Week two of social distancing and we already need these tips on how to keep our dogs thriving indoors.
For many of us, the past few weeks have seen us suddenly working remotely as the country takes the necessary steps to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Social distancing is a huge adjustment, but there's one group that is more than happy about this new ‘not leaving the house’ situation - our beloved pups.
It’s a very stressful time, but when we are in desperate need of a bright side, seeing those little tails wagging when they realize you won’t be leaving the house for work certainly seems like one.
But, as dog owners, we need to be realistic and without being able to freely leave the confines of our homes, it’s going to become harder to keep our furry friends entertained.
Although a lot of things are very uncertain at the moment, one thing is for sure – we are going to be spending a lot more time at home in the coming weeks.
It’s important we do what we can to stay safe, so whether you’re social distancing, self-isolating, or quarantining right now, here are our top tips to keep your dogs happy and entertained!
1) Put a dog bed near where you work
This one is simple but will be a huge comfort for your dog. They can be right next to you (their favourite place to be) without disturbing your work.
This small move ensures your pup is cozy and you can both do your own thing while still being together!
2) Play their favourite game
Just being home with your pup isn’t enough, and although they will love being by your side all day, they still need some quality time and stimulation – physical and mental.
So, take breaks for your own sake and use them to play some fun games with your pup. Catch, fetch, tug of war... Whatever it is, it will mean a lot to your dog if you take time out to give them some undivided attention.
3) Have a treasure hunt
Who doesn't love a treasure hunt?!
Try hiding some of your pup's favourite treats in different rooms and watch them excitedly try to locate them - a great way to keep your dog happy while social distancing.
Once they know there is a treat up for grabs at the end, they'll be motivated to keep on playing and will get lots of entertainment out of it!
It's also a great way to keep their mind more active than just eating treats from a bowl.
4) Don't overdo the treats!
With all this extra time with our favourite little sidekicks, it's very tempting to give them more treats than usual. Especially as they are doing so much to keep us feeling happy during this very stressful time.
But it's important that we remember we want our pups to be healthy and a balanced diet is essential. Too much food is not good for our dogs and caring for your pet during the coronavirus pandemic is extremely important.
So, show your love with extra cuddles instead of extra treats!
5) Make sure your pup has something to do when you're not interacting with them
When we're not home, our dogs sleep a lot but not all of them will nap as much when we're around. And as a lot of us are working remotely, we can't give our pooches our attention all day, as much as we'd love to!
So make sure your pup has access to chew toys, old and new, to prevent boredom. Boredom can easily turn into whining, barking or pawing at you for attention - not ideal when you're on a conference call!
Getting tired of their toys? Let your dog listen to Spotify which has launched ‘My Dog’s Favourite Podcast’, featuring a range of spoken word, sound and original music designed to keep your dogs relaxed!
6) Prepare them for the return of normality
Obviously, our dogs are going to get used to seeing us a lot more, which means when things go back to normal, separation anxiety could become worse.
If you can leave your dog alone for at least a little while a few times a week, that will help prevent shock when you do eventually go back to the office or start socialising with friends again.
This isn't an excuse to leave the house if you're quarantined, but if you can head out for a bike ride or go on any necessary errands from time to time, it will help keep your dog from becoming unable to cope with being left alone.
7) Take your dog for a walk before you start work (if you can)
Obviously, this only applies if you are social distancing.
If you’re not quarantining or self-isolating, an early morning walk with your dog is a great start to the day for you both.
It’s a lot easier for your pup to behave if she has already had some exercise, making it much more likely that the day will go well for the both of you.
Of course, if you are walking, don’t forget to stay at least 2 metres away from other people!
8) Make the most of your time with them
Finally, remember to cherish being able to spend so much time at home with your furry best friend.
The reason we have the opportunity to do so is very unfortunate, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still treasure this unexpected positive that's come from the global pandemic - after all, we need as much positivity as we can get right now.