Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a lot of new restrictions in place in terms of social distancing and staying home to help flatten the curve. As a result of this, all pet owners and their furry loved ones have been affected especially if they are used to going on daily walks with their doggy friends, seeing new people, and smelling new smells!
At this point, hopefully, we have all come to terms with our new situation and how to keep ourselves safe. With us all stuck at home, we need to find ways to entertain ourselves and our pets! Dogs still need to be stimulated to keep their curiosity up, which keeps their boredom low. A bored dog can lead to destructive attention-seeking behavior, which could lead to you having to replace an item or two!
We thought we.d suggest a few boredom busters and we’d love to hear any of your suggestions too!
Make an obstacle course…Since you’re under house arrest and outdoor activity is so limited, make a fun obstacle course for your dog. Put up some low jumps using sticks/umbrellas or a pouffe. Make a tunnel using your coffee table or with a couple of low stools joined together. You can even line up your dining table chairs and make your pet weave through them too. This way you now have one course with jumps, weaves and tunnels. First take your dog through each part individually and then you can make him/her run through the entire course at once.
Teach your dog new tricks…They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but I beg to differ! During the COVID-19 lockdown, keep your dog occupied by refining what they already know. Once they’re comfortable with that, you can start to teach them something new and more complicated! Examples of new tricks can be: training them to put their toys back into a basket, or show them the name of their toys so they can retrieve them upon command. They will come out of lockdown with a fresh set of skills that are guaranteed to impress!
Puzzle Games…Much like humans, puzzles can really work the brain, and force us to problem solve and think critically! Giving your dog the same task will provide them with the same kind of stimulation. The most popular type of puzzle game would be a snuffle mat. These mats allow you to hide food or treats between the flaps and folds, and it encourages your dog to hone in on their natural foraging skills. They will spend time trying to dig through the mat to try and find the treats! Various treat dispensing toys can help curb boredom as well. They are designed to make your dog work for the contents inside by flipping it around and finding a way to dispense the food through different holes and compartments!
Chew Toys – Chewing is something dogs love to do! A great way to bust away their boredom is to provide them with a Kong full of their favorite treat! Change the filling inside the Kong every once in a while, to give your dog a pleasant surprise. You can purchase a premade stuffing from the pet store, or you can make your stuffing by blending some fruits and yogurt for a yummy treat for your dog!
What have you been doing with your dog to prevent boredom…..let us know!