Being locked up during the coronavirus pandemic isn’t just hard on you – it’s also hard on your dog, especially a high-energy dog. If you have a fenced yard, your dog can get out for a little bit, but if your yard is small, it can’t really get a lot of exercise. Or, if you live in an apartment, it’s even harder. You and your dog can cope better if you find things to do that use a lot of energy.
If you do have a fenced yard, take your dog out more often. When you let the dog out, go outside with it. Throw a ball for your dog. The sunshine will help both of you feel better, and you’ll both use up some of that excess energy. Remember, a tired dog is a good dog – it will be too tired to tear things up when it’s bored.
Go for a Walk
While you can’t go to places where it’s hard to social distance, and you need to be careful since authorities haven’t proven if dogs can get the coronavirus or not – there have been some instances of animals getting this disease – you can go for a walk around your neighborhood as long as you social distance. You can even walk with a friend or neighbor if you stay six or more feet from each other.
However, if you do walk, be sure you walk in areas where your dog can walk on grass, or use booties to protect its feet from the heat of the sidewalks or pavement. And, if you decide to walk more than a few blocks, be sure to carry some water with you for you and your dog.
Make Being Inside Fun for You and Your Dog
Find games you can play inside. If your dog catches good, you can toss a ball a few feet for it to catch and bring back to you. Make sure your dog has plenty of chew toys to keep it busy. Stay away from rawhide and cooked bones – but things like raw or dried pig ears, bully sticks and other safe chews can keep your dog busy. A Kong filled with small treats, then sealed with peanut butter also provides mental stimulation. Before you give your dog a new type of treat, be sure you know your dog. Power chewers that take two chomps then swallow something should not have certain chews.
You can also use the time for extra training sessions. Keep training sessions to about 10 to 15 minutes if you are going to add more to your dog’s day, especially if you reward your dog with treats. Giving too many treats can cause your dog to gain weight, which isn’t good for any dog, especially large breed dogs. If you do end up giving more treats than normal, you might consider cutting your dog’s meals back by the amount of extra treats you give.