The Covid-19 health crisis has impacted us all, shifting our day-to-day life in dramatic ways. For many people, sheltering in place means spending their days with their pets for long stretches of time and integrating pet care into work life or extended leisure time. We playfully call this WFH or “With Fido @ Home.” Here are some ideas for keeping your Fido engaged and content:
A Balanced Routine
Make the most of your stay-at-home routine by blending quality dog-time with time you spend focused on work. Take strategic breaks with your dog throughout the day: explore the backyard or neighborhood, play, train, and engage in other activities that enhance the bond. It’s also important to set boundaries so you can focus on your work. Create a super comfy and cozy canine hangout spot with a dog bed and lots of blankets and encourage your pup to stay put. Having their people at home is stimulating for dogs, and they’ll benefit from a little extra rest and relaxation.
Even the most restrictive stay-at-home orders allow for some dog walking or even off-leash activity. People have noted that in New York City—where the smaller dog runs were wisely shut down recently—dog owners are still able to romp with their dogs in Central Park and in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park during the early morning hours. While you explore, remember that having a good walking leash and/or harness is essential, along with other invaluable gear, including waste bag dispensers, treat bags and day packs.
We all know that a well-exercised dog is a happy dog and that extends to exercising their minds with a wide assortment of interactive games and toys including puzzles, hide and seek, and a good session of tug. Play is critical to the health and well-being of all dogs, and should stimulate the mind and body.
Take a few minutes each day to train your dog. All dogs love to learn and when a correct response is rewarded with a treat (store bought, homemade or a nutritious slice of carrot or a blueberry), you have an attentive student. It will be time well spent.
Support Local Animal Shelters
If you’ve been thinking about adopting a second dog from your local animal shelter or volunteering in other ways, now’s the time. While some animal shelters have seen a rise in adoptions and foster homes during this stay-at-home period, other facilities are in dire need. If it’s not possible for you to adopt or foster a homeless dog or cat, you can lend a hand with donations of pet food, bedding, leashes and toys, which are always welcome.
[ dogs need more than food for a happy and healthy life.]
• Play: Activities that mentally and physically stimulate dogs and enhance the bond between pet and pet parent.
• Sleep: Beds that suit a dog’s unique sleep style and blankets that provide comfort and security.
• Explore: The importance of outdoor adventure–whether it’s a walk around the block, a trip to the dog park, or a hike through the mountains and woods.
Support Local Pet Specialty Retailers
The best way you can support your community is to buy locally—most state and municipal shutdown orders exempt pet stores from forced closure, as they are deemed essential for providing much-needed pet supplies. Local grocers and pet shops need, and deserve, our business. Plus, many pet stores are expanding their services by offering free deliveries or curbside pick-ups.
Difficult times often foster a strong resolve to do better, to expand our understanding of the world and our place in it. That goes for our dogs as well. Now is a good time to embrace the concept of Wellness Beyond Food©—the notion that a dog needs more than food for a happy and healthy life. The concept is built upon three principles: Play, Sleep and Explore. Play stimulates the mind and body; sleep is essential to wellness and a sense of security; and exploration satisfies the senses and provides a healthy embrace of the world. Incorporate these elements into your dog’s life and you will expand her horizons and enrich yours along the way
Learn how sharing a photo of your Fido @ Home can support local animal shelters and neighborhood pet stores.
Tall Tails understands that dogs are more than just pets—they’re family. Tall Tails helps you give back to the pet that shows you unconditional love with the products that they deserve. Their mission is to comfort the ones that comfort us and their priority is to enhance the bond between you and your best friend, providing them with the best of everything from playtime to bedtime. talltailsdog.com