I've read a few articles recently touting the benefits of having a dog during this sequestation period of indeterminable length. Certainly, no one will be happier than your dog to have you at home - all day, every day.
Even though when we're off to work outside the home, we may leave our dogs home with smart toys and interactive treat dispensers, most dogs don't interact with them as much as we would hope.
Face it: you provide their food, their love, their joy, and their activity! And when you're not home, they sleep.
As someone who works from home, I can tell you that dogs expect you to keep them company. My current dog, now 15 years old, expects me to interact with him at least two to three hours during the day, not all at once, but periodically - generally when I'm trying to concentrate. Just today, he paraded around in front of me until, after taking him out twice, giving him treats, rubbing his jaws (which he loves!)... I realized 1) that his breakfast was still in his dish, and 2) that he was dancing around in front of me to get me to feed him his breakfast by hand - something that I used to do after his bout with pancreatits two years ago!
I can assure you that a younger dog will demand even more of you if you don't spend some serious time exercising with her. Here are four activities you can do with your dog while working at home. Just set a schedule for both of you so that you can get your work done too!
Walking is a great exercise for both of you. Make your walks adventures. Of course, you should try to stay away from busy streets - those with a lot of car traffic or foot traffic. Walking in a new environment will be stimulating to your dog, piquing her curiousity and assuring a nice long nap when she gets home.
Go To The Dog Park
At this writing, most U.S. dog parks are still open and safe for your dog, if not too crowded. You want to avoid being close to other people, so keep conversations 6 or more feet apart. At this writing there is no indication that dogs can infect other dogs or people, for that matter. But to be safe, I would not pet other dogs. After you leave the dog park, wipe down your dog with a clean towel or an IVS Quick Bath (a great wipe for your dog).
I've never known of a dog that doesn't enjoy some kind of play. If the weather's good and you have a place to play outside, that's perfect to play fetch. If you haven't trained your dog to bring his toy back to you yet, it's about time. So get some yummy, healthy treats and use them to coax your dog back to you with his toy.
If you need to stay indoors, there are soft toys made for fetching - I like the Chuckit! indoor dog toys, like the Indoor Launcher and the Squirrel. Newer indoor Chuckit!s are the Chuckit! Canine Hardware Indoor Roller Dog Toy, the Chuckit! Indoor Shaker Dog Toy, and the Chuckit! Indoor Tumbler Toy Ball for Dogs.
Chuckit! Indoor Shaker Dog Toy
If you prefer to watch your dog play rather than participate directly, there are tons of interactive dog toys like squeakers and puzzles. And don't forget treat dispensers like the Starmarks that keep your dog busy if they're not too easy for her!
Chill Out Together
Just sitting together with your dog calms him (and calms you too!). You can give him a massage, pet him, let him sleep on your lap while you watch TV.... and even let him sleep next you when you go to bed.
This is not just a time that your dog will expect more togetherness from you, but a time you will be especially happy to have a dog in your life!
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