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While some dogs might be reveling in the constant attention they’re getting from spending endless hours with mom or dad, others might be engaging in some strange behavior. Just like humans, dogs thrive on structure, so being cooped up with their pet parents 24/7 can be stressful and trigger anxieties. Here are some ways to help your dog adapt to this new pandemic lifestyle:

DESIGNATE PERSONAL SPACES

If you are working on the couch in the living room your dog might associate this as a play zone and be disrupting your calls with loud barks or bringing you toys to play with. With your kids at home, they are turning to the dog to be their playmate which can get tiring and overwhelming when it’s all day long. Give your dog a designated space that is quiet and removed from family activities so they can take a break, relax and even nap.

ENGAGE IN MENTALLY STIMULATING ACTIVITIES AND EXERCISE

Physically being with your dog is not enough to keep them entertained. When your dog is around you they want to play and cuddle. Make it a priority to integrate activities and exercise into your daily routine to mentally engage your dog so they aren’t always sitting at your side begging for your attention. Take them for a walk or run before you start work. During your breaks, take time to practice basic commands like sit, stay and shake. Try using a food puzzle that makes your dog work for their meal and gives them a little extra engagement. Check out more at-home activities to keep your dog active.

But don’t get too carried away! It’s important to set your interaction at a level that won’t be missed when you start to do more outside of the house.

PRACTICE SOCIALIZATION

While your dog might have been well socialized before coronavirus, being confined at home might have them feeling a little timid in certain environments and around people. Help instill confidence in your dog by taking them for walks around the neighborhood where they get exposed to new sights and smells as well as other dogs and people. When you’re in the house, change your appearance by wearing hats or sunglasses. Expose them to loud noises such as clanging pots and pans, ringing the doorbell and running the vacuum.

TAKE THEM TO DOG DAYCARE

Are you juggling work and family life and feeling tired and overwhelmed with everything on your to do list? If you’re feeling guilty for not giving your dog the attention you know they deserve, we’re here to help! Give your pup a break from the house by giving them the most exciting day ever at Dogtopia daycare! Your dog will enjoy socialization, exercise and education in an open-play environment that is fun, safe and extremely clean. Pet parents can join in on the fun by watching their dogs interact with our Canine Coaches and their BFFFs (Best Furry Friends Forever) on the webcams. Not only does daycare help build a well-balanced dog, provide plenty of socialization and exercise, it also helps to ease separation anxiety and gives pet parents peace of mind. It’s a win-win for everyone! Give your local Dogtopia a call to schedule your complimentary Meet and Greet 317-280-3877 www.dogtopia.com/meridian-north

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