How to Keep Your Dog Active While Having to Stay Home

keep dog active

Due to the coronavirus, our world has significantly changed. Activity outside of the home was put on pause and we are spending more time with our pets than ever before. The extra time and attention we are now giving our furry friends is a great benefit to staying home. One thing to note though is that pets can sense stress and be affected by it. According to the AVMA, “stress can affect pets and cause them to feel anxiety. In some cases, dogs will exhibit anxious behaviors such as barking, aggressive behavior, or destructive behavior.” 


It’s important for us to note that COVID-19 has changed life drastically for our pets too. Finding a healthy balance between activity and alone time is very important. During this time at home, many people are turning to adopting and/or fostering pets and interaction has been at an all-time high. Our furry friends are a great source of companionship and help us fight loneliness. It’s vital for us to keep them active but also to give them their space so it won’t be such a shock when we do go back to normal. While you’re sheltering in place or just practicing social distancing more, here are some great tips to keep your dog active.


Schedule out daily walks

Without the structure of commuting and social plans, it can feel overwhelming to get anything done. If you schedule your daily walks, it gives you a plan to look forward to and keeps a routine for you and your pet. Remember, if you are practicing social distancing, it’s important to also social distance your dog. Switch up your routine and pick a new route each time. It’ll keep you active and your dog will love the exercise. Not to mention the change of scenery can be therapeutic for you both!


Teach them new tricks

There are tons of videos online to guide you when teaching your dog new skills. This is the perfect time to pick a few tricks to master and work towards that goal. It’ll feel like a huge accomplishment and help you and your dog bond. Start with the basics if you don’t already have those down and then move on to more advanced skills.


Entertain them with puzzle toys / brain teasers

Pet stores are starting to carry more and more pet puzzles and we are loving this trend. Just like it’s good to keep your mind active with puzzles and brain teasers, your dog can benefit as well! If you can’t make it to the store, there are some great alternatives. Some of the most creative puzzles we’ve seen involve using your delivery boxes to hide treats. There are endless things at home you can use to create a fun activity for your dog. It gives them something entertaining and productive to do and might be the perfect way to distract them while you’re on a zoom call!


Keep downtime as part of their routine

As the world slowly returns to normal, it’s likely you won’t spend as much time at home with your pets again. It’s good for you to keep downtime part of their routine so there isn’t as much of a shock when we do start going out again.


Keeping your dog’s active will help build healthy muscles and keep their joints strong. If you need a check-up or have questions about how to build a healthy exercise plan for your pet, reach out to the team at the Bregman Veterinary Group!


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