How to exercise your dog (like doggy day care) during Covid-19
Welcome back dog lovers! We are well and truly into lockdown since the outbreak of Covid-19 and you might be finding your dog is a little restless since the first day. Here are my proven methods on how to exercise your dog quickly and easily during Covid-19. Follow my formula and learn how to tire out any dog (no matter how energetic) with these techniques we use during a typical day of doggy day care.
If your dog loves fetch or a jolly good kick-about you will be in good stead here. A game like fetch helps your dog get in some cardio and concentrate on a task (meaning you also tire their brains as they get some steps into their day). If you have a highly intelligent dog or a working breed, you will know only too well that they will happily play this game all day. Try short bursts of 30 minute sessions in the garden followed by a rest break. This will ensure they can also learn to settle quickly between games rather than pestering you while you get some work done.
Currently we can still exercise once per day with our dogs in public (if you have family members, take turns taking the dog out for a stroll individually). It’s important for everyone’s health to get a change of scenery – particularly for your dog’s nose. Sniffing new smells in different locations improves their mental health and facilitates a deep, instinctual need in our dogs. By getting some sniffs at the end of your stomp together will help them relax later in the day. Get some vitamin D together each day.
There are loads of dog game’s on the market right now, but often the home-made creations are more fun, eco-friendly and long-lasting. Wobble treat toys, stuffed Kongs and cardboard boxes stuffed with shredded paper and snacks will create hours of fun for your hound. Dog peanut butter and frozen dog-friendly pastes will last for ages and keep your pet busy during down-time. Always be sure to check the ingedients.
Like toys, there are 1000s of dog chews on the market – all promoting different things. Personally I prefer a natural, air-dried chew such as rabbit or cows ears. These are low in fat and take a long time to chew up. Dogs absolutely adore them (partly for the smell) rest assured they will be entertained for ages. These chews promote oral health and aid the teeth-cleaning process by removing plaque from your dog’s teeth. One or two a week are a brilliant treat as part of a balanced diet. I hand these out in the evening as a quiet time activity – it’s only natural for dogs to have a sleep after they eat, so this sets up a great bedtime routine.
Always ensure you supervise your pet during feeding.
One of the best ways to keep your dog mentally drained is to train them every day. 30 minutes of training helps even the toughest, most intelligent and fidgety breeds settle down for a kip. Go over old commands or teach them some tricks to entertain your family as well as keep your pup focused and calm. Dogs can learn to spin, play hide and seek, bring your slippers, close doors (or even grab you a beer if you’re determined enough).
Playing with other dogs
Sadly during lockdown people can’t get together, which may mean your dog doesn’t have a chance to play with other dogs. Replace this activity with games of tug of war to bond with your pet. This activity is great for wearing out your dog’s shoulder, jaw and chest muscles (a group that are often neglected during a typical day). Working a new muscle group will help your dog settle much faster at night and they will love spending time with you.
So there you have it – some our our best tips for keeping your dog super-tired and mentally content throughout each day. I hope you enjoy these tips – let me know how you get on via Instagram!
About the Author
Jarvis has been boarding and training dogs from all walks of life for over 10 years, specialising in companion dogs with poor behaviour, manners and social skills. Her dog hotel – Jarvis Dog Boarding & Training provides a luxury holiday retreat for Hampshire’s hounds and is committed to empowering all dog lovers and pet care businesses to succeed through attention to wellbeing, education and communication.