As more states are going into lock-down mode due to the Coronavirus, pups all around the nation are starting to go stir crazy. In return driving their humans crazy! While most humans and their pets are out of their normal routine currently, it is important to keep your dog busy throughout the day! This helps to tire them out both mentally and physically to ensure they are still happy and preoccupied. Here are a few at-home dog activities to help lessen the stress during this quarantine time where your with your pup 24/7!
Play With Them!
There are a wide variety of dog friendly toys on the market that can be used both inside and outside. For games of fetch and tug with your furry friend! Frisbee and soccer with the jolly ball are favorite games in my house! You can also take your dog on a walk while practicing social distancing. The exercise will be excellent for your pet and is also great for your health too!
Positive Reward Training!
Many dogs are familiar with the basic commands of sit, stay, and down. However, there are numerous other commands that you can work on with your dog while quarantined! Dogs who enjoy vigorous physical activity normally will enjoy the challenge of trying new tricks like: paw, rollover, dance, jumping, “placing” on objects while sitting still, or catching toys in mid-air with their owners. Positive reinforcement treat training works well, and helps owners build stronger bonds with their dogs. Training also serves as a tool for building a strong foundation while communication both verbally and non-verbally with your furry friends.
Love, Snuggles, and Cuddles!
Especially after a long at-home work day, there is nothing better than snuggling and cuddling with your furry friends. This time is a perfect chance for owners to build stronger bonds with their dogs and show them love and affection like they do every day. Not only will they love attention from their humans, but studies show that the affection we receive from our friends will help to decrease cortisol levels in the body which will lessen our stress levels. Seems like a win-win situation in my book!
Just like us humans enjoy binging a show on Netflix from time to time, dogs enjoy similar forms of entertainment while cooped up for days inside! There are numerous websites and television companies that are now offering 30-day free trials for their canine-friendly videos. In addition to the TV shows, there is also a wide variety of YouTube videos that provide relaxation, mental stimulation, and engagement for your dogs to watch or even snooze to.
Puzzle Toys and Bones!
Any dog owners that have aggressive chewers would benefit utilizing bones and puzzle toys during this quarantine! Some of my favorites include: No-hide tough chew bones, elk and moose antlers, and water buffalo chews. Bones often keep dogs preoccupied for hours at a time. This will help you be able to get work done while they chew. Also, some bones are beneficial for dental hygiene and teeth strength. Puzzle toys can be used to mentally exhaust your pups through the day too. Hide treats in the puzzle toys to mentally challenge them while being positively rewarded with treats as they play.
(Disclaimer: All dogs should be closely monitored while chewing on any bone to lessen the risk of potential choking hazards.)
Although we are all going through times of uncertainty with this global pandemic, there is one thing that dog owners can count on every single day. Dogs alike provide emotional support. Dogs are good stress relievers and naturally lighten the mood when things get frustrating and overwhelming. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States says “pets can help ease loneliness and depression by giving us companionship.” The experts say that owning a dog can be extremely beneficial for the owners health and well-being. Dogs are meant to be companions and can have a direct influence on their owners emotional, social, mental, and physical state. Some of the physiological benefits of owning a dog which are stated on the CDC website are:
- Decreased cholesterol levels
- Decreased blood pressure
- Decrease triglyceride levels
- Decreased feelings of loneliness
- Increased opportunities for socialization
- Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
Humans lives aren’t the only ones who are changing daily due to the global pandemic. Dogs who are used to being home alone during the week days are now having to adjust to their owners being home all the time too! Even though this is a stressful time for everyone, know that your dog loves your unconditionally. There are numerous ways to keep them preoccupied while you work during the day.