How to keep your dog fit and healthy during the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak
As we enter the second week of the Coronavirus lock-down, many families and pet owners are starting to feel the strain. With only one daily walk permitted, the majority of dog owners are using this time to walk their dogs. Facing this uncertainty is causing anxiety in many households on how to maintain their mental health and that of their pets.
To help ease the struggle and maintain your mental well-being and the well-being of your pets, Mypetzilla has listed below some helpful tips on how to keep your pet healthy and happy during the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.
Use your outdoor space to help keep your dog active
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden or some outdoor space then this can be really helpful to maintain your dog's exercise and mental stimulation. Obviously, if you have a shared space you must heed the government's latest advice and keep your two-meter distance from others.
There are many games you can play such as fetch, hiding their toys around the garden and encouraging them to seek their toys out.
During this difficult time, you can dedicate allotted time throughout the day where you put everything aside and play games with your dogs. Simply leaving your dog outside is not exercise and they will most likely become bored and potentially destructive.
You can also use this time to get the children involved in the playtime and everyone together to have fun outdoors.
Practise ‘Doga’ Yoga with your dog
Take some time out of your day to stretch and try various Doga poses with your dog. It is important that you don’t force it and let your dog gently ease their way into the various positions. You should allow your dog’s natural curiosity to lead the way. Small dog breeds can do poses such as “Warrior I”. You can encourage your dog to stretch by stretching in front of them and watch them mirror your position.
If your dog is struggling to adopt the Doga poses, then you can take some time out to rest alongside them. This can be done indoors or outdoors if the weather permits. Try resting together naturally, whilst resting your body and mind for some deep relaxation.
Provide your dog with daily mental stimulation and training
Engaging your dog’s brain can help tire them out enough to have a little nap. Use this time in isolation to retrain your dog’s responsiveness or teach them a new trick or skill. Providing your dog with daily mental stimulation will ignite their learning mindset and willingness to become more proactive and eager to learn.
Treasure hunts in the home or garden
A great way to keep your children and dogs mentally stimulated and active is to encourage them to both play together and arrange a treasure hunt. This can be done either in the home (providing there is a safe space to play) or outside in the garden.
To keep your dog playing during the treasure hunt, you could strategically place a few treats around the house in safe spots for your dog to find. You must be careful that the treats are not hidden in places where the dog could get hurt or somewhere in the house they’re usually not allowed (as this will cause confusion) The treats can be healthy such as chopped apple!
For the children, you can encourage a treasure hunt by writing clues for them to solve throughout the game and with a fun prize at the end. The prize doesn't have to cost anything, it could be as simple as a day of helping with washing the dishes.