Have A Restless Dog? Here are some activities to try!

Restless Dogs are among us! The coronavirus pandemic is shaking everything up. Many states, including my home state of New York and my current state of Florida, have declared lockdowns. Plenty of us have already decided to self-quarantine or do social distancing to help flatten the curve. My job has had us working from home for the past two weeks already. I don’t know about you, but I do not do well staying in one place for a prolonged period of time. I know that some of you are loving this time being at home, and I have to admit, working from home is nice. But, at least for me, I need to be out and around people a good amount of the time.

My dog is the same way. She’s a black Labrador Retriever. Labs are social and energetic by nature, so not being able to go out like we usually do has thrown her for a loop. She runs around the apartment like she has the zoomies (she takes a lot of her cues from the cats). So, I’ve had to improvise and find activities for her to do to cure her restlessness. If you and your dog are in the same boat, these tips to calm your restless dog might just work.

Let Your Kids Work Them Out

Restless Dog
This is my daughter tucking our black lab in so she’s comfortable during nap time.

My dog and my child are on the same wavelength most days. Now that they’re together all the time, it’s like they’re two peas in a pod. Honestly, I don’t have to do much when my kid’s around. She loves to play with my dog, and my dog loves to play right back! They’re always chasing each other, and by the time nap time comes around, they’re both tuckered out and ready to sleep! (My two year old has to tuck her in, though. Then they fall asleep next to each other.)

If you have small kids, this option could really work for you. The dog (or dogs) and the kid (or kids) will eventually tire each other out and leave you with a calm, peaceful area where you can work, relax, or do whatever else you want. Maybe, with everyone pooped out and quiet, you can catch up on that show you’ve been putting off and watch an episode with no interruptions!

Play Games

Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay

You and your dog are going to be spending a lot of time together. That’s a great environment for you to find some new favorite games to play with each other! One thing you could do is create an indoor digging site for your dog using blankets and toys. Another game you could play is tug of war. One that is completely customizable is creating treat puzzles for your dog. One thing I’ve been doing with my own dog is trying to teach her a new trick!  Sometimes being inside can inspire some really creative ideas that you might not have thought otherwise.

Doing Chores Together Is A Great Way To Calm A Restless Dog

Restless Dog

When my dog was a puppy, my partner and I noticed that she really loved helping out around the house. So, we ended up training her to do small things. Now that she and I are together almost all the time, I have her help me around the house. We don’t do anything crazy, but she’ll help me by bringing clothes that need to be folded or putting things away on lower shelves. It gets her moving around and helps her let off some steam. Different dogs are great at different things! Maybe all this time at home will help you find things your dog can help you with, whether that’s chores or something else fun!

Take A Bath or Go Swimming To Help A Restless Dog

Restless Dog

While not every dog loves water, many of them do. Labs are water dogs, so my dog loves being around large bodies of water. (Weirdly enough, she hates baths. Go figure.) Usually, we’d go around to the local dog park or dog beach and she’d go crazy playing around. Now, though, we have to be more inventive. She hates the bath, but she likes sprinklers, so I’ll cover the bathroom floor in old towels and pretend that the showerhead is a sprinkler. She loves it. Maybe your dog loves baths and would want the opportunity to splash around. Or, maybe they’re like mine and just like being splashed around when they’re inside. Whichever way you decide, I’m sure your pup will thank you for the literal cool down your restless dog.


Image by Mylene2401 from Pixabay

For some reason, I’ve found the use of essential oils and aromatherapy to be a hot button topic. Some people swear by them, others think it’s all nonsense. Personally, I think that it smells really nice and sometimes they can help depending on the situation. When my kid is really sick, using a diffuser or humidifier with lavender and eucalyptus oils really help her both breathe and sleep better. If your dog is feeling restless and you have certain oils, having those scents around the house can calm them down. Lavender is a classic scent for relaxing, but two other fun ones to try (if you want to) are sandalwood and rose.

What things do you do with your pet during this time at home? Let us know in the comments below!

Learn more about dog health in our other amazing articles. Visit Dog Health