The Canine Quarantine Blues: 12 Fun Things to Do
When you’re in quarantine for 10 or more days, how can you keep your dog entertained? There is nothing worse than seeing your furry loved one depressed on the couch and staring
out the window enviously at the squirrels. Especially when you can’t go for a socially distanced walk. Many dog families have access to a yard for playful romps, but if you’re like millions of us that live in an apartment, condo, or townhouse, this isn’t an option. Here are twelve quarantine tested ideas that helped my family make it through without destruction or canine depression.
Fetch - This simple game doesn’t need to be boring! Switch up different types of balls and even different stuffed animals. We work on impulse control by occasionally adding a “wait” command, throwing the ball, and then releasing your pup to go for it.
Basic Training - Need to touch up on the basics? “Sit,” “down,” and “wait” need to be revisited periodically in every room of the house, with or without food present, and especially when kids are running wild.
Tug - Get your dog using those muscles! A tired dog is a well behaved pooch.
Three Card Monty with Cups and Treats - My son loves playing this game with our dog. It works his brain and nose.
Puzzle Feeders - Don’t just leave the food out in a bowl. Instead, have your pup spend 5-10 minutes working for it. This is a great way to engage a dog’s brain.
Bones to Chew - We gave my dog a different bone to chew every day of our quarantine. Some lasted only 10 minutes, but a few gave my dog something to do for an hour. Short on bones? We ordered a variety online and had a surplus in only 48 hours.
Flirt Pole - What is a flirt pole you might ask? It’s basically a cat wand toy, but made for dogs. You can easily DIY your own at home. Click this link for instructions. This toy can be life changing for many dog families. (https://germanshepherdcorner.com/how-to-make-a-flirt-pole-for-dogs/)
Brushing and Nail Clipping - Treat your dog for great manners while doing hygiene. Did you know that the main reason vet techs get bit at regular office visits is because dogs aren’t used to their feet being handled? Don’t let your dog be the next biter and work on basic grooming skills now, while you’ve got the time.
Recall Training - Get your dog running across the house, or even up the stairs. Just 15 minutes a day and my medium energy dog was ready to snooze.
Prepare for outdoor adventures - Wish you could take your dog with you for more outdoor adventures? Begin working on those manners and skills now. My family loves to go kayaking every weekend in the summer. So during quarantine we put the kayak in the middle of the living room floor, and worked with my dog on getting in the boat, staying still in the boat, and exiting the boat on command.
Try Different DIY Dog Treat Recipes - I think this was my favorite part of quarantine. My son and I looked up various dog treat recipes, slaved away in the kitchen, and presented gourmet treats for my dog to judge.
Nap together - Dogs are pack animals, so sometimes it’s nice for both of us to just snuggle up on the couch and catch up on some ZZZzzzs.
Quarantine can be a great time to reconnect with your canine companion and just have fun!
With puppy and kitty love,
Lily the Dog Mama