As we are all adjusting to the new normal during a global pandemic, our dogs are trying to adjust also. Their humans are home more. The sounds from the news on the TV sound a bit ominous. They don’t get to see their friends as much. To help our furry best friends cope during these times, we have pulled together some things that you and your dog/s can do during the Corona Quarantine.
- Go for daily long walks at the appropriate social distance. Nothing feels better than getting outside for much needed fresh air and Vitamin D. Mix things up a bit and go down different streets to discover hidden gems in your neighborhoods. By keeping things interesting, our furry best friends won’t get bored.
- Maintain your routine (as much as you can). Remember when you first had your dog trained, your trainer would emphasize the importance of having a routine? Well, having a routine now is just as important as ever. It gives dogs a sense of comfort. For example, keep your walks around the same time and prepare their food at the same time you normally would. Dogs are creatures of habit!
- Play more inside. With dog parks closed, we have to get more creative with our play in a much smaller indoor space. Play hide and seek. Set up an agility course with pieces of furniture or bedding. Teach your dog to search by hiding treats all over your house. Who says you need a dog park to have fun!? The AKC offers some great recommendations.
- Practice training. Now is the perfect time to reinforce old skills (Sit. Down. Stay. Come. Roll over. Leave it.) and work on some new commands (Shake. Search. Twirl. Back up. Back massage. Cook me dinner. A girl can dream, right?! You can reach out to your local dog trainers to see if they are offering training sessions via video conference. We also love Zak George and his training videos that you can find online.
- Have virtual play dates. Everyone is on zoom these days and dogs are popping up on calls daily. Try doing a zoom or Facetime with your friends with dogs so they can have a virtual play time. We should warn you that dogs don’t quite understand why their friends are in the computer, but it sure is hilarious to watch.
- Give more belly rubs. Nothing reduces stress more than petting and showing love to our furry best friends. Put on your official pup masseuse hat and give your dog a proper rub down starting with the hind legs and moving your way to the head. Wait for the look of utter contentment and devotion from your pup.
- Groom your pup. Schedule time each day to brush out your dog’s fur. Maybe trim some areas that are being neglected by the lack of regular grooming appointments. And once every few weeks, have a true spa day by setting aside some time to give your dog a good and thorough cleaning. Start with a good grooming session, then grab your dog’s favorite shampoo and treats (try Tiki Dog’s Air Dried Morsels – less than one calorie/treat!) and give your pup a good bath. Towel dry and maybe even spritz on some leave in conditioning spray. Our favorite is Buddy Splash Spritzer and Conditioner. Be sure to clean those ears! If your pup is in the mood, attempt to brush their teeth. Or just give them a Greenies toothbrush if they resist too much. Nothing is better than a clean smelling dog!
- Bake some treats. You and your dog can spend some quality time in the kitchen together. Look up some easy dog treat recipes like this Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treat and let your dog help you make them by cleaning up any ingredient that may fall on the floor.
- Show gratitude. Instead of dwelling on everything that is so dire right now, try focusing on all of the things to be thankful for. Our furry best friends. Our family and friends. Our medical community. Sunrises. Blooming flowers. Our scientists. Each other. Waking up each day knowing that every day is a gift.
Remember. Keep Calm and Dog On.
The VonRuff Team
About the Author: MP Gay is the Founder + CEO of VonRuff Events, a full-service event management firm based in the Nation’s Capital that specializes in dog events. She is a strong believer that if you can’t do something with your dog, it’s probably not worth doing. You can find her on Instagram @vonruffevents and on her website at www.vonruffevents.com.