While this situation evolves daily, we are seeing both upcoming events, end of season events and even next season’s events being cancelled. With this, we are restricted to exercising once a day. Whilst the situation has caused an upset across all dog sports, now is a good time to focus on how we can keep our dogs in a fit condition, including competitive and working dogs. Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways we can make positive use of our time for both human and pooch together!

The main change my dogs have become consciously aware of is that their daily activity has been reduced. Usually, daily exercise would consist of two outings a day, with one high energy outing and one easy stroll. I’m sure this is the same case for many of you, but keeping our dogs happy and healthy is always a top priority. So, I’ll run you through what I’m doing to help my dogs in this time of uncertainty – and I hope it can help you and possibly bring some fresh ideas too. Let’s make the most of it!

how to keep working dogs in a fit condition

DAILY EXERCISE

As we can no longer travel to meet fellow team mates and train, we are doing more Canicross to allow us to get to locations safely before letting the dogs off for a free run. It’s important not to stop exercise altogether with a high energy animal as it can be very confusing for them, and this could cause behavioural problems. This has however made me extremely grateful for the equipment I already have access to. If you haven’t already, I would highly recommend taking a look at equipment which allows you to attach your dog to your waist so you are hands free – it’s a much more enjoyable, comfortable and safe way of travelling from A to B with your dog. 

THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA

We usually visit the hydrotherapy and physiotherapy centre for canines (The Canine Fitness Center) around twice a month. This clinic has now moved strength training and boredom busting exercises to Facebook, so we can take part from home! The regular content and exercises are amazing – they help simulate the minds of our dogs, making them mentally tired a few times per week. I’d recommend checking them out, or alternatively, look at related social media pages to keep your dog on the ball.

FROZEN TREATS IN A TOY

I have started to take out a few spoonful’s of their breakfast and putting them into a Kong or LickiMat to place in the freezer for a lunchtime treat. This really does keep them entertained, but be mindful that this doesn’t result in them having too much food – we don’t want them going overboard!

SEPARATION ANXIETY

Separation anxiety is something Benson struggles with, as do many rehomed dogs. He’s my shadow in the house, but over the last few days I’ve really noticed it. I don’t want it to be difficult for him when I’m doing more hours at work, so I’ve often only been taking Bee in the mornings to give Benson some alone time in the house. My husband would let him out in the afternoon. Something that has really helped was when I started to give Benson his Scullcap & Valerian Tablets. I’ve already seen an improvements, and even my feet now have blood back in them!

ROTATING TOYS FOR STIMULATION

If you have a toy box for your dogs, like ourselves, it’s a great idea to rotate these toys frequently to help stimulate their brains while in the house or garden. We go from rope and chew toys one day to soft fluffy ones the next!

We hope these little tips help. Remember, if your dog’s activity has decreased, you should also decrease their food portions. It’s an easy miss but, their joints will thank you!

Stay safe everyone, enjoy these extra few hours a day with our best friends!

Georgie Gair, Team GB Canicross

WE’RE HERE FOR YOU TOO

Remember, Dorwest Herbs are here for you during this time too. You can phone our phone line or interact with us on our social media channels. We’re all in this together! Let us know if you’ll be trying any of our top tips for fun things to do with your dog at home over the coming weeks. We’d love to see what you’re up to.

Dorwest Herbs are experts in herbal pet care and have been helping dogs meet their health and nutritional needs for almost 70 years. To find out more about our herbal supplements for dogs, speak to one of our experienced advisors on 01308 897272 or use our contact form. Plus, get free UK delivery on orders over £50.

Please remember, you should always consult a vet if you are concerned about your pet’s health.

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