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Published March 20th 2020
Hanging out with your best friend during isolation
The outbreak of Coronavirus has brought a change to the work and living arrangements that we have always been used to. This has seen an increase in the numbers of people working offsite. The news that you may be working from home or spending a lot more time indoors may make your dog's ears prick up.
Not having to close the door behind them in the mornings and say, "I'll see you when I get home" will be the best news they have heard in a long time. What could be better than spending a whole lot of extra time with their best friend, YOU!
When the dog-friendly festivals cancel and your normal Sunday session at outdoor breweries aren't open, what can you and your four-legged friend do for fun?
So here are 10 ideas of the kinds of activities that you two (or more) can do to pass the time:
1. Practise Your Training Is pup having trouble with the basic commands like sit, stay, or lay down? Or maybe you'd like to up their game with some more complex training skills. Now poses a terrific opportunity to put in some extra hours to make sure they nail any puppy preschool graduation exams to rid them on any bad behaviours that may have snuck in.
2. Learn New Tricks Okay, so pup can do the basic commands but can they master the cuter than cute dog tricks? Think jumping through hoops or bang bang. Check out YouTube stars and advanced online training videos for all the good oil on how your pooch will command the next puppy play date with their cool tricks.
3. Play Inside Go to the play box and bring out the toys. Balls, chews and soft toys can all get a work out There's lots of interactive toys to play indoors that are lots of fun and will keep their minds engaged. Remember, a happy dog is a tired dog.
4. Give Pup a Beauty Session It's often a job we put off, but no need to now. Create your own Pooch Perfect Parlour and have puppy smelling luscious with a bubbly bath, long brush and groom. Trim their nails (if you feel comfortable), fire up the blow dryer and spritz with a sweet finishing spray and they will be Instagram ready.
5. Enjoy Extra Snuggles Dogs aren't familiar with this new trending phrase, "social distancing". So no fear that they won't want to jump on your knee sit by your side or be cuddled to sleep.
What could be more fun that watching a dog themes movie together? There's more on the list than just Lassie. Try Marley and Me, A Dog's Journey or The Call of the Wild. Animated or adventure-bound, there's loads to dog based movies to choose from where pups are the stars.
7. Create an Obstacle Course in the Backyard Some pups love the mental stimulation of finding their way through and conquering obstacle courses. Why not make your own from tyres and other (safe) materials around the house. You can even time trial them and have a certificate ready for their winning effort at the end. Everyone is a winner, really.
8. Take Photos and Videos (even more than usual) Set a scene, grab your phone and starting clicking snaps and videos of your pooch. For some, it can be a struggle to get them to sit still while others are born supermodels but that's half the fun. You never know, they may become an Instagram sensation.
9. Take to the kitchen and make doggy treats together.
How about baking some special yummy treats for your pooch. Serving up a bowl of freshly baked doggy biscuits or even a cool bowl of homemade dog-friendly ice-cream will make you an instant Masterchef in their eyes.
Jump on your bike and take pup with you. Be sure to secure them safely in a doggy backpack or carriage attachment to your bike. Breath in the fresh air.
Whatever activities you choose, you can be sure that your dogs just want to please you and make you happy and maybe pick up the odd treat along the way. This is a great opportunity to strengthen even further the bond you share with your pup.
So turn this health crisis to your advantage and you and your dogs will be winners.