How to Keep Your Dog Busy at Home
While staying indoors to help slow the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to keep busy and do things that make you happy. The same goes for your dog.
Let’s face it, our dogs probably don’t know what coronavirus is, all they know is they are spending record amounts of us. So set aside some time to take your mind off the news and have a little fun with your pack.
Your Pup Needs Both Physical and Mental Exercise
Any pet owner who has witnessed “the zoomies” can tell you that dogs crave physical activity. Though different breeds need different speeds (don’t expect your ageing chihuahua to be able to keep up with a greyhound puppy), dogs are active creatures and need daily workouts to burn off steam.
If you can’t get outside for walks as often as your dog would like, it’s time to get a little creative.
Keep you and your pup in shape by taking them up and down the stairs (if your dog is big enough). Or, unleash your inner American Ninja Warrior creative director and set up a doggy agility course in your living room with boxes and broom handles.
Cardio isn’t your dog’s thing? Try a strength exercise by playing tug-of-war with them. This DIY rope toy for dogs is fun to make AND fun to play with. If you made friendship bracelets as a kid (or as an adult!), the weaving pattern should be familiar.
Physical fitness is important for your dog’s health. But that’s not all: your pup needs daily mental exercise too!
Mental Stimulation Can Solve Behavioral Problems
Just like humans, dogs function best when mentally stimulated.
Picture this: you’re on a first date, sitting across from the World’s Most Boring Person. As they repeat the details of their bellybutton lint collection for the third time that night, surely you can understand a bored dog’s motivation for chewing the furniture.
We’re in no way saying your dog finds you dull. But if they’ve been restless or obsessively chewing their paws, they might benefit from some extra stimulation.
Adding mental exercise to your dog’s daily routine can resolve hyperactivity and destruction problems. One study found it reduced behaviors like pacing, chewing on furniture, and obsessive licking by as much as 90%. And, mentally stimulated dogs to adapt better to stress.
Here are some ways to help your dog work out their brain during long stretches of indoor time!
Teach Your Dog a New Trick
Teaching your pup to dance can have benefits beyond making them more fun at parties.
One study found shelter dogs who had short training sessions twice a day jumped and barked less and were more likely to engage in “polite” behaviors like sitting.
Find an online tutorial for that really cool trick you’ve always wanted to try and start teaching your dog. Happy learning!
Let Your Dog Sniff
Your dog’s favorite type of stimulation is smell. An easy way to keep them happy is to change up the scent-scape of your home!
Staying indoors is a great opportunity for a game of hide-and-seek with your pup. Hide small bits of food around the house for them to keep them alert and entertained. Just make sure they don’t have to scratch up your finest china in order to get the treat!
To take this to the next level, bring out your iron chef skills! Here at Earth Rated, we love to try new DIY recipes for the pups on our team (and they love them too). We’ve cultivated a list of our favorite tried-and-true recipes for you!
DIY Frozen Dog Treats: can be fully customized with foods your dog loves!
DIY Ice Lick Recipe for Dogs: keep your dog cool and busy with this fun, fully-customizable ice lick treat!
DIY Frozen Watermelon Treats for Dogs: refreshing and perfect for any occasion!
DIY Fresh Breath Cookie Recipe for Dogs: parsley and mint are herbs known to have properties that help combat bad breath, and these cookies are a tasty treat your dog will enjoy!
DIY Sweet Potato Snacks for Dogs: sweet and nutritious. Cut the slices into shapes to make things even more fun!
DIY Ice Cream Recipe: delicious for humans and dogs alike!
DIY Birthday Cupcakes for Dogs: we can’t guarantee your dog will love wearing a party hat, but we can guarantee they’ll forgive you after one of these Birthday Pupcakes.
On that note, if you need someone to talk to, we’re here. If you want to send us photos of your dog and tell us how great they are, we’re here for that too.