The last few weeks could have gone a lot smoother if we could explain social distancing to our dogs. Without their usual hikes, dog park visits, and trips to fur-riends houses, your dog might be feeling a bit cooped up and bored. While Fido adjusts to “working” from home, try these simple tips for keeping your dog (and yourself!) active and stimulated while stuck indoors.
- Running Stairs. Try tossing a toy down the stairs for your dog to fetch and having them bring it back to you. The added challenge of stairs is sure to tire Fido out faster than a regular game of fetch!
- Play Hide and Seek. Your dog will love this classic game, with a twist! Hide your dog’s favorite treat around the house under pillows, behind the couch, under a pile of laundry, and watch your dog’s incredible sense of smell do the rest!
- Make A Puzzle. You don’t need a fancy puzzle toy to keep your dog occupied. Try putting treats or food in a sealed box with holes cut into it. The small holes should be the perfect size for kibble to fall through as your dog knocks around the box. Or, try freezing their favorite toys into a block of ice, keeping them stimulated for hours as they lick peanut butter, kibble, and ice to release their favorite tennis ball from the block!
- Teach Them A New Trick. With extra time on your hands, it’s a great time to brush up on commands or practice a new trick. Regular training keeps your dog mentally tough, while repetition helps them retain the new information. Plus, how cool will it be to show your family and friends that Fido can now “shake” and “roll over” once quarantine ends!
Most importantly, make sure you give your pet lots of love and attention during this time. Animals can pick up on human stress and may be needing some extra belly rubs and cuddles too!