This is a strange time that we find ourselves in as we must now trade socialization for isolation in order to combat the coronavirus. Many of us have had our daily routines turned upside down in an effort to keep our loved ones safe and healthy. While this is a difficult period of adjustment for all of us, we must also remember the routines of our furry family members will also be disturbed. Pets that are accustomed to going to daycare, socializing at the dog park or a neighbor’s house, or meeting up at a dog bar are now also finding themselves in isolation with their human counterparts.
As we find ways to stay fit and entertained during isolation, we must also ensure our pets receive plenty of exercise and stimulation to avoid boredom that leads to potential behavioral problems and possible weight gain.
Here are some mutually beneficial and easy to do ways of exercising and entertaining your furbaby while at home:
- Play hide and seek by placing favorite low-calorie treats or toys around the home
- Go up and downstairs twice a day for 5 to 10 minutes
- Walk around your home or backyard at a quick pace for 15 minutes a day
- If you know your dog will stay on a treadmill, put it on a low setting (e.g. one mile per hour, no incline) and do this for 10 minutes a day
- Simply play with your pet
- Be mindful of not overfeeding your pet