• Dana Rebaza

10 Ways to Avoid a Canine Crisis during COVID-19

It’s a little overwhelming how quickly life has changed in the past few days! Most of us are stuck at home. If you’re like me, you are already starting to feel a little stir crazy… and so are your dogs! Need some help taking the edge off? Check out the best 10 things you can be doing with your dogs right now.

10. Turn on DogTV

Are you home but still working? Keep your dog entertained by turning on DogTV! Why is this better than turning on any old channel? Because on DogTV, everything from the colors to camera angles to sounds were designed to fit your dog’s eyesight and sense of hearing. Dubbed the First TV Channel for Dogs, it offers relaxing and mind-stimulating content for your furry friend.

If you’re in the mood to catch a flick yourself, then try one of these dog-loving movies instead.

9. Foster a Dog!

Now that you’re spending more time at home, and perhaps even have more time on your hands, why not consider making room for one more? Shelters and rescue groups across the country are in need of temporary foster parents! Opening up your home to a dog in need is one of the best ways to help right now. Check out Best Friends Animal Society’s database of shelters and rescues to find a partner near you. And don’t worry, though foster failing (i.e. adopting your foster dog) is encouraged, it’s optional!

8. Snuggle up with a Good Dog Book

Not into Netflix & Chill? We’ve got the bookworm in you covered with these great rover-themed reads! Consider reading parts of your book out loud. Dogs love listening to their favorite humans, and if nothing else, it changes things up a bit! Check out this blog post for books about all things dogs, including training.

7. Brain Games for Beginners

In the same way that we need things to keep us from going stir crazy, so do our dogs! Everyday enrichment activities are a great way to break up the monotony of being stuck indoors. The key to enrichment is variety. There are so many types of activities available and you are only limited by your imagination! Check out this blog post about how to get started with Everyday Enrichment, have a go at these DIY options, and join the Canine Enrichment Facebook Community for endless free ideas from around the world.

6. Catch up on Dog Parenting Podcasts

Got a question about dog parenting? There’s a podcast for that! These days dog experts and trainers are in the business of sharing their knowledge for free. Some of our favorite podcasting positive dog professionals include the Positively by Victoria Stilwell (It’s Me or the Dog), Drinking from the Toilet with Hannah Brannigan, and Cog Dog Radio. Stilwell even offers a few recent episodes about how to cope during social distancing.

5. Explore the outdoors!

The outdoors are still open, people! Now is a good time to take your dog for a walk (provided you’re following all health recommendations in your area). Take your dog for a walk at a different time than you usually do or try an unfamiliar route. Sniffy walks and rucksack walks are a fun way to change things up, too. If you’re feeling adventurous, explore an off-the-beaten path trail with your dog! I love using the All Trails app for the latest outdoor safety tips and coolest dog friendly trails near me.

4. Enroll in an Online Dog Training Course

School is cancelled - I mean - still in session! This is no time to play hooky. Instead, make your way to one of these starter courses to keep moving towards your training goals. Many of the online courses listed are free or discounted for a limited time.

Starter Course for High Energy Dogs (Free til 3/27)

Build Your Dog’s Confidence (Free)

'MISSION: POSSIBLE' Help for Separation Anxiety

Affordable Short Courses for Pet Parents

Your Dog's Friend Webinars (Free)

3. Home Treat Home

If you’re like me, you’ve been meaning to get around to trying the latest Dog Treat Recipe. I rarely cook myself a good meal, but I turn into Julia Child for my dogs. Get your culinary inspiration from these amazing Canine Chefs!

Pretty Fluffy - DIY Dog Treat Recipes

Bindi’s Bucket List on Instagram

Kong Stuffing Recipes for Every Dog

2. Find your #DogSquad Online

You’ve already heard it, but it bears repeating: We are stronger together! With an estimated 63 million dog households in the US alone, there are plenty of opportunities to connect with others and build your #DogSquad virtually. We love these online communities for their encouraging and positive vibes:

Dog Is Good’s Fur Covered Wisdom Group

Support Group For Reactive Dog Owners (Reward based training group)

Positive Force Free R+ Dog Training Library

Do No Harm Dog Training

IAABC’s #PetsBehavingWell Community (and monthly contest!)

1. Become Your Dog’s Favorite Trainer!

Whether you like it or not, you’re constantly teaching, i.e. training, your dog. What better way to spend your #quarantine than by bonding with your dog over some positive reinforcement? Whether you’re just starting out, a little rusty or an expert-level #doglistener, there’s a training game out there for you.

We love the Puppr app for easy-to-follow basic and trick training advice. The Dogo app is another great option for those of you looking for a positive pocket trainer. Advanced dogs and dog parents will love competing for their Doggy Parkour Quarantine Title.

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