Ways to keep your pet engaged during lockdown

With social distancing and self-imposed quarantine to fight the Covid-19 virus, the unintended victim shouldn't be your pet. While cats are more self-sufficient, it is your dog that needs special care during this challenging period.

So how much exercise does your dog really require? If you have a puppy, you will notice that it gets into something called zoomies many times a day. They identify themselves as madly running around the house and then collapse. Since small puppies are full of energy, they generally require more movement than adult dogs and therefore zoomies. If you are caring for a growing puppy, be aware that he does more rounds of exercise daily. Plus, your dog's breed determines how much movement your dog needs daily to stay healthy and happy. For example, the retriever as a breed is meant to search for things over distances, making them suitable for much more physical activity than they get in the confines of an urban home.

The health of the pet is also important. If an adult dog has a medical condition, such as heart or breathing problems, talk to your vet about a proper exercise routine that will help him stay healthy without exacerbating the condition.

Here are some activities that you can safely do with your dog, regardless of his age or breed, during blocking.

Hide and Seek : You can train your dog to play this game indoors by giving them a small gift when they find you. As mundane as the game may seem, it's a great way to get some activity done inside your home, while training your dog to be more curious and outgoing when playing it. You can start by leaving a trail of treats that will take you to your hideout, and the more your pet plays, the more he'll be aware of what to do when he says to hide.

DIY toys: Have you heard of DIY toys? If your pet seems bored, there's nothing like a new toy to cheer him up! Improvise a plastic bottle toy, a t-shirt pull toy, or a ball toy. An old shirt can be cut in three strategic places. Take a tennis ball, place it inside two of the pieces, and take the smallest piece of cloth to tie the toy. The remaining pieces can be cut into strips and can be further braided. You can also use your pet's favorite toy as bait while pulling for a tug-of-war game.

Cheats : If you haven't had time until now to train your dog to perform various tricks, this is a good time to start. A simple trick like shaking hands is an easy way to start. You can also make your pet perform more impressive tasks like jumping through hoops, chasing bubbles, or shaking off music with a little patience. Making your pet obedient to verbal commands is the first step in teaching your dog a series of tricks that can be mastered for life. Simple instructions like sit and stay, lie down, or roll over can be a start.

Fetch . Make this activity more interesting. Shake up your dog's search routine by making him run upstairs to retrieve a ball, or by throwing a ball around the room. Alternate between balls, frisbees, and other types of toys to keep your dog active.

Obedience : This activity may not seem like exercise at first, but practicing remembering, retrieving, and reinforcing basic commands offers mental stimulation as well as exercise. You can also teach your dog new and fun tricks. Things like spinning, knitting, and jumping obstacles take time and patience, so what better time to teach them than now?

Treadmill : Wondering what exercise to consider for high-energy breeds? Look no further than a treadmill. With careful handling, your pet can develop a love for his treadmill workouts. While the treadmill is not a replacement for a walk or outdoor race, it increases endurance and is unaffected by the weather.

Agility : This is usually an activity that is best practiced outdoors. However, right now, with a little creativity, you can recreate the settings within your home. Make your own agility course with common household items. Things like broom handles, boxes, children's hula-hoops, and ottomans. With these accessories, you can easily practice practicing your pet by surrounding them, helping to increase their enthusiasm for the activity and avoiding objects. This is not just an exercise, but a great mental activity for them that can give them the encouragement to stay alert.

These are just a few ways you can keep your pet actively involved during the lockdown. Get creative and come up with more ways to give your pet the exercise and mental stimulation he needs to stay happy and healthy. I think not only some of these solutions are brilliant for your dog, but for you as well, as the creative and physical energy these activities require is good for humans and pets to stay busy indoors during confinement. Good luck!

Contributions from PetKonnect Pet Services Aggregator Devanshi Shah