Quarantine Activities to Enjoy With Your Pet
If you are stuck being quarantined, you’re probably getting bored. Just because you’re practicing social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t have fun around the house. Dogs are great at brightening the mood and making boring days more fun. Here are a few things to do with your dogs during the quarantine.
Practice the Heel Command
Does your dog pull on the leash when you go for walks? Now is the perfect time to start working on the heel command. Your dog will learn much faster during this time because you can go on walks more frequently, so the training will be fresh in their mind.
To practice this command, allow your dog to walk ahead of you, once they reach the end of the leash turn around and walk a different direction. Pull the leash firmly to get your dog's attention and say "heel". Your dog will follow you in the new direction and eventually will learn to walk beside you instead of in front of you. If your dog needs a little bit of positive reinforcement, give him/her a treat each time he/she follows your command. By the end of quarantine, your dog will have mastered the heel command and won't tug on the leash anymore.
The first step in practicing dog yoga is to never force it. Try to incorporate yoga into your daily walks and playtime. Not only can yoga reduce stress, but yoga with your dog can be more quality time together. Invite your dog's curiosity to explore the room. If he seems interested in what you’re doing, go ahead and incorporate him into some yoga poses. While walking around the neighborhood, you can attempt some yoga with your dog. Practicing crescent lunge along the sidewalk or even tree pose while your dog stops for a potty break.
Improve Your Photography Skills
Have difficulty taking clear pictures of your pets because they're always on the move or never able to get them to look at the camera? Now is the time to work on your skills and have fun while taking Insta-worthy pictures of your pets.
- Use a fast shutter speed: You can either try switching the settings on your camera or using a sport mode to help capture your dog's quick movements.
- Use burst mode: Most smartphones have the option to take several photos quickly if you hold down the capture button. This is a great way to get the perfect post you're looking for.
- Get down on their level: Kneel down or even lay on the ground to get a great angle for each photo.
- Look for natural lighting: Head for the brightest room in your house and try to take pictures when it's sunny out. This will brighten your pictures and make it easier for your camera to use a quick shutter speed.
- Want a #TongueOutTuesday picture? Put a little bit of dog-safe peanut butter on the roof of your dog's mouth just before the picture.
- Get your dog to look at the camera by holding a squeaky toy or treat.
Call your dog over for a needed cuddle session and enjoy a movie together. Try a movie with dogs in it to spark your dog's interest. Often, dogs will actually watch the tv with you and get engaged with what’s happening on the screen, especially when they hear familiar sounds. A movie night with your dog is a perfect way to get anything stressful off your mind. Check out these dog adoring films:
- A Dog’s Way Home
- Milo & Otis Marley & Me
- A Dog’s Journey
- A Dog’s Purpose
- The Art of Racing in the Rain
Work on Improving Behavior
Have a dog that is overly excited, doesn't listen well, or needs to work on potty training? Take this opportunity and extra time together to work with them on these skills. Practice, practice, practice.
Make DIY Dog Toys
If your children are home from school, we're sure they're looking for something fun to do as well. Have them work with you on do-it-yourself projects and make fun toys for your dogs. Take a look at these simple tutorials on making toys for your dog.
- Tennis Ball Treat Puzzle: Just as describes it’s as easy as making two to four slits in a tennis ball and tossing in some treats and letting your dog try to figure it out.
- Wrapped Water Bottle: If your pup is one for noisy toys, you can easily wrap a water bottle in an old shirt or rag and letting them at it.
- Foxtail Toy: If you do not have a sewing machine on hand, this will take some time, but can give you and your children a new fun activity to learn together.
- Rope toy: can be made from old t-shirts, jeans, or fabric you have laying around the house and will only take minutes to complete.
- Indestructible Treat toy: This involves a little more work and prep time than the rope toy, but so worth it. Your dog will be busy for weeks!
Make DIY Dog Treats
Nothing beats homemade treats, whether you’re talking about human treats or dog treats. You know exactly what ingredients are being used, you can customize recipes, and you add the one ingredient you won’t find baked into a store bought treats.
Glazed Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Biscuits
Your pup will drool over these glazed biscuits and you’ll be happy knowing exactly what went into these yummy dog treats.
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup oil
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
tablespoons bacon grease, coconut oil, chicken
fat, or any other fat that will solidify at room temperature, melted
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine pumpkin, peanut butter, eggs, and oil in a bowl. Add in baking soda and whole wheat flour. Stir until a stiff dough forms. Knead dough or mix just until flour is incorporated.
Roll out dough with a rolling pin and use a cookie cutter to cut out dog bone shapes, or just bake into little circles like cookies. Bake for 15 minutes.
Whisk the bacon grease and peanut butter until very smooth. Drizzle over the treats and cool till glaze hardens (it does best in the fridge or freezer).
Ginger Apple Treats
If your dog loves biscuits but is on a grain-free diet, recipes can be hard to come by. Ginger apple dog treats to the rescue!
cup brown rice flour
½ cup apple, finely diced
? cup Greek yogurt (plain)
½ tsp fresh ginger (finely minced) or 1 tsp ground ginger
1 tablespoon coconut oil
oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Stir together until well combined. If necessary, thoroughly mix together with hands.
Turn mixture out onto a floured, flat surface and roll out with a rolling pin to approximately ¼”.
Cut into desired shapes and place on a baking sheet coated with nonstick spray.
Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Cranberry Cookies For Dogs
These adorable cookies are a delicious way to show your dog how much you love them.
1.5 Cups Almond Flour
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
3-4 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
oven to 325 degrees
Beat the eggs and set aside
Combine almond flour, coconut oil, and dried cranberries in a bowl.
Add in the eggs and knead the ingredients with your hands. Dough will be wet and sticky.
Add in the coconut flour one tablespoon at a time to achieve a consistency that is easy to roll out and not overly sticky. This should take approximately 3-4 TBSP.
Roll out the dough and cut out the treats using a fun shaped cookie cutter.
Place the treats on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until crisp.