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Our dogs are going to get just as bored as what we are during the national lockdown. It is therefore a good idea to think of a set routine that will minimise the chance of your pets becoming bored and destructive. 

Dogs during the lockdown that do not have access to a yard

According to the COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal, you may only leave your house to seek medical care, buy food or medicine, and collect a social grant. Pet parents who live in flats or townhouses that do not have a private yard are therefore in a tough spot. So, how do you as a pet parent ensure that your pets, and your dogs in particular, stay busy in the home? Here are a few ideas that could help curb the boredom. 

Play fetch in a room or passage

This works well will smaller, gentler dogs who are able to get a run in from one side of a room to the other. Move objects that can fall and break to a safe spot before the game begins. It is also advisable to move objects (like pointy tables) that can hurt your pup out of the way. If there is a potentially dangerous object in your house that you cannot move, rather skip this game. Never play fetch in the house with a large or energetic dog. 

Play hide and seek

Hide and seek works well for both small and larger dogs. 

Play “find the treat”

Show your dog a treat, and then go hide it. Let them see where you are hiding it the first time so that they understand what it is you are doing. 

Teach your dog a new trick

Dogs love to learn! And there is nothing that keeps their attention like being taught a new trick. Make sure you have plenty of yummy treats as rewards. The top tricks a dog should learn are sit, stay, come, down, wait, and drop it. 

Play tug of war

Tug of war is an excellent game because it makes your dog tired. Many rope toys come with a handle that makes it a bit easier on pet parents to “pull”. 

Play jump

Jump is a good exercise-type activity that your dog can do indoors. Throw a teddy or a soft ball in the air and let your pup jump for it. Play this game in an area you have cleared beforehand so that all landings are safe!

Provide lots of toys that can be ripped apart

Toys are excellent for dogs that are bored. Many dog toys are designed to be ripped apart, and dogs just love doing it. 

Provide treat balls and pet puzzles

Treat dispensing toys and puzzles are great for keeping your pup busy.

A warning when playing indoors

Play should never be done in an area where your furkid can get hurt. When playing indoors, stop the activity if your furkid gets too rough. Additionally, move objects that could harm your furkid during play out of the way.

Other things you can do to keep your dog busy during the lockdown

Include your dog in your daily routine. For example, when you bath, make that teeth cleaning and brushing time. When you eat, your pup must also eat.

Create a routine and stick to it

A routine is the best thing you can do to keep your pup entertained. For dogs that are more energetic, allocate play time for 1 hour in the morning, training time for 1 hour in the afternoon, and grooming time for one half hour in the evening. Allocate the in-between hours to treat balls and puzzles. 

Provide a “lookout” window or door

During the lockdown, provide your pup with a lookout spot he cannot jump over or get through. Sometimes, just being able to push a nose through a burglar bar is enough to keep a pup busy. 

Remember, dogs that are used to going for regular walks and runs will find the lockdown frustrating. Give them a break by not getting frustrated with them too. 

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