During these next few months, the country and most of the world will be in lockdown, with many of us practising self-isolation. Now, whilst staying inside and avoiding others already has its challenges, we pet parents also have the concerns of keeping our pups active and entertained...
The current UK government guidelines allow us to leave the house once a day for exercise – which of course means you can still take your dog for a nice walk, as long as you, or a member of your household, do not have anysymptoms.
As most of you already know, exercise is a huge part of supporting your dog’s health and well-being, so it is important that you’re able to fulfil these needs during the strange and unprecedented months ahead. Many of us are trying to avoid heading outside as much as possible, and with these few helpful tips, you should be able to support your pup’s health from the comfort and safety of your own home.
Here are a few ways to use indoor exercise to keep your dog active and healthy without having to venture into the uncertain dangers of the outside…
Now, let’s not forget that not all exercise has to be excessive or physical. Of course, taking your dog for a walk is normally the easier option – and you have the bonus of keeping you fit too – but, it isn’t the only way to keep your pet stimulated…
By now, you’ve no doubt completed the standard obedience training, normally achieved while your pet is still a puppy, but with all this extra time inside, why not learn a few new commands? And it's not necessarily true what they say... you canteach an older dog new tricks!
Assuming you have mastered sit, stay, paw…you could practice some more advanced commands. Plus, not only will this one-on-one training time keep your dog active, both mentally and physically, but it will also help you both build on the relationship you have with each other - solidifying your bond.
Well, there’s no time like the present! Grab a few of your dog’s favourite treats and start teaching them a new and impressive trick – or two;
Any of these will give you that much needed active time to keep your dog healthy and kill any boredom. Before you know it, (once all this is over and life has returned to normal) you’ll be able to show off all the new tricks!
There are plenty of games you can play inside with your furry friends to keep them active, entertained and happy.
Now, it’s completely understandable if you don’t want to throw a ball around inside – it’s a guaranteed way end up with something valuable broken – so why not trade the ball in for a tug toy? A simple piece of rope can give your pet hours of playtime! A good game of tug-o-war will not only help pump the blood around your dog's body, but it will start their natural instincts and stimulate their brain functions, too.
Plus, the best thing about this form of play is that you don’t need a lot of room at all. All you need is a strong piece of rope and a good grip! A very simple and very effective way to keep your pup active during isolation. Grab a toy now, and get your pup’s blood moving around their bodies.
Staying inside can become a drag for both you and your dog, with day to day things becoming a little stagnate. So, why not try something a bit more physical and get your pup to take part in an at-home obstacle course?
There are lots of products available for your dog in pet shops and online, but during the current climate, it might be difficult to get your paws on a few tunnels, hurdles, and hoops if you don't already have them.
In which case, you can simply create your own course with some of the items in your home or garden. After all, two flower pots and a broom handle could be transformed into a hurdle...
Either way, whatever you have them dodging around the dining room chairs or jumping hurdles in the back garden, your pup can enjoy a few hours of physical activity without having to leave the safety of your home.
A scavenger hunt is a perfect option for a bit of indoor fun that both you and your pup can enjoy. Due to your dog's incredible sense of smell, this type of play can help trigger their natural instincts and encourage brain stimulation - needed to keep your pet's mind healthy and active.
Nose work, nose games, and scavenger hunts are simple alternatives to other high impact activities that may require you to be outside - perfect during this current lockdown. To actively 'hunt' and find a hidden treat will not only help mentally stimulate your pup, but it can build confidence and solidify your bond with each other - plus, this type of activity is perfect for senior dogs, too.
Hide a few of your pet's favourite goodies around the house or garden (if you have one) and begin the scavenger hunt. Depending on how intuitive your pup it, this type of play could fill a few hours with fun for both you and your furry friend.
Making sure that your fluffy companion gets enough exercise is very important and a key factor in keeping them healthy. Of course, with the current rules in place, you’re able to take your pup for a walk once a day, but if your pet is accustomed to more exercise and stimulation, trying the above ideas could do wonders for your dog’s health. So, until we know things are safe and we’re able to return to normal life, you can use these tips to keep your dog active and happy – plus, you’ll solidify your relationship, making it stronger than ever.