Millions of Americans are all feeling the effects of self-quarantine. It’s a necessary part of the process to keep our families healthy and safe. On the plus side, the World Health Organization has stated that “there’s no evidence that [our pets] can transmit the disease to humans and play a role in spreading COVID-19.”
Unfortunately, as we spend more time indoors, our dogs spend less time outside (checking pee-mail, chasing furry friends at the dog park, or meeting new human ones). Ultimately, they’re not getting the much-needed mental stimulation and exercise that they need to stay healthy and happy.
We can get so focused on the very critical issues of staying healthy and safe that we can sometimes forget that our pets are looking to us to keep them healthy too! We need to do whatever we can to keep them active and stimulated while under self-quarantine. Here are four ideas for keeping your dog stimulated during these trying times, some of which we as dog owners should be doing regularly even during normal times:
Tip 1: Hiding treats around the house
Dogs love to hunt, find, and sniff in the wild. As Alexandra Horowitz describes in her great book “Being a Dog”, a dog’s sense of smell is how they perceive the world. Hiding treats around the house for them to find will keep them mentally stimulated and also allow them an opportunity to practice using their sense of smell, something they are probably using less of when stuck at home.
Tip 2: Obedience training
Obedience training is incredibly valuable for dogs, and not just to ensure they stay good citizens as part of society. Oftentimes, dog owners focus on obedience training early on in a dog’s life and then stop once they’ve “been trained.” However, it’s important to remember that there are other long-term health benefits to obedience training too.
That’s why it’s so important to keep up with obedience training throughout your dog’s life. Even just ten minutes a day can provide a great boost to a pet’s confidence!
Tip 3: Tried and true toys
A great and reliable technique for keeping dogs active and healthy is to fill durable toys (such as Kong) with delicious things like peanut butter. This is a great way to make your dog tired. If she passes the peanut butter prematurely, a convenient trick is to freeze it in advance to provide long-lasting entertainment and entertainment.
Tip 4: Next-generation active play
Many new technologies on the market can keep people active. Although PlayDate was created to allow pet owners to keep in touch with furry friends at work, it is also a good way to keep pets active during isolation.
The PlayDate smart ball connects through the home wifi to a pet owner’s mobile phone. They can control the ball remotely using the app. Canine cognition experts suspect that since the dog has no way of knowing that the owner’s behind the ball’s movement and squeaky sounds, the dog thinks it’s a live squirrel or rabbit. The result is a great way of keeping your pet mentally stimulated while ensuring that he’ll receive a well-deserved nap when he tires out from all the exercise.
Try to use these tips with your puppy and let us know how it works! This is a difficult time for everyone, and we hope that you and your family will stay safe and healthy.