Being a dog owner can provide a lot of benefits. For one, having this responsibility can become your ticket to getting more exercise and meeting new people. Being a dog owner can also keep stress at bay and improve your mental health. Letting your kids play with dogs can also make them more responsible and ward off allergies as they grow.
Dogs can have a positive effect on your life, but staying with them at home for long periods of time can become a challenge. This is especially true if you have a lot of things on your plate during the day, say, if you work from home or have to look after your kids. How can you balance your time and energy between all of these responsibilities? Can you handle all of these with efficiency?
To help you come up with answers to these questions, here are ways on how you can keep your dog entertained while staying at home:
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1. Treat Puzzles
Dogs are very intelligent animals, and they like to engage in activities that require mental stimulation. One of the easiest ways to keep your dog busy when you’re at home is to let them solve a puzzle and give out treats whenever they accomplish working on the puzzle.
You can make puzzles from an old tennis ball by cutting a hole in it and, then, adding treats inside. Your dog will surely be very busy trying to figure out how they can reach and munch on the treats placed inside. You can also freeze some of your dog’s favorite treats in an ice cube and let them lick the ice so they can get the treat.
You can make your dog’s treat from the ingredients found in your kitchen or simply buy products from well-known brands, such as Innovet Pet.
2. Plan A Scavenger Hunt
Dogs are known to have an enhanced sense of smell. Unlike human beings, who only have about six million olfactory receptors in their noses, dogs have around 300 million. This is the reason why dogs can analyze smells 40 times greater than their owners.
If you want your dog to use and improve their sense of smell at home, plan a scavenger hunt for them. This game will only require you to place several treats in different areas of your home and ask your dog to look for all of these.
To make the game more challenging, avoid hiding the treats in places where your dog likes to hang out. The more unfamiliar they are with the area, the tougher it’ll be for them to find the treats.
3. Give Them Toys
Contrary to popular belief, keeping your dog busy while you’re at home isn’t a complex or challenging task. There are actually different toys that can keep your dog entertained as you accomplish your tasks during the day. Countless brands are now selling dog toys made from different materials. You can buy ones made from plastic, plush, and even cloth. You can also opt to make toys for your furry friends from scratch.
However, when choosing which toy to give to your dog, always consider their size and age. Giving them a toy that is too big or too small can pose health and safety risks.
4. Switch On The TV
Whenever humans get bored, they will choose to turn on the TV to keep themselves entertained. But, are you aware that the same trick also works for your dog? If you see your dog looking bored as you’re replying to emails, switch on the TV and put it in a channel that features different animals. The sounds and sights of these animals will stimulate your dog’s brain and keep them entertained.
5. Let Your Dog Look Out
Dogs learn from what they see. The things they see through their eyes are essential building blocks for their growth and development. For you to positively reinforce this learning and ensure that your dog doesn’t bug you too much during the day, let them look out through your windows. Dogs naturally love to stay in a comfortable spot where they can easily look outside and observe whatever is going on.
Aside from keeping your dog distracted, this method will also help your dog familiarize themselves with the happenings around the neighborhood.
6. Look For Play Dates
Being isolated all the time can be harmful to your dog. When dogs are left to play by themselves all the time, they are likely to develop anxiety. Make sure that this doesn’t happen to your dog by scheduling play dates every once in a while.
If you know friends or family members who also own pooches, invite them over to your house or volunteer to look after their pets. Have them send over their pets to your house so your dog will have instant playmates.
However, if you’re leaning towards this direction, make sure to set play dates with dogs that your own dog is comfortable playing with. Leaving your dog in a room alone with another pet will usually result in stress.
7. Tire Them Out
If you can still spend some time with your dog before you get busy in the day, maximize this time by tiring them out. This means that if you usually start working by nine in the morning, wake up early so you can take your dog for a run around the neighborhood. You can also play fetch with them in your lawn or backyard, or engage in other activities that will require their energy.
Tiring your dog will make it very easy for you to be productive during the day because by the time that you arrive home from running or playing, your dog will be sleeping.
It’s Easy When You Know How
Playing with your dog is always a fun time, but, as an adult, you should also learn how to manage your responsibilities. It’ll be tough for you to become a productive employee or parent if you only spend the entire day playing with your dog.
Following the tips presented in this article can be a win-win for you–you’ll be able to tick off your responsibilities during the day and ensure that your canine friend isn’t bored as you’re doing all of these things!