep them occupied for a while! There are tons of options on the market, so you can choose a toy or puzzle that fits your dog’s personality and likes the best. Don’t want to buy something new? Hide small treats or kibble around the house or intertwined in their blankets for some entertainment.
Consider ditching their bowl and using a toy, puzzle, or interactive dog feeder at mealtime! This could get them thinking and feed them, at the same time.
Make Potty Time Count – Of course, your dog will still need to go outside to relieve themselves throughout the day. Taking them out on a leash and letting them have access to small sections of the yard or different areas in the neighborhood each time they go out can add diversity to their normal sniffing spots.
Have a secure fenced in yard and a trustworthy companion? Letting them out to sniff, hang out, and do their business as they please could be a treat for them and give you some quiet time.
Go for a Walk – If you decide to take your dog for a walk, practice safe social distancing. Avoid all unnecessary contact by crossing the street if you see anyone else. If passing is the only option, try your best to stay at least six feet apart.
However, if you are self-isolating for any reason, you shouldn’t leave your home to walk your dog. Instead, play with them inside your home. Fetch, tug-of-war, and other games can tire you and your pup out!
Watch Some TV – Does your pup love to cuddle? There’s no better time than now to soak up all the love! Get cozy, put on something to watch, and pamper that pooch with all the snuggles!
Does your dog have trouble winding down? Search the internet for dog-stimulation videos; there are hundreds of options out there! From watching a squirrel cam to other dogs playing, there might be something that your pup finds entertaining.
Each dog has a different personality and not every idea will work for you and your furry friend. Now is the time to be creative! From everyone here at Leader of the Pack Canine Institute, we hope you and your pet are staying safe and happy.