The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely changed the way we live our lives for the last couple of months. All over the world, countries have issued lockdowns that forced people to self-isolate and practice social distancing.
The same can also be said for our beloved dogs. The pandemic may have given us the opportunity to spend more time with our dogs, but it has also limited the chances for your furry friends to have the proper mental and physical exercise they need.
Here are some important tips you can do to help ensure that your dog is healthy and physically fit even during this quarantine period.
1. Stock Up On Dog Essentials
Just as we replenish our essentials for the quarantine period, we should also stock up on the basics of our dog and other pets. When it comes to dog food, you should buy enough for a month. If it’s too late for you to go out or if your supply is already exhausted, you can call an online pet shop to deliver you some high-quality meals for your pet.
Aside from food, you also have to remember to stock up on medications for your dogs in case they get sick. Pethonesty.com is an excellent online one-stop shop where you can buy medications that your dogs may need.
2. Take Your Dog To A Vet
Even though most research shows that dogs don’t easily get infected with the coronavirus, you still have to take your dogs to a vet for any urgent needs.
You also have to take precautionary measures to help protect your dog from the virus. Make sure that they don’t come in contact with people who are ill or who are showing symptoms of COVID-19. You also have to clean their snouts and pouts thoroughly especially after taking them outside.
3. Teach Your Dog Some New Tricks
One of the most effective ways to keep your dogs physically fit and active while on quarantine is to teach them some cool new tricks. This helps to keep their mind and body active while staying indoors.
There are so many tricks to teach your dog especially if you haven’t trained him before because of your busy schedule before the pandemic. Fetching things, picking up toys, weaving through your legs, sitting and rolling, and spinning are just some of the many tricks you can teach your dog. You can also combine these tricks as a way of exercising your dog while staying indoors.
Just be sure to give your dog some treats every time he learns a new trick.
4. Walk Your Dog While Observing Social Distancing
Even though going outside is not advisable by health experts due to the pandemic, you can still walk your dog as long as you observe social distancing.
You can use this opportunity to have some exercise on your own while you take your dog for a walk. During your walk, it is recommended that you keep a distance of at least two meters apart from other people. If possible, walk your dog in places where there are less or no people gathering around.
5. Create A Safe Space For Your Dog To Play
One of the most important things you can do for your dog or other pets while on quarantine is to create a safe space for them to play. This safe space can be very useful for them because it will serve as an area where they can play and enjoy some quiet time while sleeping.
The safe space can be a utility room, a spare bedroom, or simply a small bed in the corner of your home or under the table.
6. Make Sure That Your Dog Gets Enough Sleep
Dogs like to sleep. In fact, adult dogs, on average, sleep between 12 to 16 hours a day. They usually go to sleep when we are not around, so having us around all the time while on quarantine may be causing them to lose sleep.
As such, it is recommended to create a quiet and comfortable spot for your dogs to rest so they can get enough sleep.
7. Play Brain Games & Dog Puzzles
The mental state of your dogs is as important as their physical state. Although quarantine limits our ability to keep our dogs physically active, we can still try to keep them mentally exercised.
Playing brain games and dog puzzles may prove to be a good distraction for your dogs. These kinds of activities provide mental stimulation for your pets and keep them from developing unwanted habits such as chewing pillows. These games also give your dogs something to do and keeps them out of boredom while enriching their minds.
There are so many brain games and dog puzzles that you can play together with your dog. Using food dispensing toys is a great example of a brain game. A food dispensing toy contains food and requires your dog to figure out how to get the food inside.
Dog puzzles, on the other hand, come in different shapes and sizes. They can be quite simple, but can also be challenging. Just make sure that you start with simple puzzles first before moving on to more complex ones.
Use their food as a reward for being able to complete brain games and dog puzzles.
8. Create an Indoor Obstacle Course
Since you’ll be staying at home during this quarantine period, why not take advantage of it and use it as an obstacle course for your dog. This could be a lot of fun for you and your pet.
Creating an obstacle course indoors is quite easy. All you have to do is create a plan on how you want your obstacle course to look like. If you’re lucky to have a pretty big space inside your home, you can have your dog jumping over chairs or looping through them. Obstacle courses are beneficial for your dog as it challenges them both mentally and physically.
However, try to avoid creating an obstacle course on a wooden or tile floor to prevent your dog from slipping. Also, make sure that the obstacle course is easily surmountable and safe to prevent injuries to your pet.
9. Play The “Find the Treats” Game
Another good way of keeping your dog both mentally and physically active is a fun game called “find the treats”. It is a very simple game that will surely get your dog moving around and excited.
All you have to do is figure out your dog’s favorite treat and hide them in different rooms. Just make sure that you place them in a way that your dog will easily reach the treats once he finds them. Once you’ve finished placing the treats, signal your dog to find all of them.
Be sure to praise your dog every time he finds a treat so he feels encouraged. The “find the treats” game can be both fun for you and your dog and will really get you out of your boredom while on quarantine.
10. Master The Heel Command
One of the hardest parts of walking dogs is when they pull the leash towards the opposite direction. It is indeed a big problem, but luckily for you, you can use the quarantine period to start working on the heel command. Since you’ll be staying at home most of the time while on quarantine, you’ll have more time to teach your dog the heel command. The same goes for other commands and tricks that you want to teach your dog.
Mastering the heel command is easy. To practice it, let your dog walk ahead of you and once the leash is already at the end, turn around and walk in the opposite direction. After that, pull the leash to grab his attention and say “heel”. It’s safe to assume that your dog will not follow you at first but with more time and practice, your dog will eventually learn to follow your command.
You can also try giving some treats every time he follows your command as an encouragement. If you continue practicing this, your dog will have mastered the heel command by the end of quarantine and you won’t have any trouble walking him anymore!
The effects of the quarantine period and social distancing measures because of COVID-19 can be very devastating for dogs. Dogs, just like humans, are also prone to stress, depression, and boredom. Dogs are not able to comprehend why their favorite activities such as playing outside or walking around the park are suddenly prohibited, so it’s important to keep them busy inside and make them physically active while on quarantine. Making sure that your dog is healthy and physically fit throughout this quarantine period can also be a good distraction for you.
In light of this global pandemic we have to do our best to look after not just ourselves but our beloved dogs and other pets as well. Don’t forget that they, too, are suffering from the pandemic. So, while we are staying at home on quarantine, let’s use this opportunity to look after the welfare of our dogs and help them cope.