- Things To Do With Your Dog During The Lockdown - Peak Pets

Things to do with your dog during the lockdown

Things to do with your dog during the lockdown

Peak Pets

Lockdown has meant huge changes for people’s lives and their pets.  The upside is that you may be spending more time at home with your dog but the downside is that some of the usual activities you might have taken part in – dog agility, dog training, even just walking with friends – are all currently on the banned list.

Fortunately, with a little bit of creativity and imagination, you can keep your dog amused during lockdown outside of his daily walk and you don’t need a huge amount of space either or a big budget.

Here are some quick and easy things you can do with your dog during the lockdown.

  • Treat him to some screen time, there are lots of films on YouTube designed to act as doggy television, just remember to keep hold at first or protect your television or laptop as these clips can create a pretty spectacular response!
  • Treasure hunts and search games are a great and occupying activity for the house or the garden.  Hide treats or favourite toys around the house and use the ‘sniff and search’ techniques to encourage your dog to find them
  • Make sure your dog has plenty of chew toys.  Chewing is a natural activity for dogs and can keep your dog occupied for hours as well as keeping their teeth clean
  • The shell game will provide hours of endless fun.  Place three large plastic cups upside down on the floor and hide a treat under one of them.  Move the cups around each other whilst your dog watches and then see if he can select the correct cup with the treat underneath which is his reward
  • This could be the time to refine your dog’s training or start even start some basic command activities  – this takes time which you may have plenty of.  Use clicker trainer which is a type of reward-based training which uses a clicker to tell your dog that he has done the right thing
  • Change your dog’s usual feed bowl for a snuffle mat or a puzzle feed to make mealtimes a bit more interesting
  • Spend time grooming your dog – this is a great way to improve your bond as well as good for his skin and coat
  • Make an obstacle course in the house or garden, like mini dog agility but using everyday household objects.  Children will love creating this and it can be incorporated with elements of training such as sitting and waiting.  Make sure it is safe and there are no sharp corners or items which can be knocked over if you build one in the house and ensure that the floor is not slippery
  • I’m forever blowing bubbles – use the pet-friendly bubbles which are flavoured and will entertain your dog as he chases after them
  • If you are working from home then place their bed next to your desk or work station.  Your dog will love your company and a selection of toys can keep him amused

It is important to keep to a routine with your dog and this may be quite a different regime than the one you had pre-lockdown.  A change of routine to a new order during lockdown won’t upset your dog but a routine that changes every day will make him unsettled.

Don’t do too much with your dog either via over-exercise or over-stimulation particularly if your dog is elderly or has underlying health conditions.  It is important not to walk him too much if you head out once for daily exercise just because you have been cooped up inside and want to go for miles.  A second exercise session can take place in the house or garden and involve low key activity if your dog has already had a good walk earlier in the day.

Remember your dog should have some quiet time particularly if the household is busy all day with children who would usually be at school and adults who are normally at work.  Create a quiet area for your dog with a den where he knows he can remain undisturbed so he has his own allocated time out to rest and sleep in peace.

Lockdown can be great for your dog as he may get to spend more time with you than he did before.  Just remember, animals thrive on routine so try and keep his schedule the same every day.  Dogs require both mental and physical stimulation so it doesn’t have to be all exercised based.  The greatest boon for your dog is you and most dogs are thrilled to spend more time with their families during the lockdown.

- Keeping Your Dog Entertained When You’re Not Home - Peak Pets

Keeping Your Dog Entertained When You’re Not Home

Keeping Your Dog Entertained When You’re Not Home

Have you ever wondered what dogs do when we’re not home?

For some of us who return home to chewed shoes, shredded cushions, and general chaos, we don’t have to wonder. You might even hear from a neighbor that our dog has been barking or howling in our absence.

Leaving our beloved pets alone at times is unavoidable, but since we are their whole world, it’s not surprising that our dogs will get bored when they’re alone.

If your dog shows exceptional distress or destructive behavior when you leave, they might be suffering from separation anxiety. If that’s the case, you could try using a calming supplement for dogs to help soothe your pet while you’re gone.

However, for many dogs, it’s simply a case of boredom (and the occasional tantrum that you’ve gone out!). Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your dog entertained when you’re not home.

