things to do with your dog at home

It’s tough being stuck indoors.  If you are asked to self isolate, your dog will probably be pleased that their human is now around all day for cuddles and treats but, at the same time, dogs dream of running in the park, muddy puddles and chasing squirrels and they can cause havoc in the home if they don’t have enough stimulation.  Here’s some top tips on how to keep your dog occupied when they’re in the house:

  • You can still take your dog for a walk.  Fresh air is good for both you and your dog plus it’s a great way of working off their excess energy.  Current advice is to stay more than 2 metres away from other people and wash your hands on a regular basis to prevent infection.  Walking your dog round the park will give you both a much needed change of scenery and some mental stimulation.
  • You really can’t go out?  Ok – why not use the time to teach your dog a new trick?  Despite the myth you can teach an old dog new tricks. Fun for you, mentally stimulating for your dog and, who knows, after a bit of time, maybe they’ll have learnt a party trick to impress all their friends!
  • Fill their toys with peanut butter (just make sure it’s a xylitol-free variety so it’s safe for pups!).  Aim to put it in the really hard to reach places will keep your dog entertained for hours! Dogs love peanut butter and, as it’s very sticky, they can’t gobble it down quickly like they would a treat. It means they will be working away on that treat in the corner while you get down to watching some box sets in peace. 
Jasper with a peanut butter filled kong toy
  • Make toys from your recycling. Entertain your dog and help the environment with homemade food puzzles!  Get an old plastic bottle, flatten and twist so it’s all out of shape. Fill with kibble for your dog. Keep hold of the lid and watch them throw the bottle around trying to get the kibble out.  You can also make a ‘kibble swiss roll’ with a tea towel, then for an extra challenge roll up in a ball.
  • Make a recipe both you AND your dog can enjoy. OK , this one is more likely to keep you entertained rather than your pooch but your dog will appreciate the end result! How about some Cranberry, Oat and Peanut Butter Biscuits from the Happy Dog Cookbook .
  • Make a music playlist for your pet!  Back in January, Spotify launched their first pet playlist which contains lots of songs for you and your pooch to enjoy.
  • Ever wanted your dog to be an impressive sniffer dog?  You can do some great scent training at home – check out some lessons on youtube or check out UKsniffer courses online:
  • Doggy day spa anyone? Why not make the most of the confined time at home to give your pooch a pamper. If they like the water a lovely shampoo and a towel dry should provide you both a bit of light relief.
  • Go with them to play outside in the garden.  If you have space outside, it’s great for them to get out there, hear the birds, smell the smells and go to the toilet.  It’s also another location for you to bond with your dog. Use this space to play tug of war, throw a ball (it doesn’t have to go far!) or hide some kibble around the garden for them to find.
  • After a long day of learning new tricks, becoming a sniffer dog and working out those pesky food puzzles, snuggle up together for some good old cuddles in front of the TV.
Cuddle with your dog

Originally published on and republished here with the kind permission of the author, Sophie Van Der Veken.

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