By Grace Park
Published: 11/13/2020, edited: 10/26/2022
No doubt, getting your daily workout in with your trusty four-legger by your side is a highlight.
But for sure, with COVID-19 and the lockdowns and quarantine rules, the way you usually do things has changed.
But it doesn’t mean that exercising has to be any less fun! It’s easy enough to create a workout that will keep you and your dog content and happy despite the reduced hours spent outside.
Remember, mental workouts are just as important and helpful to your dog’s psyche as physical exercise is. Be sure to include both!
Here at Wag!, we’re pretty enthusiastic when it comes to in-home dog training, so of course, our first suggestion will be to work on your pawsome pooch’s obedience skills. Whether your dog is new to learning or has a ton of training under their belt, daily practice is always a good idea.
We think "sit" is one of the fundamentals of a well-trained dog, and the command can be used in multiple situations. Have your dog sit before exciting events like getting their leash on to go out, or before enjoying a meal. It’s a great way to instill respect between puppo and parent!
With quarantine looking like it may last a while, teaching your dog obedience skills is a great way to get through it. After the basics are nailed down, move on to advanced skills. Teach your dog to go to a mat by the door and wait there until you gather treats and poop bags for a walk.
You can teach an old dog new tricks! And a puppy, too, for that matter. Use this period of staying indoors to teach your pupster tricks that will wow your friends when you can get together again.
Try teaching your dog the army crawl. It only takes an open space, a few treats, and a willing dog! Treats are the ideal way to provide incentive for the task. Choose treats your pooch can’t resist and they’ll learn to crawl in record time. Remember to join in for fun, exercise, and a few laughs!
Give your dog interactive toys and feeders to mentally stimulate them as they chow down on a meal or search for a yummy reward.
Believe it or not, the mental exercise your dog gets from a puzzle toy is sufficient enough to tire them out after just a few minutes. When using puzzle toys, watch your dog the first few times and assist if needed. This ensures they don’t get frustrated and decide they don’t want to give it a try.
Once you’ve worked the brain, exercise the body! Tug-of-war is an excellent way to exercise your dog in quarantine because it takes up very little space. Tug toys should be durable and safe from your pupster’s sharp teeth and strong jaws. This workout will strengthen your arms, too!
An obstacle course, whether indoors or out, is one of the top activities for pups. Once the quarantine is lifted, you can take the action outside on a grander scale!
Start with having your pooch jump over a rope or broom lying flat on the floor. Raise the rope or broom by a few inches each attempt until you get to a height that gives your dog a challenge. You can then add boxes for your dog to crawl through, and pillows for them to scale.
If you have a fenced-in backyard, take the fun outside. Set up weave poles for a fun exercise that will make both you and your four-legger proud once it’s mastered.
If you don’t have access to a secure outdoor space, don’t fret. Instead, practice inside to teach your eager dog to weave between your legs. It’s no less challenging and will look just as impressive after quarantine when you can then show-off to your friends.
This exercise is meant for dogs without any joint or hip problems and is also most suitable for the younger set. Join in, and see your fitness level improve over quarantine, too! This exercise is best saved for a few weeks into the quarantine workout, after you and your dog have had time to start getting in shape again.
Run up the stairs together, and slowly walk down. Sprint up them again, walking down carefully once more. Start with a set of three and see how many you and your athletic woofer can work up to. Throw in an army crawl between sets for an intensive workout for both you and your best furry buddy.
Are you and your dog ready for a rest? Don’t forget the importance of a good stretch after an exercise session. It’s essential for you and your dog!
Try a doga session after setting the stage for a quiet cooldown. Dim the lights, speak softly to your pooch, and gently massage and stretch their body. After an exhilarating quarantine workout, your pooch will be ready to learn the downward dog!
Although we’re all in quarantine, your pupster will still need some outdoor time (and you do, too!). Hop in the car, and go for an early morning walk on a deserted beach if local rules allow it. If the weather is cold where you are, take your pup to a wide-open field and run alongside them for an on-leash exercise session. Fresh air is the ideal remedy for the times when you and your dog need to spend more time indoors than you are used to.
And heads up! We’re all in this together!
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