Updated: Mar 19
I had a thought today, mainly thinking how on earth to entertain our child if we had to stay at home for a period of time, but also thinking about our dogs and making sure we give them the exercise and stimulation they need. So, I thought I'd compile a few ways of keeping them entertained and exercised if you are either self containing, or the country goes into total lockdown.
Firstly, I have to admit that I have no idea what the rules for dog walking are if or when it comes to the country being put on a lock down. However, if you are self isolating on your own, or don't have much of a garden then here are some ways to entertain, exercise and just have some fun with your dog. Also they are great things to do anyway when life is slightly more normal!
Secondly, just be aware that these aren't suitable for all dogs. Age, size and general health must always be taken into consideration, as should the temperature inside your house.
1 Fetch. (Or as our Lurcher calls it "Get the ball then take it twice as far away from me!").
A fun game for most dogs and will easily get them moving around burning off some energy. If your dog doesn't know how to fetch, then have a go at teaching them.
2 Obstacle Course.
Now this is something our lucher does with our living/dining room furniture anyway but you can get creative and build them tunnels to lure them through, up and down off the couch (if you allow it) or small jumps, (making sure what they're jumping over will just fall away if they clip it with their legs so they don't injure themselves).
3 Chasing Bubbles.
This can be great fun for everyone, obviously if there is a child involved, make sure they're not going to get knocked over when your dog is jumping around chasing disappearing balls. Always be sure to use
4 Hide and seek.
Use one of your dogs favourite treats to get their attention and get them to sit and stay (it may help you to have someone to hold them if they won't stay. Like one of my dogs, there's more chance of him counting to ten than staying at the moment).
Hide somewhere easy at first and call them then gradually make the game more difficult for them by hiding further away praising and treating them every time they find you.
5 Puzzle Toys.
There are plenty of puzzle toys on the market that will keep your dogs busy and mentally stimulated for varying amounts of time. (They're also great for if your dog gets bored when you go back to work).
6 Rotate their toys.
If you don't buy them new toys often then they sometimes lose interest in the ones that are always there. You could remove a couple them once in a while swap them over and more often than not, they will have a renewed interest in the toys that have magically re-appeared.
7 Treasure hunt.
This can be purely as simple as hiding treats around the house. If you have not played this before, then start off gently by placing the treat across the room, out of sight but easy to smell, giving a command to find and letting your dog go and get it. You can practise this until your doggy gets good at it. Then you can go onto trying different rooms/treats helping him/her out if they need it.
I hope this will be of use to some of you in what could be a difficult few weeks ahead and just to remind you to be aware of your own, your family and your dogs safety like their health, age, ability AND your surroundings when doing any of these.
In the meantime, take extra special care of yourselves, stay safe and we'll get through all this somehow.
Oh, and wash your hands!!!!!
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