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Keeping your dog Healthy and Happy during Covid-19

by Delaney Custer

Here are some tips from the Good Dog! Team on keeping your dog healthy and happy while social distancing. It’s important to have a variety of toys for the dogs to interact with to keep their brains and bodies stimulated, healthy, and happy. Try rotating toys to keep them “new” to your pup. Enrichment toys such as treat puzzles, Liki mats, Kongs, or Kong Wobblers are an excellent way to keep dogs engaged because they target their problem solving skills.

Enrichment Toys: Clockwise from the top left yellow object:

  1. Dog Tornado by Outward Hound/Nina Ottoson

  2. Squirrel Dude by Petsafe 

  3. Kong

  4. Busy Buddy Chuckle

  5. Hide N Slide by Outward Hound/Nina Ottoson 

  6. DIY Muffin Tin/Tennis ball puzzle

  7. Tricky Treat Ball by Omega Paw

See bottom of blog for more details on each toy pictured.*

Follow @gooddogfresno on Instagram to view a great highlight of yummy treat recipes, or fill these toys with portions of the dog’s regular meals to avoid overfeeding. To learn more about other engagement activities, the Kong Company has awesome information on their Instagram about all sorts of ways to keep your dog active during quarantine.

It’s good to keep the dogs busy, even if they are getting some time outside taking walks or playing in the yard. With everyone at home, pups can feel cooped up just like humans and stir-crazy pups can be a handful.  Here are several activities to keep them moving: 

  • Play Hide and Seek (the dog can find people, toys or food that the have been hidden).

  • Introduce new toys or rotate toys to keep dogs interested.

  • Teach new tricks or tasks like those demonstrated in our Training Tip Tuesday Playlist.

  • Teach your dog to dance.

  • Simulate public spaces with distractions, sounds and novel objects.

  • Expose them to unexpected or new sounds. Follow this link (Puppy Sound Desensitizaton) to one of many playlists to help dogs desensitize.

Give your dog some alone time! It’s important for both you and your dog to have some time apart, even while in the same house so that your dog does not develop separation anxiety when this period of sheltering in place is over and you are apart for periods of time. Each day, make sure the dog spends some time alone by having rest time in his or her crate or taking a nap in a separate room.

Make sure your dog spends time on leash. Your dog may get used to being off leash and some dogs can become resistant to toileting on leash if they aren’t doing it regularly. If you are able to take walks in your neighborhood, this is a great activity to get mental and physical stimulation. If you primarily use your backyard for play or toileting, be sure to take the dog to toilet on leash at least once a week.

Visit our friends at Rover for more enrichment toy ideas:

*Above photo Enrichment toys details 

Clockwise from the top left yellow object:

  1. Dog Tornado by Outward Hound/Nina Ottoson - this one is challenging for the dog who needs a challenge!

  2. Squirrel Dude by Petsafe - love this toy which is like a Kong with "teeth" in the bottom so you can quickly toss in dry kibble & the dog will go to work. Quicker than making a kong.

  3. Kong - a classic. I put moistened kibble in, top with a smear of peanut butter or coconut oil, freeze, and voila!

  4. Busy Buddy Chuckle - also quickly throw in dry kibbles

  5. Hide N Slide by Outward Hound/Nina Ottoson - this one is simpler but still fun

  6. DIY Muffin Tin/Tennis ball puzzle - you probably have everything you need for this at home!

  7. Tricky Treat Ball by Omega Paw - this one is easier, but the dogs love it and if you put part of a meal in it takes them some time.

If you decide to buy new toys please use Amazon Smile & support Good Dog!

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