These are truly unprecedented times we are living in, with new isolation laws seemingly released every day. Isolation is proving to be stressful, boring and tiresome for humans and our four-legged friends as well.
While there is no doubt that dogs all over the country are relishing in having their owners’ home more than usual, they’ll also be missing out on their much-loved routine, vigorous exercise and socialization.
Combat boredom and growing waistlines for your four-legged friend with these tried-and-tested tips from our favourite DVS staff.
- Street walks – if you can, aim to take your doggo out of the house for daily walks to the end of your street. If you live on a busy road and maintaining your 1.5 metre distance from others proves too difficult, head out early in the morning or opt for quieter back streets. Off leash dog parks are still proving popular despite the difficulty for owners to maintain correct social distancing practices. Proceed with caution.
- Fetch – you may think were mad suggesting you play fetch in the house but depending on how big/cumbersome your dog is, it is possible. Throw soft toys across large rooms to encourage laps, bouncy balls down clear hallways to create a hilarious ping pong effect or a good ol’ trusted game of traditional fetch in the backyard will give your mate a little flurry of much-needed cardio.
- Food Puzzles – dog-friendly toys like Kongs prove a bit of a noodle scratcher for most dogs and will keep them occupied for a good chunk of time. There are plenty on the market to choose from, with some releasing small treats once your pooch has figured out how to move and shake them. This will give them some much needed mental and physical stimulation throughout the day.
- Obedience Training – 10 minutes of obedience training can help to keep your pooch’s skills sharp and his brain engaged. Be sure to make this a part of your daily routine, especially when you are tempted to hand over treats (remember, your dog should always be earning these, even in iso!)
- D-oga – dogs love a good stretch and will not hesitate to give you a helping hand next time you roll out the yoga mat. Encourage them to stretch alongside you, use their body weight to strengthen your core or just enjoy the uninvited kisses you’ll get during downward dog… Doga is a little bit of fun for everyone and is a good way to clear your mind and involve your pets in your workout. Check out this adorable Doga video for inspiriation – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EHW1Ukny3o
If you are still working, hustling from home or self-isolating amid the COVID-19 related changes this month, the impact on both you and your pets are numerous. Keeping the mind and the body stimulated is a great way to keep the blues away, keep active and spend some much-appreciated quality time with your fur family.