Covid-19, also known as the coronavirus – we’ve all seen the memes. This pandemic is currently all that anyone can talk about, and rightly so. It is no laughing matter. In order to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus, many countries have been putting into place lockdowns and self-isolation practices. For most of the public, that means more time spent at home. That also means that more dog owners are home with their beloved pets – something that undoubtedly the dogs are excited for. However, without the normal access to things like doggie daycare centers, dog walking services, and more, some dog owners are at a loss as to what they should do for their pets’ exercise needs.
Because as much as sitting on the couch with a bag of Doritos and binging “Love is Blind” is fun, it’s also not healthy. But if you can’t necessarily go out to the park to socialize with other dogs and their owners, then how do you keep your pup fit? Well, below are six ideas to help keep your pet well-exercised and entertained while you two spend time indoors:
1. CREATE AN OBSTACLE COURSE
A dog will definitely get mentally and physically challenged if you set up an obstacle course. Not to mention they’ll have so much fun doing it because it’s with their favorite person. The best part is, you don’t really need much for it, you can use plenty of items from around the house such as cushions, blankets, chairs, a hula hoop, and many more items – be creative. If you want, you can even build a tunnel or other obstacles over which your dog has to jump. Of course, at the end of it all, be sure to reward them with a little treat.
2. TUG-OF-WAR AND FETCH
While these games are normally played outside, you can just as easily bring them indoors – provided that you have the room. If your space is a little restricted, then you can use a hallway and that works just as well. You can get the games started by tossing their favorite stuffed toy or ball. Ideally, pick something soft that way you don’t risk damage to items inside your home. Of course, when playing tug-of-war, remember that the game is one where your dog can lose a bit of self-control, so just watch out for any aggressive behavior in your dog.
3. PLAY HIDE AND SEEK
Before you play this game, be sure that you’ve got plenty of treats for your dog because this game needs them. And if you have children, this is a great game because it is fun for the whole family – the more the merrier! The whole premise is that the person, or persons, hiding then call the dog by name so they’ll go find them. This is why you definitely need plenty of treats because once your dog finds them they deserve a little something. It’s a fun game that will definitely give your dog plenty of exercise.
4. GET YOUR DOG ON THE TREADMILL
If you own a treadmill at home, then you can delay using it yourself and just get your dog to use it instead. Treadmills are a great and easy way to ensure that your dog gets the exercise that they need. Just be sure to start them off on a slow enough speed that they’re able to keep up. And if you’ve got treats that’s even better because you can motivate them to stay on long enough to get a really good workout. There are even dog-sized treadmills that you can invest in, and these are great because they take up less space in your home or apartment. However, you should never ever force your dog to use one if they absolutely hate the treadmill.
5. SCAVENGING HUNT
Your dog’s natural instincts can be used for this game, and it can be quite fun. In fact, you can make mealtime more exciting by making your dog hunt for their meal throughout the house – just leave little morsels throughout the home as clues for them to follow. You can start somewhere easy, then make it increasingly more difficult and challenging as time goes by.
6. USE FOOD DISPENSING BALLS AND FOOD-PUZZLE TOYS
These two games are great mental stimulation for your dog as they work hard to get the treats that they so badly want. All you need for these are a food-dispensing ball or a food-puzzle toy, from there just add treats and let the fun begin. Best part is these items are also dishwasher safe so you can clean them afterward.