Not only is the current situation hard for us, it’s also hard for our pets. They have been totally knocked out of their routine. Think about it, did they go to daycare during the week? Were they used to 3 or 4 walks a day and now it’s one? Are they missing friends from the park?
We wrote an article recently on working from home with your pet which you can read HERE
. Since then, the situation has intensified with the government taking further action introducing a lockdown to combat the spread of Corona virus (COVID-19). One of these measures is that we are only allowed out once a day to exercise. This for many of us (and our pets), means getting out a lot less than we are used too.
We have added below our top 4 tips for helping keep your pet healthy and happy during this lockdown!
Mentally stimulating your pet
This one works for both cats and dogs. Exercises in the house can really tire your pet out as long as they are mentally stimulating. After following a few of our suggestions your pet will feel like they’ve been running around a field all afternoon.
Hide and seek
Whether you’re hiding treats, or their favourite toy this one works. I started this by hiding treats under their blanket. Letting them dig around until they find them, you can then step this up a level by hiding the treats in another room and letting your dog sniff them out. We shared THIS FEEDING MAT which is great for this game and will keep your dog occupied for hours. Although Dogs love this sort of game it works just as well for our cats.
This one can be done in any house, big or small. You can create a small obstacle course. Much like the recent viral challenge of stacking toilet paper for your dog to jump over! Check out this video HERE. Just be prepared to watch at least 25 videos! You can use any obstacles around the house, Empty boxes, Stools. Use treats to motivate your dog to do this, half an hour of this and your pet will be ready for a good sleep.
As we mentioned in our last article, puzzles are a great way to keep your pets engaged and mentally stimulated. Not only this but it’s a great way for you to bond with your pet. We recommended a few in our last article and have added them below. ?
K9 Pursuits (Dogs)
I love these Dog games, as they are extremely robust. Rollie and Cody absolutely love them. They have a whole range of difficulties across their range! You can check them out on Amazon HERE.
Kong toys (Dogs)
Kong have a range of toys which helps mentally stimulate our dogs! My boys love THIS one. It allows you to fill it full of their favourite mix of foods and treats such as peanut butter etc and lets them put in the work to get the food out. It keeps them occupied for quite a while.
Pecute cat roller (Cats)
For our cats out there who love a game, this layered ball game allows your pet to roll balls (one of which is a catnip ball and one flashes) around it providing hours of entertainment. Now I should mention I don’t actually have a cat, but it comes highly recommended! It also comes with a mouse teaser for play with you! You can see it HERE.
Activity centre (Cats)
An activity centre for your cat will keep them entertained for hours. It is exactly what it says on the tin, basically a play park for your cat. It’s worth having a look for one that would fit in whatever area you have for it, but you can see an example HERE.
Keeping your pet in routine
This is all strange for our pets. Not walking as much, being totally out of routine due to the lockdown. It’s important to stick as close a possible to their normal routine, including feeding times and using your once a day exercise session to walk them at a time they expect. Another reason to stay in routine is to help ensure your pet doesn’t become too reliant on you being around all the time as this could lead to separation anxiety when it comes time to go back to normal life.
Not too many treats
I don’t know about you, but I’m eating way too many human treats right now, I noticed on my first week of lockdown how many treats I was giving Cody and Rollie. It was far too many, so we cut down to a normal amount. The reduced exercise and the added treats was a recipe for a whole lot of weight gain and extra energy for my pups.
Spend time playing
It has to be said, It’s a great time for our pets, they are getting way more attention and are probably enjoying all the extra time with us. (At least I hope my boys are) so we should enjoy the time too. The current lockdown gives us more time to play tug of war (which can be done inside of course), If you’re blessed with a garden you can play fetch. For the cat owners reading, you can spend more time throwing the squeaky mouse across the room and generally taking orders from your cat. (if your cat is actually giving you orders, I think you need to see someone)
It’s also worth mentioning we’re helping pet care businesses as much as we can for free during this time. If you know a pet care business that needs help with anything. (We’ve helped with designing some graphics and some website help) just tell them to get in touch at email@example.com