The psychological toll of lockdown is double for pet owners as their pets might be suffering from a lack of physical and mental stimulation. Being stuck in confined spaces is changing our lives. As much as we miss the outdoors, our pets do the same. Looking out of the window reminds us of the freedom we once had. This imprisonment is the need of the hour, but it is making us and our pets dull and sluggish.
Here are a few ways to keep your dog active when you have nothing else to do:
Lockdown is the best time for dog owners to bond with their dogs. Owners are home and have plenty of time on their hands. Therefore, there are tons of activities that you could plan to provide mental and physical stimulation to your dogs. Dogs who spend much of their time indoors start losing their abilities. This has a significant impact on their health as well. Dogs might suffer from digestive issues, cabin fever, and anxiety. Keeping your dog active could prove to be a challenge, but a little effort from your heart could turn this challenge into a dream.
Since you have a lot of time on your hands, you can spend it mindfully. Google tricks that your dog does not know. Make a list of such tricks and make your dog learn those tricks every day. Make sure that you set a reward with each trick as well. The tricks could be of any sort. Spin, stand on hind legs, say a prayer, dance, and skateboarding are great examples. A key point here is that do not go overboard with the tricks. Start with the easier ones and then gradually move towards the difficult ones. This is a great way to recharge your dog’s mental stimulation.
Make meal sessions a play session
Meal sessions are highly important at this time. Make sure that you are feeding your dog less than usual these days. Also, switch the diet of your dog to a healthier diet. Meal sessions with your dog could turn into play sessions. Instead of putting dog food at one spot. Divide it into smaller portions and spread it all over the house. Do it in front of your dog. This is an excellent way to provide physical and mental stimulation to your dog.
Search your toy
If you have a lawn or a garden near your building then take your dog there. Instead of playing a simple fetch game, make your dog search their favorite toy. You can pretend to hide the toy at multiple places. Make sure that your dog sees you doing this. Once done make your dog look for it. Combining this with a treat would double the fun. It would get your dog excited every time. You do not have to go out for this, this could be done in your living room as well. Thus, it is a simple way to increase the competitiveness of your dog.
This might look like an odd one here but it also has significant importance to keep your dog healthy. Make sure that your dog stays healthy and groomed. A good bath, a little haircut, a combing session, and trimming followed by a cuddling session releases oxytocin. It helps regulate blood and relaxes your dog. It also reduces anxiety. A good grooming session is mandatory to revive the bond with your dog. It would help you relax as well while keeping your dog active.
Train your dog
Train our dog every day. Here are some ways to train your dog:
- If you are still allowed to go out of your building once a day then take your dog with you.
- If you are bound to stay home then make sure that your dog walks all around the house.
- If you have stairs then make your dog go up and down for 10 or 20 mins. You can combine this with a fetch game. Throw your dog’s toy downstairs and make your dog fetch it. This could also be great for you as well as you might also have to climb the stairs.
- Make your dog practice all of the tricks every day.
- Play tug of war with your dog by using a soft rope dog toy. Make sure then you keep holding onto it with proper grip as soon as your dog grabs it. This session of tug of war would overwork your dog, but would also provide the physical exertion necessary for staying active.
- Chew toys fulfill your dog’s desire to chew. Therefore, provide different chew toys to your dog. It would help them energize their muscles.
Interactive Puzzles are a great option to keep your dog mentally active. Interactive puzzles usually come with different dog treats or food. Some also come with lights and signals which easily excite dogs. You can combine it with meal sessions to make meal sessions interesting. Make sure you have plenty of different interactive puzzles so that your dog does not get bored. It would be beneficial if your dog plays with these puzzles every day.
Exercise is an absolute element to keep your body warm and healthy. You can follow several YouTube tutorials to find exercises for your dog. Here are some ways to make your dog exercise:
- Make them help you out in your workout sessions
- Make them learn dog yoga. This is a great way to relax your dog while keeping their activity level up.
- If you own a treadmill at home then make your dog run or walk on it for 20 or 30 minutes. Note: Do not go to your building’s gym for this. It could be a health risk for you.
Dog owners are finding ways to keep their dogs active in this trying time. It is a terrifying thought for many as no one’s life is the same anymore. But even in such a tough time, it is not impossible to carry out routine tasks. We can keep ourselves and our dogs active. It is not a hard task if we stick to it with our heart and soul. Our love for these furry bears could be a major driving force to thrive for this. Therefore, an effort is all you need. Staying calm, accepting the reality and keeping your sanity intact are the key factors to handle this situation. If you try hard enough, you will be able to keep your pets active.
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