In light of these difficult times trying to stop the spread of COVID-19, many of us are self-isolating. The elderly and vulnerable are most at risk, so we're all doing our bit to prevent their exposure to this virus. If you have a high energy dog, you may be struggling to keep them entertained while you're isolating, especially if you're not able to take them for walks. Here we provide 5 easy ways to keep your pup busy and burn some energy at the same time.
1. Make use of your KONGs
Instead of pouring your dog's food into a bowl, why not make them work for it? If you feed kibble, try wetting it and freezing it in a kong, or alternatively you could mix kibble with wet food or natural yoghurt and freeze.
The licking motion your dog makes while eating the food from the KONG causes them to relax, and as it's frozen it'll slowly warm up and release some yumminess, keeping your dog occupied for a long time.
2. Play 'find it'
Did you know dog's noses are around 40 times more sensitive than ours? Sniffing can tire your dog out as much as a good run in the park, but always make sure there's fresh water as it can make them thirsty.
A great game that your dog is sure to love is what we call 'find it'. Pop your pooch in a different room and grab some tasty smelly treats to hide around your house. Bear in mind they need to be in reach for your dog and not encourage things like jumping up.
Release your dog and say 'find it' excitedly and they'll soon learn to sniff around to snaffle all the treats up. They absolutely love this game, it's fun for all the family!
3. Brain games
You can find many brain games in the shops for dogs, often involving hiding kibble or treats in toys or mazes and your dog has to figure out how to get them.
If you don't want to pay for a brain game, you can make your own at home. Try putting some treats inside a toilet roll tube (sensitive topic I know!) and fold the ends inwards. Your pup can then roll this around while they figure out how to get to the treats.
Alternatively, plastic bottles make fantastic, but noisy, toys for your pooch. You can cut a small hole in a bottle for treats to tumble out of.
4. Throw a ball in the garden
Perhaps a more obvious option, try throwing a ball in the garden to get your dog's legs working. Even if it's only a small space, some backwards and forwards running can help use your pup's energy.
If you've watched how your dog plays with other dogs, it's often a game of chase. If you start chasing your dog, they will likely get excited and start running round. This can be great for tiring you both out!
5. Use a dog walker or day care
Don't forget that there are many dog walkers out there still open for business.
Alternatively, sending your dog to doggy day care a couple of times a week allows them to play with other dogs and really tires them out. This means you can concentrate on your work while you're self-isolating and they can let off steam elsewhere.