5 Tips for Dog Owners during a Pandemic
Everything has changed and almost everyone has a “new normal”. Most dogs probably love to have their humans home all day, but it can be challenging for the human to focus on work with Fido always asking for attention. If you have two-legged kids multiply that by 5! It’s not easy for dog parents to balance everything now required of them at home. Here are 5 tips to help dog owners during this pandemic find balance and wellness.
1. Lots of Walks
Taking lots of walks is a great thing not only for your dog but for you too. It’s a chance to GET OUT OF THE DANG HOUSE!! Haha! Especially for those people working from home. Your dogs are a great excuse to get up to stretch your legs. They need it and so do you, so instead of walking to the water cooler like you would have in 2019 – walk around the block with Fido! Of course, follow social distancing and mask guidelines.
Game Time Dog Services is here to help you if you need help getting your dog out for enough exercise and/or if you just need some time of uninterrupted silence! ????
2. Regular Play Time
Being stuck inside all day is tough on all of us, but imagine how hard it is for dogs who are used to getting out to play. A little bit of playtime is great for all! Small tug of war, short distance fetch in the house, and hide and seek are great options that can be done in 5 minutes… Well, that depends on the dog. LOL! I know a few labs that would play fetch for 10 hours if they could. Bottom line, anything to engage and get their mind and body moving is a great way to keep them happy. HERE is an article with some indoor games you can play with your furbaby. This is also something that Game Time can help with if needed with our Aerobic Play service.
3. New Toys
Every dog loves a new toy! Treat them with something new even if it’s something small to create variety. I always look for ‘natures toys’ too – that perfect stick or brach can be entertaining for HOURS! Many pet stores are open for the time being but have safe online shopping and delivery available. GO LOCAL!! Paws on Chicon, P & F Pet Provisions, Tomlinson’s are great options! Of course get what you know your dog already likes, but consider a puzzle that includes treats to challenge your dog’s mind. I rotate toys meaning half of Bette’s toys are in her toy box and the other half are hidden away in a box. About every month or so I switch them. The ones that were hidden away suddenly seem new again. It keeps her from getting bored with them.
4. Learn New Tricks
Being forced to stay at home is a perfect time to try and teach your dog a new trick! This helps them engage with you on a mental level and gives you both a goal. Using treats and lots of positive reinforcement for rewards. Maybe try to find a new thing for your dog to learn every month. Consider reviewing basic training too! “If you don’t use it you lose it” Practicing “heel’ during your dog walk and recall is always beneficial.
5. Keep a Schedule
Dogs love consistency and it’s easy to lose track of time when there is little change in your day-to-day. Don’t forget to connect with your dog every day. Keep a simple schedule that includes focused time with your dog for walks, playtime, training, or just simple cuddle time.