How to Keep Your Dog Happy & Healthy While Stuck Indoors

We know all too well that it's easy to get complacent and overly sedentary when stuck at home. We want to make sure you stay active and include your pup! Here, we rounded up our top tips for how you can keep your dog happy and healthy during these challenging times of social distancing.

  • When you’re at home at all day, it can be tempting to continue giving your pup treats to keep him or her occupied, but too many treats can lead to gas, weight gain, lethargy, and other issues that can affect his or her health. In order to keep your pup healthy, consider:
    • Use meals to break up the day (be careful not to overfeed)
      • Start with your pup’s normal amount of food in his or her bowl in the morning, but instead of just putting the whole bowl on the floor, take a handful to use in a puzzle, to scatter around the room, or for a quick training session.
      • When you need to occupy your pup, use another handful of food from his or her bowl in the same way as above.
      • Pro Tip: Mix in a few treats to keep him or her excited about hunting down his or her food!
  • Take an online course that benefits your dog such as basic massage techniques, Reiki healing, tricks training, or cooperative-care training.
  • Provide enrichment, which is all about stimulating a dog’s senses and engaging his or her natural behavior in a safe and healthy way! A few ways you can spice up the enrichment in your pup’s life are:
    • When you’re out on a walk, take a new route and let your pup take time to sniff the leaves, trees, bushes, etc. for longer periods of time! Sometimes walks become all about the exercise, when really the ability to sniff and explore can be more rewarding for a dog’s senses and wear them out just as much.
    • If you currently offer your pup puzzles, invest in a new option or make your own at home using toilet paper or paper towel rolls stuffed with a few treats or toys (make sure your pup doesn’t ingest the whole cardboard tube!)
    • Instead of feeding your dog from a bowl, use a Kong wobbler, slow feeder, snuffle mat, or other interactive toy so he or she can problem-solve to get their food.
    • Play the foraging game in your yard by tossing a handful of small, smelly treats in the grass and letting your dog sniff around to find them.
    • You can also mimic this indoors by hiding several treats around a room and encouraging your pup to find them.
    • If you need to help them start looking, you can point to the treats, let them see where you dropped one, and use verbal encouragement to urge them along.
    • Check out our blog on Enrichment for Dogs for additional information.