Following the Government announcement to avoid unnecessary travel and implement social distancing to limit the spread of coronavirus, many of us will be working from home or self-isolating for the foreseeable future. Pet food experts at Canagan have shared some fun indoor activities to keep pets and owners entertained.
A productive way to entertain your dog is to teach them new tricks – providing your goals are achievable and you don’t overload them with too much at once. Train them to bark on command, shake hands, retrieve items or roll over – the list is endless!
Why not treat your pup to a brand-new toy? There are plenty of indoor activities for dogs which involve toys to keep them entertained for hours. Dog puzzles will allow your dog to figure out where a tasty treat is hidden by manoeuvring different levers which will reveal the delicacy. This game teaches your dog resilience and patience. Use it as a form of positive reinforcement to teach them that good behaviour is rewarded.
Many dogs will also benefit from a game of tug with you, it’s a common misconception that this will make dogs aggressive – but, actually, it’s very rewarding for your dog, will strengthen your bond, and is a fun cooperative game.
Tell your dog to ‘stay’ so they don’t follow you to your hiding place. If this command is a work in progress, wait until they’re distracted then have your family members hide around the house. Choose somewhere that is not out of sight initially, so they can easily find you, then choose harder spots. This will boost their confidence and stretch their instincts with each ‘round’. Take it in turns to call them. Each family member, when found, must congratulate your furry friend and show them lots of love.
Bubbles are a fun, inexpensive way to entertain your pup – and children too! Always check the label before you buy bubbles to ensure they’re safe for dogs. Did you know you can even buy ‘dog bubbles’ in different flavours? There are even dog-friendly bubble machines available to give owners a breather!
Ensuring your home is dog-friendly is important when creating an environment for play and exercise with minimal chance of harm or breakages. From here, you can introduce a couple of new sights and experiences to combat boredom, like the following:
Give them a view
Dogs have impeccable senses and love exploring the outside world with its diverse sights and smells. If circumstances mean it isn’t optimum for a walk, create a snuggly space by the window so your pup can watch the world go by. Whether it’s birds flying by, cars passing or people (maybe even with other dogs), they can keep entertained with activity outside.
Build a doggie den
Dogs love to snuggle down in a cosy space. Whether it’s blankets piled with their favourite toys or renovating your spare bedroom into their very own pet pad, your dog will be very grateful of their own little sanctuary to retreat to.
Use the garden
If you’re lucky enough to have a spacious and secure garden, why not extend your isolation to outside where you and your pet can enjoy time in the fresh air and in nature? A little run-around and game of fetch makes for a fun afternoon and gets your steps up, too.
How to help others
In these unprecedented circumstances it’s important we take care of each other as well as ourselves. If you are healthy and have not been instructed to self-isolate, it may be worth checking on neighbours with pets – especially the elderly, and see if they might need your help taking the dog for a walk or getting pet food from the shops etc.
Whatever you do, make sure to follow the advice given by public health officials and take precautions to stop the spread of the virus.
Currently, it has been announced that there is still no evidence at this time that pet animals including dogs and cats could be a source of infection to other animals or humans. For more information on pets and COVID-19 click here.