Happy 2020! When people started calling it the roaring 20’s, the universe listened. It’s only April, but so far the new decade has come rolling in like a tsunami. The entire world is dealing with COVID-19, and it’s up to us to help flatten the curve. That means staying inside, washing our hands, and doing our best to keep ourselves safe and not spread the virus.
Your current battle against cabin fever aside, the truth is, this is really our dogs’ time to shine. And they’re needed now more than ever. While they might not get to go to the dog park or play fetch for an hour, they do get to enjoy having their humans at home all day.
So while all of this staying in can lead to some stir-crazy cabin fever delusions, pull yourself out of that funk and stop refreshing the news. There’s still plenty to do while indoors. Check out this list of activities to keep you busy while social distancing.
Side note: If you feel like doing nothing, that’s totally fine too! You’re not just staying home – you’re staying home during a crisis. Give yourself a break.
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Attend a virtual event
Local dog events have been canceled, but that doesn’t mean our dog calendar has dried up. The dog community is resourceful, and has turned to virtual events to keep both pups and their humans happy.
Choose from doga (dog yoga), pilates, paint your dog classes, dog trivia, and a bunch of other dog-themed events. The best part is you can be anywhere in the world to enjoy these, just be sure to keep an eye on time zones.
See our event calendar and download Zoom, if you haven’t already .
Listen to a new podcast
Podcasts are a great way to learn something new and use your ears when your eyes are tired of browsing Netflix. I like to listen to podcasts while I cook or clean the house. Now with all of this time indoors, I’ve been adding to my rotation.
Here’s a list of great dog-related podcasts that we love. If you have any good ones to recommend, let us know in the comments.
Bonus: If books are more your jam, try listening to audiobooks. You can stream them through services (get free audiobooks here), or borrow them online from your local library. If you’re in need of suggestions, check out our Doggy Book Club: Books For Dog Lovers.
Learn a new trick
Exercising is more important than ever now that we’re cooped up, and I’m not just talking the physical kind. Work your dog’s brain and spend a few minutes each day on commands. You can teach your dog a new trick or brush up on the ones they already know.
For some agility-at-home fun, try the “level up” dog challenge – put down rows of toilet paper and see how high your pup can jump.
Get hygge with it
Hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) is a word used to describe the Scandinavian concept of coziness. It’s about embracing well-being by enjoying the simple pleasures in life.
It’s usually done in the winter time, and with May flowers approaching, you might not want a cup of cocoa by the fire with your pup. But not to worry, you can still get hygge with it in this warmer weather because, let’s face it, being cozy and relaxed is nice in any season.
Here are some ways to get hygge with it:
- Lighting a nicely scented candle.
- Curling up with your dog and a good book.
- Sipping cups of tea, mulled wine, or coffee.
- Spending time with your pup in a nook or your favorite armchair.
Get in some grooming time
Boogie and Marcelo won’t be headed to the groomer’s any time soon, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up on their hygiene completely.
Plan your spa day at home! Light candles, whip out the dog brush, and clean out their ears. End your session with a gentle ear massage and a belly rub. A good grooming will leave them relaxed, and smelling and looking fresh!
Break out the enrichment toys
Keep your dog occupied during your Zoom meetings with an enrichment toy.
If you’re not in the market to buy anything, just hide treats around the house to keep your dog busy.
Learn a new recipe
If you’re tired of watching Bon Appetite YouTube videos and that sourdough starter isn’t really coming along, try your hand at some dog-friendly food.
When the treat jar is running low, you can always make your own!
Pick up a craft
Always wanted to knit your dog a sweater? Thought about painting your dog’s portrait? Does making dog-friendly soap sound fun?
Now’s the time to pick up that hobby you’ve always wondered about.
The great thing about crafting is that it keeps your hands and mind occupied, so you won’t be reaching for your phone or reading the news. It’s a nice escape, and a good brain work out.
And, with plenty of tutorials on YouTube, it’s easier than it’s ever been to learn at home. Here are a few links to help you get started:
Foster a dog
Stuck home alone and dreaming about having company that thinks you’re the best thing since sliced bread and loves you unconditionally?
You’re not alone. There’s been a surge in applications to both foster and adopt across the country. Dogs help calm nerves and keep people happy, plus they’re an excuse to walk outside a few times a day.
People stuck at home with an excess of time on their hands can use it to help a dog settle in and work on training. And, dogs make the best companions during this time of social distancing. It’s a win-win.
Can’t foster a dog? Consider another type of animal, like a cat, rabbit or hamster. There are plenty of rescues who take in all types of animals. Why should dogs get all the attention? Spread the love.
Have a drink
OK, pause before reacting – we know that dogs can’t drink alcohol. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a delicious cocktail while your pup sips on a mocktail. You’re not drinking alone if the dog is home. But you know, also please drink responsibly.
For humans, try one of the following recipes:
- The Greyhound – 1.5 oz vodka + 3 oz grapefruit juice.
- The Salty Dog – 1.5 oz gin or vodka + 3 oz grapefruit juice + rimming salt.
- The Bloodhound Martini – 1/3 oz gin + 1/3 oz French vermouth + 1/3 oz Italian vermouth.
For dogs, check out these options below:
Host a Zoom party
A few short months ago, I had no idea what Zoom was. Now, everyone and their grandparents are using it.
Zoom is an application that lets you video chat with multiple people at the same time. It’s easy to use, just download the app on your phone, tablet or computer, and it’s free! It’s a great way to stay connected in the time of social distancing.
Invite your dog park friends to hang out on Zoom and watch your dog’s eyes widen when they see their buddies on screen.
If you want to add in an extra bit of fun, make it themed! Try a dance party, a costume party or a fashion show.
Learn a dog-friendly TikTok dance
I did what every adult swears they’ll never do – I gave in and downloaded TikTok!
I have to admit, the quick-paced videos are super addicting, and the dancing and other trends are super fun.
Many of them include dogs, like the toilet paper challenge, or can be done with a dog sidekick.
Besides dancing and fun trends, you can also check out DIYs and cool recipes.
Set up a fun photoshoot
You can never have too many dog photos. Whip out your favorite dog clothes, spruce up a background with a plant or a bed sheet, and take some shots of your pup.
If you’re feeling funky, use the self-timer and join in.
What other things have you been doing while at home? We’d love to hear in the comments!
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