The nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19 has affected not only us but also our pets in a number of ways. Their regular outings are at a standstill and daily walks are down to a bare minimum. With all that pent-up energy you're bound to see certain behaviour changes in your pet at house. If your dog is very social or has high energy, he/she might be bouncing off the walls leaving you at your wits end wondering how to contain this extra energy. Pet parents might also be behaving differently due to the stress of the quarantine, your sensitive pooch might pick up on this and show some unusual behaviours as well. Potty training gone wrong, clingy behaviour or excessive chewing might be some new things that you are seeing around the house. Here are 5 things to do to have fun with your dog, to ease off the situation and expend all that excess energy:
Five Fun Things To Do With Your Dog During Lockdown!
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 Pooch A Cool Trick
Have you always wanted to teach your dog a difficult trick but you never had the time to do it? Now is the best time to teach your dog how to fetch the paper or bring you your slippers or fetch his leash or clean up his toys. Or did you want to try something cute like play dead, twirl or dance? You now have ample time to teach Fido these things. Look up some videos online or get in touch with a trainer on a video call to get going now!
Ice Ice baby
With temperatures rising across the country you can use ice in many ways to entertain your mutt. Just give your dog a big chunk of ice to chase around; do that in your bathroom or balcony as it can be a bit messy. You can also tie up a couple of cubes of ice in a piece of cloth and let him chew on it (keep an eye on your dog to make sure that he doesn’t start tearing and eating up the cloth). If your dog is food motivated, you can also freeze meals and that’ll keep him busy trying to finish off his food by licking it until it melts.
The Name Game
You can teach him/her someone’s name by playing a game of hide and seek. OR you can teach him/her a word like ‘toy’ or ‘ball’ by hiding it and making him/her find the object. Both of these games will eventually teach your dog to find the person or object using his sense of smell thus engaging him mentally. Engaging your dog’s sense of smell is a fun way to keep him busy since he’s not getting to go out and do all the sniffing he is used to.
Make some new toys using simple techniques - like braid a few pieces of cloth together to make a rope toy out of it. Take an old t-shirt and tie it up with multiple knots into a kind of ball. You can put some pebbles in a plastic box or recycled plastic bottle to make it a rattle toy, or tie up a plastic bottle inside a sock so it’s a noisy, yet soft, toy. While using a plastic bottle make sure you remove the cap, the plastic ring as well as the label and only use the plain transparent bottle. This way you have a wide variety of toys so your dog doesn’t get bored. One useful tip for keeping out dog toys – only keep available 4 or 5 toys for him to play with and keep changing these daily so he doesn’t get bored.
All inputs by Tanya Patel