I have been in self-isolation with my dog for three days now. With walks not being an option (and a busy dog walker only able to come twice) I have had to get creative with activities to keep my Chloe occupied. Here’s the lowdown:  

  1. Have a plan for your dog. Are they able to go and stay with a friend at short notice? Do you have a dog walker who can come daily? Kind neighbours? Being prepared will take the stress out of the situation if you find you need to self-isolate, and ensure your dog is well looked after during this time.  

  2. Have enough dog food to last your self-isolation.  

  3. Join the Facebook group ‘Canine Enrichment’ or ‘Beyond the bowl – Canine Enrichment’ for easy, homemade activities to keep your dog occupied.  

  4. Get rid of the food bowl! Mealtimes are a great opportunity for brain games. Feed your dog in the garden by scattering their kibble on the grass so they need to use their nose, for example.  

  5. Do some training! Loose lead training plans always begin with practicing walking next to you in low distraction environments like your home and garden. Seven days at home is an ideal opportunity to practice this! Keep your recall up to scratch by practicing in the garden.  

  6. Stuff some Kongs, bones or other toys with tinned meat and freeze, ready for when you need some quiet time.  

  7. Rotate toys so they remain interesting for your dog. If the same toys are lying around all the time they lose their novelty. Just have 3 or 4 down at a time and then swap these the next day. Consider washing these at the end of each day. 

Seven days on lockdown will feel like a long time, but with a little prep and imagination, it needn’t be impossible!  

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