Many people around the world are working from home as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19, making pets around the world very happy.

But, how can you keep your pets active and entertained indoors? Here are a few ideas:

For dogs

  • Train: Training is a great way to tire your dog out while you’re home together. Work on eye contact, ‘stop and sit’, ‘leave it’, ‘stay’, and more. Get your kids or other family members involved too.
  • Walks: Dog walks or runs are good for you and your dog. If you can go outdoors, do so while maintaining physical distance, and wear gloves and a mask. Clean your dog’s paws before and after the walk. Walks are good for training practices, such as heeling, stop and sit, eye contact and more.
  • Work and play: Add five minutes of training to the end of a 10-minute play session.
  • Fetch: Fetch can also be played indoors if you have the space for it. Throw the ball around  for your dog to catch. Just make sure not to break anything!
  • Scent games: Hide treats in the house. Start by hiding the treat right in front of your dog and then telling them to find it. Slowly increase the distance.
  • Hide-and-seek: Tell your dog to stay, then you go hide and call them to find you.
  • Agility course: Use household items to create an agility course. Chairs can be used to create tunnels, buckets can be jump hurdles. Get creative!
  • Dance: Make a dance routine for you and your dog. Spins and high-fives are great doggy dance moves.
  • Shell game: Place a treat under one cup or bowl, move it around with others and see if your pup can locate the treat.
  • Dog toys: Make sure you have dog toys at home to keep your dog entertained while you work, exercise or just need some alone time. Try toys such as wobble balls, rubber or squeaky chew toys, toys that hold treats, and lick and snuffle mats. Dogs get bored with toys just like children, so try rotating toys out. Shop for dog toys at any local vet centre such as Qatar Veterinary Centre (QVC).

For cats

  • Cat toys: Cat toys are essential to keep your cats entertained at home. If you want to be involved, set up exercise and activities before or after work time, such as playing with a feather or string wands, mice balls, scratcher toys and more. Cats get bored with toys just like children, so try rotating toys out. Shop for cat toys at any local vet centre such as Qatar Veterinary Centre (QVC).
  • No distractions: Working and don’t want the cat distracting you when writing emails, on calls or virtual meetings? Try automated toys, food puzzles, a cardboard box with some tissue paper and treats inside are prime distraction – or do something as simple as putting a chair in front of window for them.
  • A hang out spot: Don’t want your cat on your keyboard or desk? Give your cat a better place to hangout by placing a bed on a shelf, on a chair next to you, or even on your desk or table.
  • Don’t forget to snuggle: Take work breaks for snuggles with your cat and enjoy some play time. It’s a great stress reliever for both you and your cat! Snuggles can also be a reward for good behaviour.
  • Close the door: They may meow and scratch at the door. Ignore it. Any response to consistent meowing will encourage them. Instead, reward good behaviour such as being calm and quiet with treats or snuggles.

Don’t have a pet? Why not foster?

Always wanted a pet but you are never home or not sure you can commit? Now is the time to give it a try. Try fostering a cat or dog during your homestay! Contact any of the local shelters or rescues such as QAWS, PAWS, BarkinQ or 2nd Chance Rescue – Qatar for more information.

Remember, it is always good to wash your hands after contact with pets to protect both you and your pet.


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