Hi! I’ve been racking my brain about what my first post should be.
So, I thought I would write about change… recent changes in your dog’s life. As we all know, something terrible is out there, and none of us are immune. The uncertainty is the worst thing.
We are all scared and anxious about sickness, bereavement and possible hardship. We are only just beginning to understand the degree to which our lives will be completely different. But as well as trying to keep a level head, I also try to find ways to see the bright side.
For the past week, I’ve been working from home developing a website that seems to take eight hours or more a day. Duke and Aspen are totally confused and stir crazy because they’re expecting lots of walks and road trips into town for ice cream. This change in routine totally impacts their daily schedule, which causes confusion about my availability during working from home hours and thus, distractions or worse me feeling guilty.
Like HUMANS, dogs thrive in a daily schedule with routines for feeding, potty breaks, and social interaction. So, with a few adjustments and lots of practice, I set up new daily routines that benefit Duke, Aspen, and I. AND that’s a great thing!
Here are a few ideas to help make your time quarantined as interesting – and perhaps even as productive – as possible!
Fill a stuffable treat or use a puzzle toy
Rubber toys such as West Paw are a perfect way to entertain a bored dog. Fill them up with a yummy treat (could also freeze the West Paw to) and watch your dog entertain themself for hours! Always be sure to supervise your dog, especially strong chewers. Just like humans, dogs need their brains to be occupied (so we all stay out of trouble). Engaging your dog’s brain was one of the reasons the designers at West Paw created this assortment of puzzle treat toys. for dogs. You can find West Paw in the toy section on this site.
SEEK AND FIND
SEEK AND FIND can be a fun alternative to fetch and is a great way for you and your dog to bond even more! Plus, in the end your pup will get a yummy treat! If this is your first time with the game, start off easy. Put them in place or in a waiting position and let them watch you hide treats around the room. I like to toss/hide them around the yard, as well. Then encourage them to “find the treats!” You want to make sure to celebrate each treat he/she finds!
Once your dog catches on, you can increase the difficulty by having he/she wait in another room while you hide the treats. You can also start with super smelly soft treats, and then gradually try different treats or even toys. This is sure to keep your dog busy and entertained!
- Freeze food in an ice block: Many zoos will freeze goodies like salmon or apples in an ice block so their grizzlies have to work to get to it. Try this with your pet!
- A simple walk in your neighborhood or even in your backyard with your dog. Your engaging, bonding, talking and walking all at the same time. It doesn’t matter where just so that your sharing time together. I like to walk the perimeter of our backyard or our driveway with Duke and Aspen. The picture is on our driveway.
Dog’s are winning in this game because the humans are home. To give belly rubs, snacks, and treats, and if you’ve been around my world for any length of time, you already know that, but it bears repeating: A dog can change your life if you’re open to the possibility.
The science doesn’t lie: Less stressed pets get adopted faster, are better companions, and live longer, healthier, happier lives!