1.  Make Sure Your Dog is Comfortable

Dogs often sleep when we go out, and providing a comfortable spot will encourage this. If you’re crate-training your dog or puppy, make sure the crate is well-padded and comfortable. Whether you keep your dog in a particular room or let them have the run of the house, it’s good to have a specific spot where your dog can sleep and feel properly safe. If there are certain areas of your house you want your dog to stay out of, close the doors or install dog gates.

To prevent restlessness, it’s a good idea to take your dog for a long walk before you go out, if you can. Getting sufficient exercise makes it more likely your dog will nap later, and reduces the chances of “accidents”.

Always make sure your dog has access to fresh water. However, bored dogs can have a habit of tipping their water bowls and causing a small flood. To prevent this, try using a weighted dog bowl.

For anxious dogs, try leaving an old item of clothing for them to cuddle up with. The item will smell like you, and it can help soothe your pet and make them feel safe.

2.  Leave Toys for Your Dog

Leaving toys for your dog to play with is especially important for younger, more energetic dogs. Mental and physical stimulation is essential to prevent boredom. Bored dogs tend to get destructive. If you’re not there to keep your dog entertained, leaving a toy is a good way to keep them busy.

 Your dog likely has a favorite toy that can entertain them while you’re not home. Rotate the toys, as your dog’s favorite will likely suffer more wear and tear than the rest!

However, not all toys are suitable for a dog to play with unsupervised. Certain rope toys as well as rubber and fabric toys could be easily destroyed and your dog could swallow or eat small pieces. It’s a good idea to check that a toy is safe before leaving your dog alone with it. Hard bones and antler bones need to be taken away from your dog if they get too small or if they break.

3.   Leave Treats

Food is always the absolute best way of distracting your dog. If they get distressed or clingy when you prepare to go out, a tasty treat can calm them down and keep them busy while you leave.

If your dog has a habit of wolfing down their food in a matter of seconds, try making it a little harder for them. You can use rubber Kong toys, which can be filled with treats or food for your dog to chew. If you pack the Kong well, it can take your dog some time to work out all the treats, keeping them busy. The rubber is durable, and you can buy various sizes to suit your dog. You can also play games, leaving some treats hidden around your dog’s area for them to find.

Of course, leaving a large handful of treats every time you go out might not be particularly good for your dog. There are healthier options, or you could use some of your dog’s regular dry food in a Kong, sealed in with a modest spoonful of peanut butter.

4.  Give Your Dog a Room with a View

Many dogs like to look out of the window and watch the world go by. If this is something your dog enjoys doing, why not give them access to a window, and provide a comfortable spot for them to sit or lie down? Keeping an eye on the premises can help soothe nervy dogs, and this means they can also watch hopefully for your return!

This might not be a suitable activity for all dogs. You certainly don’t want them to spend all their time barking at passers-by!

5.  Dog TV

For dogs that are part of a large family, noise can be the norm. This means that when you go out, your dog might be unsettled by the quiet environment and lack of stimulation. This can lead to anxiety in your dog, and subsequent separation anxiety.

Leaving the TV or radio playing can help relax your dog. Specific TV programs such as DOGTV might entertain and stimulate your dog. It’s a good idea to play some of these programs while you’re in the house too, to see how your dog reacts and get them used to it.

Remember, dogs are just like people – each one is different. What entertains one dog might not work for another. Try different ideas and see what works for both you and your dog. You know your pet best, after all!

While leaving your dog alone sometimes is unavoidable, it’s best not to leave them for extended periods of time. Younger dogs and puppies especially shouldn’t be left for too long.

When you are at home, try and spend quality time with your dog. Playing with your dog, walking, and training them is all part of the bonding experience. While our beloved dogs might be just one part of lives, we are our dog’s whole world.

- 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Dog - Peak Pets

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Dog

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Dog

Just like people, dogs are individuals. Each one is different, with their own quirks and personality. A dog becomes part of our family, more than just a pet. We know a lot of facts about our dogs – their likes and dislikes, what you should never feed a dog, and so on. But there are some things about your dog that might surprise you. If you’ve ever wondered why your dog’s nose is always wet or why they’re so happy to eat literally anything, read on!

1.   Dogs Have a Sense of Time

Ever wondered if you dog has a sense of time passing when you’re out and about? Do our dogs miss us when we are gone? Well, the short answer to that is yes. Studies have seen that dogs have different levels of enthusiasm upon their owners return based on the length of time they were gone. Generally, the longer the time left alone, the more enthusiastic the welcome the owner received on returning home.

