While most of us stuck in quarantine might be struggling to find enjoyable things to do while practicing social distancing, remember that there’s a member of your household that revels in the fact that we’re home so much. The family dog is the clear winner of this unusual situation, enjoying unprecedented amounts of quality time with its owners.
Unless you worked from home before, your dog has likely noticed the fact that you’re around much more and has probably bombed a videoconference or two looking for attention.
To help you make the most of this unexpected time together, we’ve rounded up a few fun activities that can keep you and your canine friend entertained. Check them out.
Teach Them New Tricks
If you always wanted to try teaching your dog that amazing trick to impress your friends and family, now is the time to do it. It’s likely that both of you have plenty of time at your disposal and all you need is a bit of patience. You can teach them to play dead, expertly balance a treat on their nose or to roll over on command.
Before you focus on the new skills you’d like to teach your pooch, make sure that he or she has mastered the basics.
Every dog should know how to sit, stay, come, heel, fetch and act accordingly when their owner shouts “No.” If you find that your dog has trouble with any of these, now might be the perfect time to practice them.
Engage Their Minds
Whilst exercise is of paramount importance to a dog, so is mental stimulation. Make sure you challenge their minds on a regular basis in order to keep them sharp, occupied and entertained.
Simple things like hiding something in either of your hands and having them signal you the correct answer, or hiding in a corner of the house and waiting for them to find you can help keep them sharp. Once they’ve completed their task, don’t forget to reward their efforts.
Set Up a Treasure Hunt
Those stuck indoors can create numerous creative, engaging games for dogs.
A treasure hunt is a classic mental stimulator for which all you’ll need is a few treats and an open mind. Show your pup the treat of your choice, hide it behind a piece of furniture then tell him to find the treasure.
Once he understands the ground rules, pretend to hide numerous treats in various places but, in reality, only stash one reward he can actually find. Then sit back and watch as your dog goes on the hunt for the ultimate prize.
Build an Obstacle Course
A challenging obstacle course can do wonders for your companion’s physical and mental state.
When setting things up, make sure you put away the fragile things that can be broken and use simple objects such as cardboard boxes to build an intriguing labyrinth your dog can explore either indoors or in your private back yard.
Learn Dog Yoga Together
Looking for an activity that requires both the owner and the dog to do some much-needed exercise together? Try dog yoga! Your pup is likely already an expert at stretching so simply synchronize your moves in order to get the most out of the routine.
Go for Long Walks
Although the set of quarantine regulations differ by state, one thing is common in most of them: walks are still allowed and dogs can accompany you on your daily strolls.
So make sure you both get some time out of the house and turn it into a habit. You can use a good walk after the hours you spend working in front of your laptop and you know very well that your dog will never say no to a quick jaunt outdoors.
Those living in houses with courtyards should definitely try playing ball every day with their pups to ensure they get enough exercise.
If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where dog parks are still open to the public, take advantage of this possibility. Head there as often as you can and play a good, old-fashioned game of fetch with your canine buddy to make sure they get plenty of exercise.
Don’t forget to keep a good few meters’ distance from other pet parents.
Snuggle and Enjoy Your Time Together
While you may be looking forward for things to get back to normal, your pup would probably be the happiest if you stayed home forever.
But, as all things come to an end, the situation will also return to normal once stay-at-home orders are lifted. Until this happens, make sure you snuggle with your dog as much as you can and really make the most out of the quality time you get to spend together before you return to your regular routine.
Home isolation isn’t easy on anyone, but you can make the most of this situation by spending some quality time with your dog. They’ll love you even more for it!
Last but not least, check out our article about COVID-19 & Pets to find out more useful information on how to keep you and your dog safe during this global pandemic!