Guest post. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and do not necessarily represent the views of Val Heart & Heart Communications Enterprises Inc. This article was previously published April 28, 2020 and was updated on March 30, 2023
Our normal lifestyle typically dictates that we get to spend little time with our pets while we’re away at work. However, once in a while, we might get the chance to home stay for a while longer thanks to a paid leave or vacation.
And in certain rare circumstances, a global pandemic like COVID-19 might have us locked down for a long time, stuck within our home walls. We can be grateful for the comforting presence of our pets to keep us entertained and feel connected to someone who is there for us.
But if we do find ourselves stuck in a home stay, it becomes imperative that we figure out how to keep our pets, especially dogs, entertained and happy. And that means keeping them active.
According to Metro UK, confined spaces for long periods of time can upset dogs and other pets’ mental health. This can lead to irregular and at times violent, aggressive, unstable behavior. They can also get bored, depressed or sick, and that’s not good. After all, when your pup isn’t happy, you’re not going to be happy either.
So, what can you do to keep your dog happy and active indoors?
Physical activity might be greatly hindered at this point. However, a few mental exercises can help jolt your pup’s spirits. And for that, what you need are dog puzzles.
Dog puzzles are used to physically and mentally exercise dogs. The simplest of these can be a box puzzle, made out of boxes in which some of them have treats hidden in them.
You can lay puzzles out on your floor and have your dog scavenge through the maze to find its treasure.
In case you are not the DIY type and would love an off-the-shelf solution, there are many out of the box toys that can do the trick for you and your doggo. Check out these Dog Puzzles for ideas.
Dog Fetch Toys
Yes, typically we think of fetch as an outdoor game. But what do you do when you are forced to stay indoors with your pup during home stays? Luckily, that doesn’t mean you can’t play fetch.
Fetch has been the traditional all-time favorite game for dogs. And while throwing a Frisbee in your home might not be a good idea, purchasing a fetch toy might help keep the game safely within your four walls.
Dog fetch toys make use of an automatic dispenser to throw tiny balls around the house. Your dog can then retrieve this ball, take it back to the toy’s chute, and the game starts all over.
Better yet, in case you are working from home, these fetch toys can keep your dog distracted while you push to beat your boss’ deadlines.
Dog Treats and Chews
Sometimes, all your dog wants is something to keep their mouths busy while you sit and relax at home. And for that, dog treats and chews can come in handy.
Dog dental chews are designed primarily to help improve your dog’s dental hygiene, while it’s having fun chewing through the product. The right bone can keep them occupied for hours if not days at a time.
Better yet, some dog treats and chews from vendors such as shop.petlife.com add minty breath fresheners to ensure your dog not only gets the best dental exercise but also fresher breath.
Beware though because not all dog chews are safe or healthy for them. It’s best not to give them rawhide because of the chemicals used in processing and because they can swallow large chunks which can block their intestinal tract leading to costly surgery. Hooves and processed bones have their own risks, as do horns and antlers.
One that we like is the Beneful Wishbone. They have sizes for all types of chewers, like this one (click here).
Smart Dog Play and Tracking Toys
Fetch and puzzles are a good game, but your dog might need to be chased around once in a while by a ball or motorized bone toy, just to have some fun.
That’s what dog playing and tracking toys are for.
Suited for indoor use, these toys not only automatically, or via an app, play with your dog but also help you monitor its movements around the house.
Plus, a great toy like this might come in handy even after the homestay – when you are hard at work but want to be assured your pup is having fun and doing well.
There are motorized balls that can chase your dog around the house while keeping an eye on it using its inbuilt camera.
This is cool! Did you know that dogs have TV channels designed just for pups?
You can find it on renowned streaming services like Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast.
Dog TV keeps your dog active by engaging it in mentally stimulating TV content focused on dogs only.
Yes, they can’t watch a documentary about their lives and domestication, but videos of other dogs doing fun things such as playing with small children, playing fetch on the beach, or running through a cornfield can keep their canine minds engaged.
Better yet, some like Dog TV’s content have been designed by animal experts, with the colors also adjusted for their eyesight.
Dogs do love seeing other dogs and hearing them, watching them play and doing fun things.
And these days you and your pampered pooch have lots of great choices to choose from, like Pet Pals TV, Dog TV Online, and Puppy Party!
Learn How to Speak Dog
Home stays are also a great time to learn to communicate with your pets!
What a wonderful treat to keep you both occupied learning to speak their language and talk to each other!
Start here at The Heart School of Animal Communication with your FREE Ebook Hidden Secrets to Communicating with Dogs – just click on the picture below!
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