If you are stuck being quarantined you’re probably getting pretty bored. Dogs are great at brightening the mood and making boring days more fun. Just because you’re practicing social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t have fun around the house. Here are a few of our favorite things to do with our dogs during the quarantine.
Dog Yoga - Doga
The first step in practicing dog yoga is to never force it. Try to incorporate yoga into your daily walks and playtime. Not only can yoga reduce stress, but yoga with your dog can be more quality time together. Get out your yoga mat and invite your dog's curiosity to explore the room. If he seems interested in what you’re doing, go ahead and incorporate him into some yoga poses.
If you’re going for a walk around the neighborhood, you can still attempt some yoga with your dog. You can practice your crescent lunge along the sidewalk or even tree pose while your dog stops for a potty break.
Have Your Kids Make DIY Dog Toys
If your children are home from school, we're sure they're looking for something fun to do as well. Have them work on do-it-yourself projects and make fun toys for your dogs.
Take a look at this simple tutorial on making a DIY rope toy for your dog. This rope toy can be made from old t-shirts, jeans, or fabric you have laying around the house and will only take minutes to complete.
Find the Treats
Not only do you need to keep your mind active during these weird times, but you also need to keep your dog's mind active as well. A fun game of "find the treats" will get your dog moving and excited.
Pick out your dog’s favorite treats and hide them in a different room in easy to reach places. After your dog has been a good boy/girl and waited patiently, give him/her the go-ahead to find all the treats.
If you're looking for a new, high-quality treat for your dog to try, shop our selection of all-natural, made in the USA dog treats here: https://www.thepetgourmet.com/treats The Pet Gourmet is still shipping during this time and we are not delaying orders.
Be sure to praise him/her after every yummy treat, so he/she feels extra special! This is a fun game for you and your dog to enjoy to spice up a boring afternoon..
Practice the Heel Command
Does your dog pull on the leash when you go for walks? Now is the perfect time to start working on the heel command. You might be going on more walks than normal during the stay at home order which means more time to train. Your dog will learn much faster during this time because you can go on walks more frequently, so the training will be fresh in their mind.
To practice this command, allow your dog to walk ahead of you, once they reach the end of the leash turn around and walk a different direction. Pull the leash firmly to get your dog's attention and say "heel". Your dog will follow you in the new direction and eventually will learn to walk beside you instead of in front of you.
If your dog needs a little bit of positive reinforcement, give him/her a treat each time he/she follows your command. By the end of quarantine, your dog will have mastered the heel command and won't tug on the leash anymore!
Improve Your Photography Skills
Here are some great tips to try! Have difficulty taking clear pictures of your pets because they're always on the move or never able to get them to look at the camera? Now is the time to work on your skills and have fun while taking Insta-worthy pictures of your pets!
- Use a fast shutter speed. You can either try switching the settings on your camera or using a sport mode to help capture your dog's quick movements. We all know they're not going to sit still so snapping quick pictures so they're not blurry is important.
- Use burst mode. Most smartphones have the option to take several photos quickly if you hold down the capture button. This is a great way to capture several shots at once and get the perfect post you're looking for.
- Get down on their level. Kneel down or even lay on the ground to get a great angle for each photo.
- Look for natural lighting. If you're stuck inside with your dog, this can be tricky but head for the brightest room in your house and try to take pictures when it's sunny out. This will brighten your pictures and make it easier for your camera to use a quick shutter speed.
- Want a #TongueOutTuesday picture? Put a little bit of dog-safe peanut butter on the roof of your dog's mouth just before the picture.
- Get your dog to look at the camera by holding a squeaky toy or treat.
If you are stuck at home and feel like you have nothing to do, a movie night might be just what you need. Call your dog over for a needed cuddle sesh and enjoy a movie together! Try a movie with dogs in it to spark your dog's interest. Often, dogs will actually watch the tv with you and get engaged with what’s happening on the screen, especially when they hear familiar sounds.
A movie night with your dog is a perfect way to get anything stressful off your mind. Check out these dog-adoring flix!
- A Dog’s Way Home
- Milo & Otis Marley & Me
- A Dog’s Journey
- A Dog’s Purpose
- The Art of Racing in the Rain
Work on Improving Behavior
Have a dog that is overly-excited, doesn't listen well, or needs to work on potty training? Take this opportunity and extra time together to work with them on these skills. Practice, practice, practice. Here's a great video from Cesar Millian on calming down your overly excited dog.
Learn a New Trick
Quarantine is the perfect time to teach your dog new tricks. If your dog is up to speed on all basic manners and tricks, try moving on to some more advanced tricks. You can teach your dog to roll over, play dead, or even to stand up on his back legs. If your house is fully loaded with training treats, don’t take this opportunity for granted. This can be fun for you and your dog and it could take up a whole afternoon if you let it! That means during quarantine there is plenty of time to learn new tricks!
Play the Shell Game
Looking for a fun game you can play with your dog at home? This one is for you! Everything needed for this game is most likely already in your home. All you need is:
- 3 plastic cups
- Your dog's favorite treats
Place each cup upside on the floor in front of your dog and hide a treat under one. Move the cups out of order and around each other while your dog tried to focus on the one with the treat. Once you think the cups have been moved enough, let your dog pick which cup has the treat. If he/she guesses right his/her reward is the treat under the cup!
We recommend using our grain-free jerky treats because they are easy to break up into smaller pieces and because they are delicious of course!
Have a Dance Party
Everyone loves a good dance party so get your dog involved. If you have time between work meetings or the kids have time between homework assignments, turn on some music, and have fun!
Not only do you need a break from all the hard work you've been doing, but your dog also needs a break from their quiet time. Listening to music and dancing around the living room will help relieve some of your stress and allow you to get some energy out. A dance party will encourage your dog to jump and wiggle around with you and remind them that they still have your attention during the at-home workday. Pick a playlist and get dancing!