While most dogs are probably over the moon to have their owners home with them at the moment, they will also have to go through an adjustment period. Just like us humans are giving up a lot of our normal, daily activities; your dog will also be transitioning into a ‘new normal’ over the coming weeks. So it’s important to make sure their mental health is being looked after along with your own. Here’s our top tips on keeping your pup well and entertained through isolation.
Teach your dog a new trick
Those with busy life styles may not have the time or energy to teach their dogs a cool trick or two, as it can take a lot of repetition before the trick really sinks in. This is the perfect time to schedule a 15 minute trick break into your daily routine, and by the time lock down is over your pup will have a whole new repertoire to impress friends and family. Check out our go to list of easy tricks here.
Use puzzle or brain teaser toys
These types of toys can be described as the next best thing to a walk, because they provide a high level of mental stimulation. Puzzles and brain teasers can make your dog feel like they have a job or a problem to solve, which actually keep them happier than a game of fetch or tug of war. Our favourites are the Nina Ottosson Puzzle Twister and the Trixie Activity Flip Board.
Give your dog a pamper
Spa day? Yes please. Show your dog how much you care and build the bond between the two of you through grooming, drying, brushing and massaging them.
Massage your dog’s head by working your fingers in small circles, gently pulling their skin and muscles back. Have your dog lay down and move onto their shoulders by repeating the same gentle circular motions. A dog’s shoulders carry much of their weight and work hard, so take your time on this area to really pamper them.
Once you’re finished massaging your pup, give them a pedicure. You’ll need a clipper to carefully trim their nails. Watch out for the hides inside the nail which bleed if cut.
Prepare your dog a nice warm bath while clipping their nails. Use a nice smelling shampoo that conditions the skin, strengthens the coat and smells amazing. We love the Blackmores range.
Once your dog is finished with their bath, pat them dry with a towel and grab their favourite brush. Our go to is the Yours Droolly Shear Magic Brush Double. Brush your dog from head to tail, top to bottom, using soft slow motions.
Lick mats & KONGs
Especially good for anxious boys and girls, lick mats have a calming effect for dogs as well as reducing boredom and destructive behaviour. Fill with their favourite sticky treat, like peanut butter or bananas and you’re good to go! Tip: After you’ve filled the mat with treats, pop it in the freezer to keep them going for longer. KONG toys are another good example of distraction toys for your pup. Made from natural rubber, these toys are virtually indestructible in even the strongest of doggie jaws. They also help to clean their teeth, bonus! Stuff with treats, peanut butter or even their favourite kibble.