Has your dog become a Confined Canine, Restless Rover, Fidgety Fido, Distressed Doggie, Perplexed Pooch, Hyper Hound, or a Maniac Mutt then please read this blog!
At this time of isolation your dog (and yourself) can develop signs similar to cabin fever. Some of these signs are, but limited to, irritability, restlessness, boredom, anxiety, depression, and irregular sleeping. All of the above signs can promote behavior problems for your dog.
Here are some ways your dog (and yourself) can cope with these feelings. Remember to follow the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
1). Get Outside
Take your dog for a walk! This is an environmental enrichment along with physical exercise. Most dogs love to take walks bonding with their favorite human. If you take a different route each day your dog will encounter new sights, sounds, and smells. Taking a daily walk will reduce unwanted behaviors by bringing joy and happiness and stopping boredom and stress.
- Play with your dog! By playing Tug-of-War, Fetch, Hide and Seek, or Frisbee will keep your dog active, busy, and stimulated.
- Exercising will prevent boredom, strengthen bonds, and a way to keep your dog physically and mentally fit.
3). Brain Games
- Stimulate your dog’s mind! It’s called Canine Enrichment. These are additions to your dog’s environment and lifestyle that your dog voluntarily interacts with and, as a result, experiences improved physical and psychological health. There are six (6) categories: Social, Cognitive, Environmental, Toy, Sensory, and Food Enrichments.
Examples of each category are:
- Social (dogs playing with dogs)
- Cognitive (puzzle toy, nose work, hide and seek)
- Environmental (chew toy, tunnel, dig box)
- Toy (new toy, chew toy, puzzles, and Kongs)
- Sensory (training, nose work, music, and kiddie pool)
- Food (food puzzle, Kong wobbler, hiding treats)
The enrichment activity that you provide for your dog can be classified in more than one type of enrichment. By not giving your dog these enrichments, negative behaviors can develop due to being bored. Conversely, by giving your dog these enrichments your dog will have a great time being active and engaged.
If your dog gets both physical exercise and mental stimulation it will make life better for you and your dog. Remember that your dog must be supervised to be sure of safety when doing these activities. Not all dogs are alike when using the above listed items. What is appropriate for one dog, may be inappropriate for another dog.
Know your dog!