Adopting pets has many health benefits for humans, which became even more apparent for many people during
This challenging chapter in human history has caused a spike in animal adoptions and purchases, as people seek
comfort while in isolation.
Pet ownership has provided support for mental, emotional, and physical health amid lengthy lockdowns.
Researchers of a study in the UK on human-animal relationships discovered that over 90% of pet owners coped
better emotionally during the first lockdown thanks to their animal friends.
According to the study, people who are more vulnerable to mental health issues pre-COVID19 said they are
improving bonds with their pets as the pandemic raged on. The same study also indicates that the bond between
owners and animals did not diverge much regardless of pet types, with people saying that they pretty much felt
the same degree of closeness to their puppies as to their pet guinea pigs.
However, pandemic restrictions have also uncovered concerns for pets’ well-being. Since lockdowns have forced
virtually everyone to stay indoors, many pet owners noted that some pets showed signs of stress. There was more
barking, some animals got scared of unexpected or loud noises, and others exhibited different signs of anxiety
when left alone in the house.
Continue to become a good pet guardian even if you are stuck at home wondering how to keep your animal
friends actively engaged by checking out these activities you can do with your pets to ease their anxiety and keep
- Pet photoshoots
Capture your pet’s portraits by doing an indoor pet photoshoot. Designate a specific area in your home and treat it
as a controlled environment where you can mount lights and props. This makeshift home studio is where you can
unleash your creativity by thinking up different themes, concepts, or color schemes for your shoot.
Having an assistant to help keep your furry friends calm and make them stare down at the lens will help you
capture their personality in full bloom. Pointing and shooting the camera to their eye level makes for striking
animal portraits, but you can also play with different positions, focal lengths, and other elements. Offering their
favorite toys and treats by throwing them in the air will also bring out interesting, dynamic expressions.
After the shoot, you can edit your photos using a brand new or refurbished MacBook to bring out the best in those
images you captured. You can submit your entries to a pet photo contest of your choice to make things even more
- Dog yoga
Ever picked up yoga during the lockdown and have your dog disrupt your flow when they decide to join you on the
mat? Maybe they’d like to join their human and try it themselves!
If trying to expend their energy with active play has always been your go-to option, introducing something more
relaxing like “ doga ” can balance things out. Do an online search and check out local clubs or communities offering
dog yoga to get started.
- Watching pet-specific movies
There’s content for every kind of human interest out there. Thankfully, movie and television program creators
haven’t forgotten about your dogs. Canines see television and colors differently from us, and these audiovisual
offerings are designed to appeal to their unique ways of perception. This just might be the way to help calm them
down on a particularly stressful day, so it’s worth a try.
- Indoor games
Your pet is bound to enjoy playing a variety of indoor games with you. This is also a great way to provide mental
stimulation to reduce the risk of problematic behaviors like excessive barking or incessant chewing caused by
anxiety. Here are some games you can play in rotation to keep them entertained.
● Tug of war
This is a mental and physical exercise for pet dogs all rolled into one. The best news is that you only need minimal
space to do it. As long as you’ve got basic training covered and let them know that the fun stops if they try to bite
playfully, playing tug with your canine just might increase their confidence and make them more obedient.
● Teach them their toy names and play “Find It!”
Make a game out of this great training exercise. Engage your pets from the get-go by starting to teach the names
of their favorite toys. Say the toy’s name each time you pick it up and use it to interact with your pet.
After several times, you can mix specific toys with other objects and test their skills by asking them to find the toys
you’ve identified. Praising them and offering treats when they get it right will motivate them immensely to
remember what you’ve taught them.
Sometimes, keeping it simple is all it takes to keep your pet happy. Use soft toys for indoor fetch to avoid breaking
furniture, equipment, appliances, and other trinkets around the house.
If lockdown restrictions still haven’t eased up or you’re still a bit iffy about bringing your pet to a professional
groomer, this is your chance to learn and bond with your furry friend on a whole different level.
Before you go ham with wild grooming ideas, ensure you have the essential grooming tools so you and your pet
get the best kind of bonding out of the experience. Offering treats and rewards for good behavior while grooming
them will help keep your pet still. Once you get the hang of it, you might even enjoy it so much that you’d want to
do all the grooming yourself even post-lockdown.
- Bonding with training and introducing new tricks
Teach your good old pal new tricks! Start with a refresher on dog training basics to help you get on the right foot.
Clicker training is a great method that can be used as a foundation to let them know that they’re doing the right
actions. You can get a clicker at pet stores and start training with treats on hand. Once they have established the
connection between the clicking sound and receiving a treat, you can start using it as a base to introduce many
other tricks like sitting on command, doing the down position, and many more.
- Treat hunt
Pets love sniffing things and eating anything. Build excitement by hiding treats they love when they’re not around
your chosen spaces. Ensure that the treats are hidden in safe locations. It could be behind doors, under tables, or
in corners free of excess clutter. Add a bit of challenge by hiding treats under their favorite toys or unused boxes.
Let your pet out when you’re done setting up, so they can start searching.
Happy Pets Make a Happy Home
The pandemic has certainly made pet owners adjust their usual routines, making it more difficult to venture
outside for play or physical exercise. But time indoors with your pets can still be fun and rewarding. Giving them
the time, attention, and training they need through interactive play plus a variety of activities will enhance their
well-being, and yours, too.
Author: Silke Putscher
Author Bio: Silke is an officer at Macs4u, a Minnesota-based company dedicated to delivering the best value in pre-
owned Apple Macintosh computers. She is also an avid animal lover who advocates for the welfare of no-kill and
high save rate shelters.
Blog Excerpt/Meta Description: If you’re a pet owner stuck at home wondering how to keep your animal friends
actively engaged, check out some of these activities you can do with your pets to ease their anxiety and keep them