Five tips for entertaining your dog in lockdown
1) Use your dog’s food more creatively
Most dogs mealtimes are over in seconds as they hoover up their food. Try using a food dispensing toy to make the meal last longer. Your dog will love sniffing and chewing as he extracts his favourite meal. This turns a boring bowl of food into a ‘dinner and a show’ for your dog.
2) Regular indoor playtime
A couple of times a day play a simple game of tug, or fetch, in the sitting room or your hallway. If your dog doesn’t usually play then use something he already likes carrying around. Many dogs don’t like traditional ‘dog toys’ but they will carry a slipper or a tea-towel around, so use that for now.
3) Give your dog a chance to use his incredible nose
Less walks mean less sniffing opportunities, and your dog's nose is his superpower so create opportunities at home for him to use his nose. Hide some treats or your dog’s favourite toy behind a chair or cushion, or separate your dog’s food into four or five small bowls and hide them around the house, and let him find them.
4) If you have children get them involved in training
Turn your dog into a messenger dog. Teach him to hold small purse, or attach a note to his collar and send him off to ‘find’ a relative in your house. He can tell them when tea is ready, to do their homework, or tell your partner you would like a coffee.
5) To comply with social distancing restrictions make it easy for your dog to stay near you
Before you take your dog on a walk, remember to take some food and a toy with you and encourage your dog to stay beside you. Social distancing rules mean you need to keep your dog away from other people, and you won’t easily be able to get help to find your dog if he goes missing.