How to Keep Your Pup Happy and Healthy During Isolation
Social isolation can be difficult for many people, but many people do not consider how difficult it can be for their pets. While they might be very excited to have you home all the time, dogs can get stir crazy and the zoomies set in. There are many things that you can do to make this time of isolation easier for your pup. Here are some great tips for keeping your pup healthy and happy during isolation:
Keep Your Dog’s Brain Active with Fun Games
When a dog is inside of a house for an extended period of time, they can become bored. When dogs are bored, they often look for ways to entertain themselves. This can lead to them causing damage to your home. Dogs sometimes chew items that they normally would not chew if their mind was stimulated. There are many fun and entertaining games that you can play with your dogs to keep their mind entertained while they are quarantined.
Seek and Find
A great game to play with a dog is Seek and Find. You need to hide something that your dog loves when they aren’t in the room and then have them try to find the item. You could use their favorite toy or even yourself. Your dog will have to figure out where the item is located which causes them to use multiple senses at once and keeps them occupied for a short period of time.
There are small stacking toys made for toddlers that involve stacking rings onto a base pole. Believe it or not, this is a fun toy for your dog to play with too. They may not be able to put the rings onto the pole in order, but they will be able to put them on once you teach them what to do. It can take some time to teach them what you expect, so be sure to be patient with them during the teaching process.
Sniff and Find
Another fun game to play with your dog is Sniff and Find. Take a few boxes and place a treat inside of one of the boxes. Your dog will need to sniff the boxes to figure out which one contains the treat. When they find it, let them enjoy their reward.
Give Your Pup Plenty of Exercise
It’s a good idea to try to get your dog as much exercise as possible during social isolation, as well. Be creative with your exercise, some people are able to get their dogs to walk on a treadmill when they cannot go outside. Just because you are practicing social distancing doesn’t mean that you can’t go outside. You could throw a ball for your dog to have him or her run around. You can also talk them for a walk around the block as long as you keep your distance away from other people while you walk.
You also want to be sure that you can keep your dog entertained while they are exercising so that they are enthused to do it again and again. Consider creating an obstacle course for your dog to go through. You could create one indoors or outdoors. Tug of war is another great game that you can play with your dog. It burns a lot of energy and allows you to connect with your dog in a new and fun way.
Keep Their Joints Strong for Maximum Comfort
During social isolation, your dog may not get the same amount of exercise that he or she got before social isolation began. Less exercise can lead to weight gain, which can cause joint swelling and stiffness. Giving your dog with Doggie Dailies Advanced Hip & Joint Soft Chews can help to minimize the stiffness from inactivity and provide overall joint support. It is an ideal supplement to give to dogs on a regular basis because they can help to keep your dog’s joints healthy and strong as they age.
Take the Time to Teach Your Dog to Do New Things
Social isolation can be a great time to teach your dog how to do new things. Dogs can remember and understand many more commands than you think. It’s important to be consistent with the commands that you teach your dog. If you change the commands while you are teaching him or her, they will become confused and it will be harder to teach them.
Start off with easy commands at first and then move on to more difficult ones. Sit, lay and shake are common commands to teach dogs. The only thing that really limits what things you can teach your dog is your own imagination. There are dogs that have been taught to skateboard, get things out of the refrigerator and even dance. It will take some time to teach your dog something new, but once you do, it will be well worth the effort every time that he or she does that new thing.
While isolation is a great time to grow your bond with your dog, it’s important to spend some time away from your dog when you can. This will decrease the chances of him or her suffering from separation anxiety when you have to go back to work. You could simply go outside by yourself and read a book or go for a walk without your dog to give them some time alone.
- Holly W