For the past few weeks, our furriest family members have been seeing a lot more of their favorite people. And while we’re all stuck inside trying to find something to do, our pets are right there with all the answers.

Now that we have plenty of free time, why not finally take the dog on a walk? It doesn’t have to be anything excessive, but a nice walk around the neighborhood will make your dog’s day. Sending your kids to take him on a walk will exercise and tire them both out. If you enjoy going on jogs or runs in the morning, take the dog with you. Most dogs will be able to keep up, and maybe even outrun you.

Since more people are at home, your dog is probably getting a lot more treats. Table scraps, last bites of sandwiches, and dog biscuits that he so cunningly asks for. It’s important to not overfeed your dog, so try to keep track of how much everyone in the house is giving him. Set rules for what and when the family can feed the dog. Already two times this week, someone has accidentally fed my dogs dinner twice in the same day because we didn’t communicate.

If you’re bored and looking for something to do, try training your dog—or any pet for that matter. Basic obedience is great (sit, lie down, stay and come), but how about wowing your friends by teaching him roll over, jump, speak, and high-five. Training your dog is a great bonding  experience and makes him a better listener when you want him to stop bad behavior.

Since groomers are closed, and many vets charge extra, you should learn to cut your dog’s nails. It may seem difficult at first, and your dog will not like it one bit, but you can save a bunch of money by being able to cut them yourself. Simply get some dog nail clippers, and cut just a bit off without hitting the quick (the vain that runs through dog nails). The quick is very easy to see with lighter colored nails. With dark nails it might help to shine a light through it so you can see the vain easier. Even though your dogs may fuss now, they’ll get used to it over time.

Dogs are a very important part of any family and get just as bored as anyone else in the house. Keeping your dog stimulated with walks and training will sure to make him a happier and healthier dog.

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