How do you keep your dog busy? What are the best ways to play with your best friend during this global pandemic? Animal behavior experts say all dogs need plenty of exercise, especially during this unusual time. Veterinary professors at The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine say physical activity helps an animal’s physical and psychological needs. It’s a great way to reduce stress and promotes overall health by increasing an animal’s perception of control and by occupying their time.
Types of dog enrichment
Although social distancing orders have been put in place, it’s absolutely necessary that you entertain your pup at all times. Whether your dog rolls outside in the grass or uses toys like ropes and tennis balls in your living room, your dog needs to move. So what kind of enrichment do pups need?
- Food based enrichment: Use a puzzle feeder where animals have to work for the kibble or slurp up their wet food. Better yet, stick some Boss Dog Brand® ProPuffs or Raw Diet in a feeder where the dog has to pick each piece out with its paw. These types of interactive feeders are great to get dogs to slow down their eating.
- Sensory Enrichment: Place a strategically placed feeder outside your window so your dog can stare at the birds, squirrels or whatever happens to be outside. Be prepared for some barking!
- Dog Toys: Toys are a great substitute when outside play isn’t available. Some of a dog’s favorite toys are ones that squeak, tug of war rope and tennis balls.
- Positive Training: How about teaching your dog tricks, clicker training or agility? Dogs love learning new skills. Maybe your dog has a talent you never knew about? Just be sure your sessions are short and not frustrating.
Schedule Routine Play Time
With your dog being cooped up at home, it’s great to provide a schedule for them. Animals love predictability. Perhaps set a time when your dog gets a bone at 1 p.m. or a game of tug-a-war at 7 p.m. Routine makes for an emotionally healthy and happy pet.
Make the best of it
COVID-19 has disrupted the world, our lives and our pets. But one of the best parts about it is getting to spend quality time with your furry family member. Make use of this special time and make it fun for both you and your pet. And, as a special treat, make sure to treat your pet like a boss and give them the nutrition they need… like some Boss Dog® Greek Frozen Yogurt!