How to Keep Your Service Dog Occupied in Quarantine
If your service dog is anything like Crush, they have a lot of energy. I’m lucky to be in close contact with the organization that gave me Crush. They have been proactive about coming up with helpful solutions to doggy boredom. They’re not all perfect but I’ll take what I can get. So here are some ways to keep your dog occupied and trained during quarantine.
- Keep Training
Crush knows a lot but there’s always more to be learned. I want him to be able to know objects by name. When I say get “XYZ” he’ll know what I’m talking about instead of having to point and direct him to an object.
- Buy Interactive Toys
I know this isn’t a perfect solution. For a lot of people, money is tight and not flowing steadily. If you have the ability, buying an interactive toy can supply long term entertainment. For a little while (two weeks), Crush had a toy he absolutely adored. It held treats and he had to get them out. I’m sure it’s a favorite for all dogs. He destroyed that toy. Now we’re left with his kongs. He likes them but they only keep his attention for so long.
- Get Outdoors
If it’s applicable to you and your lifestyle, get outdoors. I love playing fetch with Crush and it’s the happiest you’ll see him. Of course, weather permitting. Neither Crush nor I appreciate snow all that much. This is also good for you! It’s a great mental and physical health boost to be out in the sun. Even if you just sit out while your dog roams, let them explore a bit. Within reason of course, your dog’s safety comes first.
- Put Them in Gear
I like to put Crush in his harness to go on short walks. I do a long walk in the afternoon and while walking with someone, I don’t make Crush wear his gear. Crush has a sense of purpose when he’s working. At least, that’s how I interpret it. He gets excited to work and clearly takes pride in his job. I also work on Crush’s indoor tasks while he’s in harness because come Fall he will be needed at school.
There’s no perfect way to keep your dog entertained. If you’re like me and have to get things done, it’s important that your dog is occupied. Crush is patient with me. I can’t express how grateful I am for that. I have not gotten things even close to perfect but we work together each day. With that attitude, we are set for growth. We will together to create a schedule and routine that works for both of us and go from there.