Although the nation’s dogs might be wagging their tails a little faster with the happiness of having everyone at home, we know that this period of uncertainty might be concerning for owners who are worried about caring for their dogs. That’s why we’re sharing some ideas from our partner Dogs Trust to bring you a series of blog posts that will provide you with advice, whether you are still working and social distancing, isolating or quarantining.
For those humans who are now working from home, having a happy home office companion might not be helping you to stay productive. Whether they’re barking during work calls or pawing you for attention when you’re returning emails, we know there’s some delighted pets that are just too excited to settle down into this new routine.
If you need help working from home with your hound, we’ve got some tips and tricks to keep your dog distracted. Be sure to adapt these challenges depending on your dog’s fitness level, cognitive ability and size, and remember that all tasks should be achievable to ensure they are a source of fun and enrichment for your dog.
Not just a helpful distraction technique, chews also comfort dogs as the eating motion releases endorphins and reduces stress hormones. We know there’s lots of chew options that your pet will get through in a matter of minutes, so try out some tougher chews – like bully sticks, or wood and root chews – to keep them busy for longer.
Encourage them to slow down their mealtimes while giving them a challenge too by filling up a kong or adding treats to a lick mat. They’ll need to work to access the food, so this should keep your pup preoccupied long enough for you to attend that conference call.
Give them some work of their own by hiding treats around the house, in the garden, or burying them into a fun snuffle mat. Searching for them will encourage your dog to rely on their natural scavenging instinct while following a scent trail. If your dog can’t be bribed with food, try hiding some of their favourite toys instead.
A way for you to get crafty too, making a destruction box can lead to endless fun for your four-legged friend. From toys to treats, you can fill it with all of their favourite things. Tuck away little chunks of cheese or add smudges of peanut butter, and cover all the toys with shredded newspaper to encourage them to dig around.
Both Radley and Dogs Trust are committed to providing the most up to date advice for you and your pooch. In the case of any changes, please be sure to check the Dogs Trust website for the most relevant information.
For more advice on how to care for your dog during isolation, keep an eye out for our next blog post in partnership with Dogs Trust.