Today I wanted to share some tips on how to keep your dog active and stimulated during the quarantine.
I know a lot of people have been struggling with this so I wanted to share some ideas with you along with some activities for you and your dog to enjoy together.
Some of these might seem obvious and that's okay. I wanted to include some obvious ones because I know that during times like this we tend to overthink things and forget about the obvious options.
But hopefully, there are some ideas included that you haven't heard of yet.
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How to Keep Your Dog Active During Quarantine
So this is, of course, the most obvious option but I have seen many people struggling with it still so I wanted to include it and explain some ways to help make it more exciting or at least bearable.
The biggest trick is to switch up your route every walk.
For example, one day you go your normal route through your neighborhood, then maybe the next day you do that route backward. Yes, that does actually help make it feel like a different walk.
You can also drive to other neighborhoods, or find back country roads to explore, or secluded trails. Just as long as you are following the social distancing guidelines.
When you are walking in different areas, you are seeing new things and your dog is sniffing new things. This helps to keep you both more excited and aware of your surroundings instead of walking your normal route for the 100th time and then snapping out of your zombie state not even realizing how you got to where you are.
Another trick is to go on different lengths of walks. Some days go for one really long walk and other days go for multiple short walks.
Another way to switch up your outdoor exercising is to have your dog run alongside you while you bike.
Maybe your dog already knows how to do this, but if not, now is the perfect time to start training them. You have all the time in the world right now, right?
This will help to break up your walks by adding in another form of outdoor physical exercise and allowing you to cover more ground and tire your dog out more so than just a short walk.
Believe it or not, training is actually a form of exercise. It's just mental exercise instead of physical, although some training is also physical. But mental exercise or mental stimulation is just as important and tiring as physical exercise.
You can continue working on the same tricks your dog already knows and add in some new tricks.
There are tons of dog tricks listed online, you're bound to find something that you find interesting. Like this list of easy and fun dog tricks. You can even train your dog on how to pick up their own toys or help you with chores around the house.
The possibilities here are endless, you can get really creative with this and have a lot of fun!
Plus, you can record yourself training your dog and share it with your friends and followers. It's always fun to see what type of tricks people are training their dogs and how they train them.
4. Play Games
There are a wide variety of games you can play with your dog.
You have your basic games like fetch, chase, or keep away.
But you can also play games like hide n' seek, puzzles, "find it", indoor playground, and so many others!
Hide n' Seek
In order to play hide n' seek your dog needs to know how to sit and stay. To start off you want to make it extremely easy for your dog so they can understand what you are expecting of them.
So first, ask them to sit and stay in one room while you walk and then stand in the middle of the next room over and call your dog. They will then come to find you.
Once your dog starts to get the hang of this, you can gradually make your hiding places harder.
If you happen to have dog puzzles laying around that you already bought from a store, that's perfect! This is the one we have and the dogs love it! It doesn't seem to be too hard yet it is challenging enough to keep them interested.
But if you don't, or maybe you want other puzzles to play with, you can easily make your own.
Like everything else, you can find a ton of DIY dog puzzle ideas online. But the most simple puzzle to make is the muffin tin game. It uses items you already have laying around your house.
To do this, you take a muffin tin, put some treats into the holes, then cover the holes with dog toys or balls. When you give it to your dog they will have to use their nose to sniff out the treats and move the toys out of the way to get to the treats.
You can play this a few different ways.
If your dog knows the "find it" command then you can scatter some treats throughout your living room and then call your dog into the room and ask them to find it.
If your dog doesn't know the command, you can let your dog sit and watch you scatter the treats and then release them to let them find all the treats. Either ask your dog to sit and stay while you do this, or have someone else hold them back.
You can make an indoor playground for your dog, or if you have enough space and objects you can make the playground outside.
But all you have to do is use things you already have in your house, such as your couch, some chairs or stools, a broom, etc.
You can set up a chair somewhat close to your couch and have your dog jump back and forth from the couch to the chair. Of course, be careful with this as it might develop a bad behavior.
Another idea is to take two chairs and set them about a foot apart and lay a broom across them so that your dog has to either jump over the broom or crawl under it.
You can get really creative with this and have a ton of fun!
If you have a tent you can set up your tent in the backyard or even in your living room and pretend you are camping out.
Don't worry if you don't have a tent, you can still do this with a blanket fort in your living room!
Photo credit: @thenorthernborders on Instagram
6. Plan Adventures
There's a chance that you had some adventures or vacations planned but the coronavirus changed those plans for you.
But you can still plan for new adventures and vacations for when everything starts to go back to normal. Of course, since we don't know when exactly that will be you won't want to set any dates.
At least with planning, you will have something to look forward to help keep your hopes up when you are feeling gloomy.
7. Pool and Sprinkler
Not all dogs enjoy playing in the water so this might not be a good idea for those dogs. But if you do have a dog that loves water, then this is a great activity for you both!
If you have a kiddie pool you can fill it up and play in the water with your dog. Or you could throw in some toys and have your dog "fish" them out.
Playing in the sprinkler is another great option!
8. Bake Dog Treats
Obviously your dog can't bake treats with you, but your dog will still be able to enjoy taste testing all of your creations!
Making your own dog treats is also great just because then you know what exactly is going into the treats that you are feeding to your dog.
You can find a ton of DIY treat recipes online or you could get creative and make your own baking masterpiece.
Related: DIY Dried Banana Dog Treats
9. Stuff Toys with Treats
There's a really good chance that you have some sort of dog toys that you are able to stuff treats inside of. If not, you should really think about investing in some.
For the times you need your dog to be occupied on their own, you can give them a toy that's stuffed with treats. This will keep them busy and it's also a great way to mentally stimulate your dog.
For an extra challenge, freeze the treat stuffed toys before giving them to your dog.
And to help keep your dog excited, switch up your treat stuffing concoctions.
Related: 26 Treat Ideas to Stuff in a Kong
Chances are that if you're reading this, then you don't work from home, or at least not normally. If this is true, then this tip is extremely important!
You need to make sure your dog still gets alone time each day.
Because you are all of a sudden home all of the time with your dog, they are going to get more attached to you. Then when you go back to work, they may experience some separation anxiety.
To help prevent this, you need to schedule in some time every day for your dog to have alone time.
If you normally crate your dog while you're at work then you should still be crating your dog even though you're home.
Ideally, you should crate them at the same time you usually would, but anytime at all will work.
Of course, you don't have to leave them in there as long as you would if you were at work, but even just 30 minutes to an hour will be beneficial.
If you don't usually crate your dog and don't want to, then you should at least be leaving them alone in another room. Give them a treat stuffed toy then leave them alone for a short period of time.
This way, it won't be such a shock to your dog when you do go back to work.
If you found this blog post helpful please share it with your friends so we can help as many dog owners as possible who might be struggling during this crazy time.