These uncertain times have made it difficult to go back to our old routines. As we get bored at home, our beloved dogs are distressed by the pet lockdown too.
While we can easily video call, watch a movie, or read a good book, it is not the same for pets. A sudden change in routine is distressing to both cats and dogs. Even worse, dogs can read the mood in the home and respond to it. And if things feel blue and drab, it will also reflect on a pet’s behavior.
Staying indoors for too long can affect the behavior of any dog, even a well-behaved one. Small breeds like Chihuahuas and Shih Tzus are likely to suffer anxiety for staying in confined spaces. High-energy dogs like XXL bluenose Pitbulls can develop destructive behavior like incessant barking or chew on stuff. The Worst case scenario is when an otherwise well-behaved pup grows aggressive.
So how do you keep things normal for your dog indoors?
All dogs thrive on routine to remain sane and happy. Maintaining some form of normalcy is the answer to preventing your dog from going berserk in a pet lockdown.
And how do you do that? Glad you asked.
Do these five interesting, engaging, and enriching things for your dog, and you won’t experience any problems.
1. Indoor pet lockdown games/ activities
You can make things exciting for your furry friend through pet lockdown indoor games. But because space may be limited, safety should come first during playtime. Remember, you are your dog’s source of entertainment, so make it count.
a) Find the treat
Nothing spells fun like a good old game of fetch. But in this version, you are sending your pup to find the hidden treat. It is a creative game that engages the mind and sharpens your dog’s sniffing skills.
Start by hiding a treat when your dog is looking. Give your dog the cue to retrieve the treat. A simple command like ‘Fetch it’ is a good cue. Now hide the treats without your dog watching. The hunt begins!
By the end of the game, your dog will be mentally exhausted and ready for a nap.
b) Shell game
The shell game is another brilliant pet lockdown mental game for your pup. All you need is a treat and three identical cups. Place the doggy-treat on a table and cover it with one cup upside down. Shuffle all three cups and let your dog find the cup with the hidden treat. This game engages your dog’s mind and hones its problem-solving skills.
c) Limbo bars
Are you looking for ways to expel that pent-up energy in your dog? Jumping over limbo bars will get all its muscles and energy working. If you do not have limbo bars, you can stick colored tape in halls or doorways. Train your dog to jump over the painted-tape a couple of times. Reward it with a treat for getting it right.
A homemade pet lockdown obstacle course is perfect for playing and exercising with your dog. It can be as simple as rearranging furniture around the house to create an obstacle course. As your dog jumps over or goes under stuff, he is engaging all his muscles. Alternatively, you can buy and install a pet obstacle course in your backyard.
Dogs love to chase and pop bubbles. All you need is a blower and a cup full of soapy water. Blow as many bubbles as you can and watch your dog go on a bubble-popping frenzy. Blow some bubbles higher to encourage your dog to jump. By evening, your pup will be tired and sleepy.
f)Tug of war
Tug of war is a game any dog would enjoy. Find an old cloth or a stuffed toy that your dog loves to chew. Hold the clothe or toy at the dog and let it grab with its teeth. Now start tugging at the rug or toy, and your pup will naturally tug back. Your fur baby is in for an adrenaline-filled game of tug of war.
2. Exercise/Physical Activity
You can also alternate between playtime and physical activity. How are these two different? Well, playtime helps your dog release pent-up energy, uplift its mood, and facilitate bonding with its human. Exercising is all about keeping your dog’s physique robust and healthy.
How do you do that? It can be as easy as letting your dog run up and down the stairs wearing a pitbull weighted vest. Alternatively, here are top five pet lockdown workouts to help your dog stay in shape and build muscle.
3. Diet and nutrition
With everything that is going on, it is easy to forget your dog’s feeding schedule. Also, one can fall into the habit of feeding the dog junk during quarantine. But you can avoid that.
If your dog is not getting a lot of exercise, reduce his food portions. Food without proper activity only leads to obesity in dogs. The last thing you want in your home is a diabetic dog.
Minimize rations and add more wholesome foods to your dog’s diet. Introduce the changes gradually to avoid any sudden stomach problems. You can use these ten healthy and whole dog recipes to maintain a healthy weight in your dog.
Don’t forget to throw in natural pet supplements to enrich the dog’s diet.
4. Regular grooming
Pet lockdown grooming is a great way to bond with your furry friend. All you need is a grooming mitt and a pup willing to spend time with you. As you brush his coat, you get to bond with him more. You can also check his coat for any injuries or skin issues during the grooming session.
If you have a large backyard pool, go for a dip with your pup. Make sure you wash off that chlorine water from its coat after. Use pet-approved shampoo and brush the dog’s fur for a glossy finish.
5. Give the dog space
As odd as it sounds, your dog needs alone time as well. Clear a small area in your home for your dog. It could be a room or corner that you fill with his toys and personal stuff. Whenever your dog feels overwhelmed by human presence, they can retreat to their quiet place.
Dogs need their regular hours of sleep a day to function normally. If you have a house full of humans, a quiet and secluded place is perfect for the dog to catch some shut-eye.
Even though things are crazy right now, you can still maintain normalcy in your dog’s life. Use the above pet lockdown tips to engage and enrich your dog mentally and physically. Remember, your dog looks up to you for bonding, entertainment, and company. Take advantage of the time you have together to become the best of friends.