It can be difficult to properly exercise your dog while you are self-isolating at home during the COVID-19 crisis. If you live in an apartment or do not have a yard, it is likely your dog will get less exercise than usual. This built up energy can result in undesirable consequences like chewed up furniture or destroyed personal property. To avoid this, check out these fun games to exercise your pup and keep you entertained while you are both stuck inside.
Fetch is one of the oldest tricks in the book to tire out your furry friend. To play, just find your pet’s favorite toy and toss is across the room. Be sure to reward them after they bring it back to you to reinforce the behavior. Tip: Use soft toys that don’t bounce to keep everyone and everything in your home in tact.
2. Find It
In this game, pet owners show their dog a treat in their hand. Once the animal sees the treat, owners can throw it across the floor and say, “find it”. Be sure to give your dog positive reinforcement after they follow through on the action you wanted them to do. For more of a challenge, hide treats behind pieces of furniture and see if your dog can still find them. You can even play with people! Similar to hide and seek, have a friend or family member hide while the dog is distracted. Once the person is hidden, say, “find __________”. This can be a fun way to get everyone moving while sheltering in place.
3. Fun with Food
Switch it up at mealtime by using a Kong, food puzzle, or activity ball to keep your pet entertained. You can even integrate the “Find It” game by hiding their food so they play as they eat.
4. Fun with Toys
Your pet can learn the names of their toys during playtime. Start by naming their favorite toy, then say that name every time you pick it up to play. Using the “Find It” game, ask your dog to find the toy you just named and bring it back to you. Be sure to praise them after they complete the task. With practice, your pup will be able to find that specific toy among their other toys to play with.
Dog’s can often learn new tricks and behaviors through training. Blue Cross For Pets has several resources to help you train your pet commands like sit, down, and leave. Once they get the basic commands down, you can teach your pet more complex tricks like shake a paw and roll over.
Playing with your dog a few times a day is a great way to keep both you and your dog entertained during this difficult time. For more ideas on how to keep you and your animals safe, healthy, and entertained during the COVID-19 crisis, visit Blue Cross For Pets.
The HSVC is dedicated to the health and safety of all during this crisis. We are currently closed to the public but will remain staffed from 10 am – 5 pm for emergency services. Our Pet Food Bank is still open to those in need of pet food. Office staff will continue to be available to answer any questions and concerns you may have via phone at 805-646-6505 or email at [email protected].
Thank you for your patience during this time.