I think we all know dogs are the real winners in this Coronavirus quarantine. Although they don’t understand “social distancing,” dogs of the world are rejoicing as they get time back with their humans to do all of the things they dream of while we are away.
So, now that we have all this time, what should we be doing with our dogs? Especially when the weather is less than ideal, so we are mostly trapped inside. Besides just extra snuggles, which they definitely deserve, here are a few ideas from things we are doing during #CoronaQuarantine2020.
Make a homemade agility course
Putting together an agility course is pretty easy to do, even if you don’t have a lot of space. You can use a broom on top of a few boxes and have your dog jump over it, put some Tupperware or small boxes down to make a course for them to run zig zags through, get a small stool or bucket and have your dog jump up on it. You can find lots of ideas online for making your own course at home.
We set up ours in the basement and have a “course” where they can jump over two planks, run through a tunnel (purchased tunnel on Amazon) and jump up on a stool at the end. The dogs love it. It’s especially challenging with two dogs to get one dog to stay while the other goes, so it’s also a great way to do other training on stay while you work on agility too.
This is one of the easiest ways to entertain your dog, that actually does wear them out. You can hide treats or other food and make a game of hide and seek around the house, or you could put out boxes and hide treats in and around the boxes.
You can also hide treats in a muffin pan with tennis balls on top – great idea from Jessica at Milo and Me in Lakewood. We use scent games to work on stay as well, as one dog takes a turn finding treats and the other waits.
This is your chance to really work on getting your dog to cooperate for grooming. I decided to use this time to work on teeth brushing with Hunter (Roscoe only has a couple teeth — they were bad before I adopted him 😀). I have really been slacking in this area, relying on bones and dental chews to care for his teeth. We are going to start an at home tooth cleaning routine now that we have time to work on this at home.
This time at home is a good opportunity to work on grooming with dogs that are not a fan of brushing or nail clipping or teeth brushing. Make your grooming session a fun snuggle time for your dog, or bring in a lot of treats and toys to try and get them associating grooming time with a more fun activity. You can take it slow and just do small amounts of brushing or teeth cleaning, followed up with lots of snuggles and quality time to make this a more fun experience and hopefully get them more comfortable with grooming.
Explore the Metroparks, find new trails
Luckily, we can still get outside! I still have a list of parks that I want to visit, so we will definitely be going through this list on nicer days (as long as it’s not raining at this point, since we are so desperate to get out). This is your chance to really explore the area and find some new parks and trails to love. Here are some of my favorites: https://dogsinthecle.com/2015/10/22/5-favorite-fall-hikes
Just be together
We really take for granted how much our dogs spend their lives waiting for us to get home. They are our constant companions; their lives truly revolve around us. We’ve been given an opportunity to spend a significant amount of quality time with our dogs and we should really take this time to just be with them and give back some of the love they are always giving to us. Take some time to do whatever your dog loves best, snuggle, play fetch, take a walk, do whatever it is you can to really appreciate this extra time we get together.
Stay healthy everyone, we will get through this! I know it’s a scary time but I am trying to focus on the positive, and one of the positives definitely is getting more time at home with my dogs.
And, please send me any ideas or pictures of how you are spending this quarantine with your dog.