10 Ways to Play with your Dog During a Pandemic

January 10, 2021

After weeks on end of lockdowns, our dogs are thrilled to have us home with them day, after day, after day. On the other hand, owners are itching to get out and are getting a small taste of what our dogs experience on a regular basis. We have been lucky to have some decent weather lately making it easier to get out and enjoy some fresh air with your dog, whether you are walking at the dog park, snow shoeing in Kananaskis, or tobogganing. We know that winter is coming and the cold will be here far too soon forcing us to hibernate even more.

We are very lucky to have a super laid back Great Dane who really doesn't care if he gets out for a walk at all, but I do know what it's like to have an energetic dog without an outlet. One of the best ways to tire out your dog is with puzzles and other mental games. There are plenty of puzzle games that you can buy for your dog that will do the trick between Kongs, treat dispensing balls, and different toys that hide food until your dog solves a problem.

Here are 6 ways that you can play with your pup to help get them through their boring days at home:

1 - Teach them a new skill like nose work! The mental workout that teaching your pet a new skill is satisfying for both of you and will tire your dog out. Learn more from the America Kennel Club.

2 - Play Hide-and-Seek. This is a fun game that is played best with 2 people and 1 dog. Have one owner hide somewhere in the house and start calling your dog until they find you. Once they do throw a puppy party until person #2 starts calling your dog to find them. My sweet Maia LOVED our hide-and-seek games!

3 - Teach them an easy new trick like "roll-over" or "high five" or something more complicated like putting their toys away or getting you a beer out of the fridge.

4 - Teach or reinforce commands like "stay", "come", and "heel". A great way to make sure they stay on their toes.

5 - Try some of these amazing Kong recipes including choices of savoury, sweet, and Frozen!

6 - Mental Games and Toys. There are many different toys available that require your pet to do a little work to get some food. Check out some of the different styles that are available here. We have personally used different variations of these for my dogs and cats. 

Would love to hear from you in the comments about any of these you have tried or other ideas you may have!

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