COVID-19 and Dogs: 5 Ways You and Your Fur Friend Can Stay Occupied While Social Distancing from Others

As the seasons change and the days turn brighter, you are likely more focused on practicing "social distancing" than planning your social calendar.

In light of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), communities are adopting social distancing in effort to reduce close contact between people and ultimately slow the spread of the virus, according to UW Health.

This means trading handshakes for elbow bumps, movie theaters for at-home streaming, and generally staying in as much as possible to minimize potential exposure to the virus.

How Does Social Distancing Affect Dogs and Pet Parents?

For you, social distancing might mean adjusting to new routines and spending more time around your closest loved ones—including your fur friend. As you adapt to the changes that impact your daily life, your mood and body language can affect stress levels in your two- and four-legged family members alike. That's why maintaining a positive attitude is key to helping everyone feel happy and comfortable.

Hanging out with your pup can boost both your spirits! If you're a pet parent searching for new ideas to break up the day, here are five ways you and your dog can stay occupied while social distancing.

Get Active

The dog parks may be closed, but you can still find opportunities to stay active in the comfort of your home. In fact, even a short amount of physical activity can have a positive influence on you and your dog's moods.

Grab your pup's favorite dog play toys and get those legs moving! Mix in classic interactive games such as indoor fetch and tug of war—just be sure you're away from any delicate furniture or belongings that pose a danger. For a more mentally stimulating activity, try a scent game such as find the hidden toy or treat.

Work on Tricks and Training

Have you ever wanted to teach your dog a new command but never found the time? Whether your fur friend is new to learning tricks or ready to take on some advanced dog training commands, now is the perfect time to work on obedience training.

If your dog doesn't already know essential commands like "sit," "stay," and "come here," set aside some time to help your pup master these fundamental tricks. Keeping a supply of your best friend's favorite dog training treats will come in handy as you reward their good behavior!

Try a New Dog-Friendly Recipe

Nothing passes the time like channeling your inner chef. In addition to keeping yourself occupied, preparing a delicious dog-friendly treat or meal will show your four-legged friend how much you love them.

Many dog treat recipes are fairly simple and can be made using ingredients you already have at home. Dog-friendly foods including canned pumpkin, peanut butter, and of course kibble are popular ingredient choices and will have your pup coming back for more!

If you're feeling more ambitious, try cooking for your dog. This alternative to buying dog food provides your pup a fresh and nutritious meal they'll love. Just be sure to avoid ingredients that are dangerous to dogs such as onions, raisins, walnuts, and macadamia nuts.

Have a Spa Day

As a pet parent, you're probably no stranger to spoiling your dog. Take this opportunity to give your pup the works with everything they need to feel as happy and healthy as can be. That's right—we're talking about a full-blown spa day!

Gather your dog grooming supplies and get ready to pamper your best friend with luxury treatment. Start by combing your dog to remove any tangles or mats. Next, draw a bath and use a dog-friendly shampoo and conditioner for a fresh, clean smell everyone will appreciate. Your dog's nails will be softest after a bath, so seize the opportunity to trim any overgrown nails. To top off your fur friend's spa day, massage their skin with a curry brush or use a nylon bristle brush for a lustrous shine.

Give Each Other Alone Time

Indulging in some quality alone time is inevitable when you're primarily seeing the same family members or roommates every day!

As you binge-watch your favorite show or finally decide to clean out your closet, make sure your dog has their own activity to keep them busy and happy. Nylabone offers a wide variety of long-lasting chew toys that are the perfect diversion for dogs of any size.

Tips for Keeping You and Your Dog Safe While Social Distancing

If you're practicing social distancing and have any questions for your veterinarian regarding coronavirus and dogs or your fur friend's health, be sure to give the veterinary office a call first before stopping in. Some offices may even provide curbside pickup if your fur friend takes medication.

Remember, your dog is always there for you when you need them most—especially in times of uncertainty. Take time to return the favor and give your pup plenty of love as you practice social distancing together.

We at Nylabone hope you, your family, and your furry family members stay healthy, happy, and safe!


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