Here we go again. Lockdown 3.0 has arrived. Coronavirus, Covid 19 or C19 has got us working from home once again, but working from home can be a challenge for a pet who once knew a routine of you leaving for work, so if your home that can only mean one thing….. PLAYTIME!
Our pets get used to a routine so what else can we do to keep our pets entertained while we’re in the house with them. After all, when you’re on that, all-important video call with your boss you don’t want your pet popping up and joining the meeting.
Teach them a new trick
Is there a trick you’ve seen that you thought, I’d love my dog to be able to do that? Why not give it a go now! It will be mentally stimulating for the dog as well as yourself.
Why not try, “rollover”, it’s an enjoyable and cool trick. To perform this trick it does help if your dog knows the command Lie down, or down.
- Get your dog to Lie down.
- Kneeling beside your dog, move your hand containing a yummy treat from their nose towards their shoulder, luring them to lay flat on their side.
- Do this a few times, and praise each time the dog does this.
- Once the dog is laid flat on their side, try continuing the movement by moving the treat from the shoulder towards the dog’s backbone. This movement should encourage the dog to roll over.
- Do this a few times, adding in the verbal cue “Rollover.”
- Gradually remove the number of hand gestures and treat lure to get the dog preforming just on cue.
- But don’t forget to reward them once the trick is performed. They have been a good boy, after all.
There are plenty more tricks out there if your dog can already roll over why not try, “Paw”, or “Spin”. You can find lots of great tricks on YouTube, give them a go, let us know how you got on.
With only essential trips to be made, it could be some time before your pet gets a nice new shiny toy. However, all is not lost! Release the inner upcycle in you!
You can buy or make these! In times like this, it is great to be making things!
Usually, a sniff mat is made up using fleeced materials and a hard backing, such as a rubber mat. However, if you have a lost sock pile like me, why not put them to some use, instead of keeping them in that bag for years hoping their “sole” mate turns up, try weaving them into a sniff matt. A sniff mat keeps your dogs occupied and making them work for those treats. This is an excellent option if you have a dog that rejects toys or chews, it gives them a challenge, a game of hide and sniff.
Its also good if you have a dog that inhales its food, it slows them right down, as they now have to search for their food. Although I’d save this for kibble based foods, it could get messy with wet/raw foods.
Tug of war! Got some old clothes ready to chuck out! Why not make a new rope toy out of them! You can make this as long or short as you like!
- Cut the garment into strips
- Tie a minimum of three strips of the garment together at the top into a knot
- Then braid away
A brilliant game and easy to make.
- Take some clean, empty plastic bottles (size dependent on the dog)
- Create two holes on opposite sides of the bottle
- Thread the bottle through a broom, stick, rod etc
- Place between a chair, or make a frame
- Fill bottles with tasty treats, and away they go.
You can always watch the following video showing the build process of the treat dispenser.
Go Fish – (For cats)
- Place empty loo rolls into a shoebox
- Put some treats inside the toilet rolls and let them play ‘’Go Fish.’’
** It is always advised to supervise and monitor your pet when giving them anything they can chew on. Take away any items that could become choking hazards**
Play hide and seek
This is fun for the whole family. It helps if your dog knows the stay command, then you go and hide. Why not set up a camera so you can record the moment your dog finds you! Be sure to share your recordings with us!
And let’s not forget, the best part of the day, snuggling up to you on the sofa.
We know this is difficult for everyone, but our furry friends are always there to offer their support no matter what.
Stay home and keep safe.