With most people staying in rather than going out during the global pandemic, how do you keep your dog healthy and happy? It’s not always easy, safe, or possible to take your pet to their usual spots whether you used to go on hikes or to the dog park.
However, it’s still necessary to make sure Fido gets enough exercise and stays happy during lockdown. With a little bit of creativity, it’s easier than you think to do just that. Here’s how to keep your dog healthy and happy during lockdown no matter where you are.
Play Inside to Get Exercise
While it’s commonly believed that the only way to exercise your dog is outdoors, this isn’t true. The amount of activity your dog needs each day depends on a number of factors according to the AKC such as their age, size, and breed. That being said, you don’t have to reach this quota outside.
Get creative with indoor exercise. You can turn your living room into an obstacle course, get new toys, or play hide-and-seek. As long as your dog is moving, they’re getting exercise. When combined with regular walks, this is likely more than enough during lockdown.
Engage Your Dog’s Mind
Dogs like to engage their minds just as much as they engage their bodies. You can put your dog’s mind to work by playing a few fun games around the house. One great mind game is hiding treats around your space. A delicious treat like Wüfers is perfect for hiding in different spaces, letting Fido put their nose to work. High reward treats are hard to ignore by your pet, so they will invest a lot of energy to locate them. If you put them in a hard to reach space, they will have to find a way to reach them with all their skills.
Another way to engage your dog’s mind is with training. Training is great mental stimulation, and it’s easy to get started at home even if you don’t have professional training experience. Who said old dogs can’t learn new tricks?
Stick to Your Routine
As much as possible, try to stick to your old routine during lockdown. If you’re working from home for the first time, your pup might not understand why you can’t play with them 24/7. This is why it pays to keep your routine consistent.
Your upturned work patterns might have them confused at first, but they’re sure to get the hang of the new “normal.” Stick to regular walks and meals at the same time so they know what to expect each day.
Invest in High-Value Distractions
There will come times when you need your pet to entertain themselves. You might have work conference calls a few times a week, or perhaps you just need a quiet space to work without your pet. In this case, invest in high-value distractions that keep your pet happy on their own.
Things like peanut butter in their favorite toy, frozen treats, and electronic toys might be a great way to keep them busy. While they shouldn’t be used all the time, they’re an effective way to make lockdown a little easier on both you and your pet.
Adapt to the New Normal with Your Pet
Dogs are versatile animals. They love spending time with you, and they might be thrilled by your sudden presence 24/7 during the global pandemic. However, you’ll need to switch a few things up to keep your family and your pet safe during this lockdown.
As long as you’re mindful of their health and happiness, you’re on the right track. From adequate playtime to spending time apart, these tips will set you up for long-term success even when the world goes back to normal.