Our current pandemic (coronavirus COVID-19) is forcing us to pay more attention to personal hygiene and our social circles, causing us to self quarantine or stay out of the public for awhile.
Whether you live near or have common contact with the elderly and/or someone who has a compromised immune system, you have the personal responsibility to do everything you can not to contract the illness and spread it.
The health and welfare of many people is dependent on the young and able and that has rarely happened before, if ever. This pandemic has been named the worst public health crisis this generation. That is comparing this pandemic to the other well-known epidemics over the past 100 years, including: SARS, MERS, Ebola, Typhoid, Spanish Flu, Diphtheria, Polio, and Measles. Just to name a handful. WOW.
Interested how the novel coronavirus COVID-19 currently compares to other pandemics? Click here.
While we battle through this unchartered territory and gather as much information as possible, we will be spending a lot of time at home.
So, while you're stuck at home, self-quarantining or social distancing, here is a list of things you can do with your dog (outdoors and indoors) to keep you from going stir crazy.
3 Things To Do With Your Dog | #1 Get Outside
The virus lives on surfaces which means as long as you don't touch anything (or anyone), you'll be fine! Go for a walk...around your neighborhood or find a trail in town. I use the app AllTrails and love it. You can read reviews other people
State parks are a great option, although many don't allow dogs (or only on limited trails) and some states are temporarily closing their parks so if you have any near you, I would call ahead or look it up online and make sure you're aware.
3 Things To Do With Your Dog | #2 Mental Stimulation
Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. We, humans, tend to do this automatically by leaving the house, being in new surroundings and interacting with other people.
Your dog is stuck at home all day everyday and doesn't get the same mental stimulation. Can you imagine? I would go insane...and some dogs do. Hence why they start chewing on things.
Work with your dog on simple obedience, a cool trick or play a game. Don't forget lots of "good boys" and treat, treat, treat! If you are teaching new commands, be sure to practice everyday, multiple times a day (about 15 minutes increments).
Cesar Millan has a list of 6 great ways to challenge your dog's mind.
3 Things To Do With Your Dog | #3 Curb Bad Habits
While you're thinking of new tricks and commands to teach your dog, keep in mind the bad habits that he/she may have. You can work on those too!
Does your dog bark at people passing by the house? Does your dog rush the front door when you open it? What about jumping on guests when they arrive?
These are all things that can easily be changed.
Remember, when you are teaching new things, your dog does not speak the same language and is certainly not deliberately disobeying you!
Be very clear and concise.
Use one word commands
Try not to repeat the same command over and over again. If "sit" is the command, say it once, not 10 times.
In full disclosure, I am not a certified dog trainer. I do have experience working with multiple trainers and multiple dogs so I am sharing the information that I have been told by those professionals. I hope it helps! And at the very least, it will keep you and your dog entertained for a little while :)
More information about the COVID-19 coronavirus in pets:
How to Care for Dogs and Cats During Coronavirus