7 Ways to Bond With Your Dog While Staying Home

 It is critical that you practice social distancing and stay at home during this global pandemic. The risk of not only contracting, but passing COVID-19 to someone else is far too great. It’s frustrating staying cooped up inside, we know — you’re trying to figure out what to do with yourself, what projects to finally finish, what hobbies to resume or start, and what relationships you haven’t called in forever. 

 If you have a dog, though, one of the best things you can do is spend time with them! They are not used to having you home so often, so use this time to bond with them. As they say, your dog is only a part of your life, but you are your dog’s entire life. You should always make plenty of time for your pets, but until this crisis passes, here are a few ways to entertain both yourself and your furry family member: 


Lavish them with attention 

Dote on your dog (or dogs). Pet them. Give them treats. Learn how to give dog massages. Play fetch in your yard if you have one, or even in your hallway. Engage in fun games of tug-of-war. Give your dog the kind of treats that they have to spend time on, like Kongs filled with dog-friendly peanut butter and bones. Nap together. Watch TV together. You’ve got the time — take advantage of it. 

Take them on long walks 

Fortunately, you are still allowed to walk your pets in most places. Taking long walks is a wonderful idea not only for your dog, but for yourself! It’s an excellent way to get out of the house and get some fresh air and exercise while still practicing social distancing (just remember to stay at least six feet away from anyone who passes you). 

Explore your neighborhood. Go on routes you’ve never been on before. Why not go for even two or three walks in a day? It’s healthy to spend time outside, so walking with your dog may be just what you need while stay-at-home orders are in effect. 

Give them mental stimulation 

Does your dog seem bored all day? They probably are. Yes, dogs sleep quite a bit, but you can still fill some of their waking hours besides giving them walks and playtime with mental stimulation. Buy puzzles online that your dog can solve alone or that you two can work on together (just remember to wipe it down first). Consider buying a treat ball, which you can fill with small treats and watch your dog happily roll around the house while they fall out. Providing your dog with things to actively do will decrease their boredom, and they’ll thank you for it. 

Start a doggie Instagram 

Want to practice your pet photography skills? Your dog is adorable, so you can show them off on Instagram! Capture cute photos of you playing together, of them sleeping, and any other moments you catch. Remember to get on the ground so that more of your pictures are at  your dog’s level instead of from above. 

If you want to build an audience, you can use ViralRace to grow your follower count and attract real followers through social proof. Remember to use the right hashtags, post at opportune times, engage with your audience, and apply other best Instagram practices. 

Make them a special treat 

Want to do something extra special for your dog to tell them how much you love them? Make them a homemade treat ! You can still buy dog treats from the grocery store, but it will be fun to make goodies like dog biscuits, salmon and sweet potato dog treats, pupsicles, peanut butter treats, and more in your own kitchen. Unless you have children, you probably aren’t cooking for many people right now, so cooking for your dog is a great way to practice your skills — even if you’ll never serve what you make to humans. 

Teach them new tricks 

Your dog is never actually too old to learn new tricks. Engage in fun enrichment activities by teaching your dog actions they haven’t learned before, from simple things like high-fiving and rolling over to more complicated feats. Dogs are pretty food-driven, so use those homemade treats you just made to encourage them. Even if your dog doesn’t pick up what they’re supposed to be doing right away, they’ll love the quality time with you. 

Buy them new toys 

Buy your dog some new toys. If they get bored of one while playing, you can always move on to another. Enjoy your new toys outside or inside — and if you have enough toys already, simple things like blowing bubbles can be fun. 

It’s imperative that we all stay inside during this pandemic (unless it’s to go for a walk where you won’t have to interact with people in close-quarters). You have newfound time on your hands, so use it to spend time with your pets and create memories that you’ll cherish. 
 
 
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