The coronavirus outbreak has caused disruption right the way throughout the globe, forcing millions upon millions of people to self-isolate in their own home.
While this change of routine may be frustrating for us as humans, our canine companions are most likely loving having so much extra time to spend with you.
However, without consistent play and engagement from their owners, this feeling can become short-lived, leaving your dogs bored and under-stimulated. It’s important to remember, after all, that this lockdown affects them as well, limiting their ability to play outside as normal.
With this in mind, join us as we go through a few excellent ideas on how to keep your pooch entertained during their time in lockdown. While their time enjoying runs on beautiful sandy beaches may be on hold for now, these ideas should keep them engaged until then.
Dogs are well-known for their abundance of energy, happily spending hours upon hours chasing squirrels and fellow dogs around the park. Perhaps unsurprisingly, when they’re stuck spending their time inside instead, this energy isn’t being released, leaving your dog feeling stressed as a result.
To prevent this from happening, it’s important to play games with your pooch when you can to keep their brain stimulated. Whether it be a quick game of fetch, tug of war, or chase around the garden, your dog will most likely reflect the level of energy you, as their owner, give out. Therefore, the more enthusiastic and playful you can be, the better.
It’s important to be careful when handling changes to your dog’s routine; with them currently needing to spend more time indoors than usual, they could easily start to feel stressed and anxious.
To avoid this from happening, set up a quiet area of your home for them to hide away in, allowing them to feel safe and act as their personal den. Dogs are pack animals, after all, so they enjoy having somewhere that’s personal for them to relax and have a snooze in.
To ease their worries even further, let them have an old shirt or blanket you no longer use. The smell of you should help them rest easier whenever they fancy a bit of shut-eye.
As we’ve mentioned already, keeping your dog’s brain engaged is imperative during self-isolation. Therefore, why not think about setting up a doggy treasure hunt for them, around either your home or garden?
By hiding a few treats around the house and giving your pooch something to spend their time doing, this not only helps to keep their brains active, but it also provides them with a reward once they’ve found the ‘treasures’.
However, if you’d rather not do an actual treasure hunt, a quick and easy way to keep your dog’s brain ticking over is by freezing a few treats inside a cube of ice. In a similar way to a human sucking on a gobstopper, your dog will be entertained for hours while trying to break through the ice to get to the yummy treats inside.
Everyone loves a good ol’ pamper and your dog is no exception. So, if you’re bored of your own time in self-isolation, why not give your pooch a bit of a groom?
While you personally may need to wait for the hairdressers to open up again to sort out your lockdown hairdo, by giving your dog a quick clip, bath and trim you’ll leave them not just looking great but feeling great as well.
Giving them a groom could also help maintain the cleanliness of your home as well, keeping their fur out of the carpets and their smelly breath at bay.
While you may think ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’, this simply isn’t true. Therefore, why not use your time in self-isolation to teach your pooch a few new moves?
Chances are, they’ll probably know the classic ‘sit’, ‘paw’ and ‘stay’ or ‘wait’ already, but there are plenty of other quick tricks that dogs can easily learn with a few treats on hand.
Whether it be ‘speak’, ‘wave’, ‘spin’, ‘roll-over’, ‘play dead’ or ‘take a bow’, your dog will love the fact you’re taking an interest in them and trying to teach them something new. At the same time, by utilising your pet to keep yourself entertained, you can kill two birds with one stone, meaning your time in lockdown should be over before you know it.