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Home Pet Care.
Keeping your dogs enriched, entertained and happy during the lockdown
The current lockdown rules have eased and we can now go out and walk our dogs more than once a day (huge sigh of relief!)
However, the advise is to ‘stay local’ and that ‘any exercise should start and end at home and not involve going a significant distance from home’.
This can be a little boring for the dogs and for us! Although we do have some lovely walks here in Ullesthorpe and Claybrook.
Dogs need exercise to keep healthy and to stimulate their mind. But did you know that a dogs sense of smell is their primary sense and that they live their lives through scent? Dogs have around 220 million scent receptors in their noses. We only have 5 million. For a dog, walking is more than just exercise.
For the last few weeks, most dogs could be starting to feel the anxiety of not having their regular strolls out, missing out on rolling in ‘Eau de fox poo’, meeting their doggy and human friends and all the smells that go with it.
The lack of exercise could have caused the energy to build up which could lead to behaviour problems and destruction, particularly in certain breeds and young dogs.
You can do lots of things at home to alleviate this problem.
Mental stimulation uses the dog’s brain. Mental stimulation burns more energy than exercise.
Some examples of mental stimulation are
- Puzzles (you can buy various different dog puzzles online)
- Cardboard boxes – put several boxes down with a treat in them and let the dog explore and find the treats. (you can use their food and feed them this way). As they get to know this game you can make it harder by putting treats in only a few boxes, filling them with paper, or anything that the dog has to work out how to get the treat.
- Lick mats and snuffle mats are great. Both are available online, but snuffle mats can be made at home with a mat and some fleece.
- Scatter feeding, put their dinner on the grass and let them forage. (careful in multi-dog households)
- Stuffed kongs
- Egg boxes, muffin tins with tennis balls on top, yoghurt pots, lower pots, wrapped up towels, bags, anything really that you can hide things in.
- Short training sessions
Use your imagination! You can do this daily and it doesn’t have to be hours. A few minutes can be enough to burn that excess energy!!