While we’re limited to live indoors to stem the spread of this contagious virus, it’s important to ensure that your beloveds of the fur still get enough mental and physical exercise. Frustration can lead to bedwetting, food forgetting, inappropriate gnawing (of the couch or of the canid itself) and more. Regular attention, safe movement and psychological stimulation can alter both your experience of the four walls you’re kept behind. Remember, it’s not forever…
Which one – Without your dog seeing, put a healthy treat in one hand. Close your fist over it and close your other fist. Offer both to your sniffing pup. She’ll love nosing around to try to find where it is. When she does, let her eat it.
Toy names – “Start by playing with one specific toy,” suggests Puppy Leaks, “and giving it a name while you do.” With time and repetition, your pooch should associate the word with the object. Give a treat when she gets it right.
Fetch – This universal game can be down-sized for inside by altering the size, material and distance of the item you’re “throwing”. You can also make the game more complex with accessories like a disposable cardboard box that your dog has to navigate around. An alternative if there’s no long passage for laps is to attach a lightweight item like a feather to the end of a piece of elastic and toss that about in close range. This changes the name of the game to Catch, of course.
Pick up the things – This is a great segue to “fetch” that doesn’t leave you with a room – or a home – full of toys to pick up. “If your dog already knows ‘drop it’, have them pick up a toy and give them their drop it command once they’re standing over the container.”, suggests Puppy Leaks. Administer healthy treats and praise your pup when he/she works it out.
Where is my treat? – If you need time to yourself, you needn’t neglect your pooch. Some dog toys allow you to insert a vet-approved treat into it. The dog (or cat, but not both at once!) will then be busy for some time while trying to extract it.
Shaping – give them an item they can explore freely. Make sure it’s not something that can get damaged by teeth, paws, jaws and claws. The idea is to give them free reign. Use a clicker to bring them back to obedience.
Good, clean and fresh – Now is the time to bond over that brush. A gentle brush down, a careful nail clipping, or perhaps a long-overdue bath for your dog (but not your cat ) can bring you closer and triple the chances of cheerful cuddles. We’ve got some simple grooming tips here .
DIY Dog tooth brushing – If you’re feeling uber domestic and there isn’t an Uber around to deliver you some, try making homemade dog toothpaste and learning to brush your hound’s choppers. Nicely. We’ve got a doggie dental hygiene how to for you.
Cuddles – Good for both of you, this gives you a chance to do a tender, overall body feel for any suspicious lumps under the skin or wounds you didn’t know were there. Remember, your vet is open for business during lockdown and your dotsure.co.za pet cover is “always on” 😉. We’ve decoded cuddling for cats and dogs here .
Dog massage – more like “cuddles, enhanced,” a quick session of extended but gentle strokes and feels can release tension in a tight canid neck just as it might yours.
Dog treats – Don’t forget the invaluable power of a yummy, homemade dog treat. We’ve got a few recipes you and your tail-wagger might love. Try a lip-smacking dog biscuits recipe here, or a 3-ingredient pancake for pooch recipe here, and there’s a link to another at the end of this blog.
What did we miss? Your turn to suggest something. Share your ideas with us on our pet Facebook page.
And remember, the majority of pet claims are for incidents that happen at home. Sadly, this safe space can be the location of nasty accidents. Make sure your furry companion is protected with SA’s most-trusted insurer (according to independent review on Hellopeter.com). Get a free, no-leash attached quote for dotsure.co.za pet insurance online in minutes now!
We’ve got hearts in our eyes for Dr. French
What to do when your pet hates your partner
5 Reasons why your cat is the ultimate Valentine
Puppy school: 12 tricks to train in 2021
What you need to know about chaining your dog
What your pet parenting style says about you