Playdates, trips to the dog park, splashing around at the beach…they all have to be put on hold as we work towards flattening the curve and beating the pandemic. Many of us have to bid our regular routines goodbye and look to online sources on how to stay sane.
And as if that’s not challenging enough, outdoor walks are now limited to once per day, which most likely wouldn’t suffice for bigger or more energetic canines. So to entertain your dog while under quarantine (AKA, keep them from turning the household upside-down), you’ll have to get creative! Here are a few ideas for you:
1. Feed all meals in food-dispensing toys
Put aside your dog’s food bowl for the time being and start feeding their meals in a slow feeder or treat-dispenser. This will encourage your dog to work for their food and make mealtimes last longer. Your pooch will enjoy the challenge of needing to sniff, chew, and prod to get to the goods!
2. Have daily playtime sessions
Have interactive playtime sessions with your dog a couple of times a day. It could be tug-of-war, hide-n-seek, puzzle toys, or even fetch in the hallway. For some dogs, even just chasing bubbles around is the best thing ever!
3. Take advantage of frozen treats
One thing about frozen treats is that it takes a while to finish, so if you ever need your dog out of your hair for a couple of minutes (say, while you go on that very important conference call) they really come in handy! Plus, kitchen time can be very therapeutic and may also help you cope with the mental stress of being in isolation.
4. Let your dog use their nose
One of the things dogs love the most about going outside is getting to sniff new smells, but now that they can’t do that, it’s important to give them a chance to do so indoors. One way to do this is to create a fort or makeshift playground where you can hide a bunch of treats inside and let your dog find them. Lead them into the area by creating a trail of treats and their incredible nose will do the rest!
5. Teach your dog some tricks
Maybe you’ve been meaning to teach your furry buddy how to roll over, but never got to because of your busy work schedule. Well, now that you have a ton of extra time on your hands, you can train your dog to do as many cool tricks as you want! Capture it on video, while you’re at it, to spread a little pawsitivity and hopefully put a smile on other people’s faces during this difficult time.