If you’re leaving your pet for longer periods of time you should find ways to keep them entertained – you’re in luck. Click here for our guide on ways to keep your pet entertained when alone. 

2.  Why Are Dog’s Noses Always Wet?

A cold, wet nose is usually seen as a good indicator of your dog’s health. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, dogs lick their noses often. You’ll likely have seen your dog doing this. But also, dog’s noses secret mucus. This helps them track scents. Also, since a dog can’t cool down the way a human does, their cold, wet nose helps to keep them cool during hot weather.

3.  Greyhound VS Cheetah

If you own a greyhound, you might be interested to know that your dog could outrun a cheetah in a long-distance race! Greyhounds can reach speeds of 35mph, and they can maintain this speed for up to 7 miles. Cheetahs, while incredibly fast, don’t have the same stamina.

4.  Your Dog’s Nose is like a Fingerprint

If you look closely at your dog’s nose, you’ll notice a kind of pattern. Dog’s noses have bumps, lines, and ridges. Just like a human fingerprint, this pattern is completely unique to each dog.

5.  Dogs Dream

You might have seen your dog twitching, whimpering, or even growling and barking in their sleep, and wondered whether they were dreaming. The answer is likely yes! When we sleep, we go through various cycles. We’re most likely to dream during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycles. Dogs go through the same kind of cycles, and the same part of their brain lights up when they dream.  While it’s difficult to say what dogs dream about, they probably process their day the same way a human does. If your dog’s paws are twitching, they’re likely dreaming about chasing something.

6.  All Puppies are Born “Prematurely”

Newborn puppies are blind and deaf because they are not completely developed. It takes a few weeks for puppies to begin responding to noises. Caring for newborn puppies can be difficult, and it’s important to do proper research.

7.   Dogs Sweat Through Their Paws – and Certain Breeds are More Prone to Heatstroke

Dogs don’t have sweat glands the way humans do. Their only sweat glands are in their paws, and their primary method of cooling down is through panting. Dogs can overheat very easily, and it’s important to be aware of this during hot weather. Every dog owner knows never to leave a dog in a car, even just for a few minutes. However, taking your dog for a walk on a hot day can also be bad for them. Remember, dogs have a thick fur coat and hardly any sweat glands.

A good rule of thumb is to lay the back of your hand on the pavement, or stand barefoot in a sunny spot. If the ground is too hot on your skin, then it will be too hot for your dog’s paws. Heatstroke in dogs can be very dangerous. Also, take into consideration what kind of coat your dog has. Dogs with long, thick, or dense fur will heat up much more quickly than a dog with shorter fur.

Certain dog breeds, such as bulldogs, pugs, and Pekinese can be more prone to heatstroke. This is because of their flat, wide skulls and short noses. They can’t pant as efficiently as other dogs, limiting their ability to cool down.

8.  Dogs Aren’t Completely Colorblind

It’s a commonly held belief that dogs can’t see color, and therefore only see in black and white. This isn’t quite true. Dogs can see a variety of colors, including blues and yellows. They might not correctly perceive some shades of red and green, seeing them as brown or grey instead. Even so, dogs still can’t see as many colors as a human.

9.  The Meaning Behind a Dog’s Yawn

You might presume that a yawning dog is just tired. After all, that’s why humans yawn. While this is sometimes true, dogs also yawn to calm themselves down. A frequently yawning dog might be stressed or anxious. Other signs of anxiety include paw chewing (which could also be a sign of injury) and your dog licking their lips frequently. Anxious or bored dogs might also chase their tail. While this is cute occasionally, if your dog often chases their tail, you might want to look into providing a little more physical or mental stimulation.

10.  Petting your Dog is Healthy!

We all love petting our dogs! It’s a wonderful bonding experience, and it can also be good for us. Petting a dog can actually cause a significant drop in blood pressure.

Aside from this, owning a pet can have so many other benefits. Dogs provide companionship, love, and motivation. Having a dog can encourage us to be more active, reduce stress levels, and can keep our minds sharp.

For those who own dogs, this might not be new information. We know that playing and petting our dogs makes us happier and relaxes us. It’s good to know that it can help our physical health, too.