While there might be those rare pups out there who actually enjoy alone time, most pets are thrilled to have their humans around as often as possible. At a time when many people across the country are on lockdown or self-isolating due to COVID-19, dogs everywhere are enjoying the extra hours their pet parents are spending with them.
To help out, we’re sharing some of our favorite tips and tricks for making sure the extra time you and your pet spend together is quality time.
Become Workout Buddies
If you’re a regular gym-goer, replace the time you’d spend there with more physical activity with your pet. Dogs accustomed to sitting indoors all day will welcome the opportunity to take more and longer walks and play extended games of fetch in the yard. Even older pets will enjoy a few more slower-paced strolls around the block that let them indulge their super sniffing powers.
Take a Road Trip
Ok, even if it’s only riding up and down your neighborhood streets, most dogs love riding in the car because it allows them to take in so many new smells and sights. Every activity doesn’t need to have a productive purpose. Simply making your pooch happy is a great bonding technique.
Double the Fun
A lot of the joy pet parents experience with their dog comes from watching him have fun. There are plenty of games and adventures besides fetch that you can devise to keep him happy and your own spirits up. “Search and Sniff” is a playful way to give your pet treats and lets him use his nose to find hidden treasures throughout the house. It also keeps him mentally stimulated. Tug-o-war, chasing bubbles, and homemade obstacle courses are all great activities that’ll keep him—and you—on your toes.
Step Up Their Training
Use sheltering in place to work on your dog’s education and training. Not only will it strengthen the relationship between the two of you, proper training is a process the entire family, including children, can benefit from. It’ll also help eliminate a lot of the stress that comes from everyone being confined for a long period of time.
Share Some Screen Time
Sometimes it helps humans and pets alike to “turn off” the world for a bit. The news has rightfully, for the time being, been taken over by COVID-19. But limiting your visual intake to only the virus can take a toll on your mental and physical well-being. Reserving some time every day to “check out” can do a world of good.
Watching a movie or binging on a series you never had the time to watch is a terrific way to disconnect for a while. Admittedly, you’ll get more from this entertainment than your pet does, but settling down on the couch with your pooch snuggled next to you is a great way to spend quality time together. Remember to keep some chew toys nearby for when he’s less than engaged with the storyline.
Studies consistently show that being a pet parent helps alleviate stress and improves a person’s overall health. In high-anxiety times like the one we’re now dealing with, spending more quality time with your pet can benefit you both.