The most adorable sight is when you reach home and have your pet waiting for you at the door, welcoming you with ecstatic wags, zoomies and licks all over your face even if you have been gone for a few minutes. Isn’t that the best feeling in the world? Since Covid-19 descended, our pets have been stuck indoors, along with us. But being indoors should not hamper the fun times. Here are a few tricks to get their activity levels up and keep them physically fit at home.
1. Training with treats
Simple training commands like Come, Sit, Heel, Down, Take it (for food) can be taught to your dog while at home. You can either learn from online videos or get a professional dog trainer to do a home visit. Training stimulates the mind and body of your puppers and this activity will also strengthen the bond between you two. Basic training commands and obedience training are a must for every pet. Treats and cuddles can be given as positive reinforcements.
2. Hide the toys
Teach your pets to identify the word ‘toy’ while training them. It could be a dog chewing ball or a good quality rubber bone. Now, all you need to do is hide the toy in the house, could be under the bed, behind the sofa and get them to look for it. They should be able to smell the scent and find the toy as a form of fun activity. Keep changing the hiding place of the toy every time you play.
3. Play tug
Dogs love to play the game of tug with their humans. Once you start playing this game, any rag, any mat or toy can turn into a game of tug. It will help your doggos to be more confident, playful and obedient while at home. Playing tug also takes care of your pup’s teething problems. The game does not require a lot of space and it exercises your dog’s mental and physical fitness.
4. Play ‘throwball’ over the staircase
If you happen to live in a bungalow or an apartment with a staircase, this activity is a perfect form of exercise for you and your dogs. Dogs love to catch any ball thrown at them, be it a tennis ball or even a small football. All you need to do is throw it up on the staircase and let them get it back for you. This will really get them super active and they will get tired and thirsty all at once, so keep fresh and clean water ready. Keep in mind that this game should be avoided if you have senior pets or pets having any joint issues.
5. Cup, two, three
Take three plastic cups which you no longer use. Place your dog’s favourite treat under any one of them. Let your dog watch you do this. Now move the cups along with the treat. Let your pet sniff out the treat. This is a fun game and you can also use treat dispensers to make this game mentally stimulating. Praise your dogs every time they are able to extract the treats and gobble them up.
6. Create an in-house obstacle course
Use empty shampoo bottles or empty boxes to create a mini obstacle course for your dog to either jump over it or to cross it without upsetting the bottles. Avoid sharp objects and anything that is breakable. Toilet rolls will also add to the height and test their jumping agility.
7. Shape it up
If you happen to have a hula hoop big enough for your dog to jump through, this is one activity that your dog will enjoy to the fullest. Discarded cardboard boxes can also be cleared from both sides and made into a tunnel which your doggo can crawl through. This is almost like a shaping activity that makes your dog try to squeeze out of any shaped obstacle.
Just like humans, pets also go through stress and anxiety while being cooped up at home. A few moments of fun and playful activity within the house can get them to not miss the outdoors terribly and rid them of undue stress. Any activity is good for your pets as this also keeps their digestive system functioning well. If you notice anything odd in your pet while playing, it is best to consult a vet first before continuing. Try the above tips and tricks and capture these fun moments on camera as they will always bring an instant smile to your lips.