- March
Posted By : PawBoost
COVID-19: How To Self-Isolate With Your Dog

This article is contributed by guest writer, @Dakota_Murphey.

COVID-19: How To Self-Isolate With Your Dog

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you will probably know all too well about how disruptive the coronavirus outbreak has, and still continues, to be. 

Many workers around the world have now been told to self-isolate at home in order to minimize the spread of the virus. If you are one of those people affected, you may find yourself now wondering how you’re going to cope with a prolonged period of time stuck in your home without pulling yours, or your loved ones’, hair out. 

If you’re a dog owner as well, you’ll probably be full of questions related to the welfare and safety of your canine companion. You’ll likely be asking yourself, for instance; can I still walk my dog while self-isolating? Will I still be able to visit the vet if they get sick? And what will happen if I run out of their specialist dog food? 

Well have no fear – we are here to help. If anything, your dog will enjoy being able to spend some quality time with you while you’re stuck at home with them. However, since you probably won’t be able to walk them as freely as you normally would, you’ll have to find ways to keep them entertained. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Photo Credit: staffordgreen0 via Pixabay

1. Teach them some new tricks

The phrase ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ simply isn’t true, so why not use your time in self-isolation to teach your pooch a few new things? After all, keeping your pooch’s brain active is imperative to stave off their level of boredom and keep them entertained during their time at home. 

Whether you go for the classic ‘paw’ or ‘sit’ – if they don’t know them already – there a ton of new things you can teach your dog while self-isolating. Here are few you could think about: 

  • Speak
  • Back-Up
  • Wave
  • Spin
  • Beg
  • Roll Over
  • Play Dead
  • Take A Bow

Photo Credit: Pexels via Pixabay

2. Have a treasure hunt

Like we’ve mentioned already, keeping your dog happy and entertained is vital when it comes to self-isolating. It’s also important to keep their brain active so, why not kill two birds with one stone by setting up a doggy treasure hunt for them? 

Hide a few treats in different rooms and around the garden if you have one, and see how quickly it takes for them to find them. Not only will this keep their brains active for a short period of time, but it’ll also make them feel very happy since what kind of dog doesn’t love a treat or two. 

If you’d rather not go to the effort of doing an actual treasure hunt though, you could always freeze treats inside a cube of ice. Once your dog gets a sniff of the treats, they’ll be entertained for hours trying to break through the ice to get to the yummy goodies inside.

Photo Credit: Vladyslav Dukhin via Pexels

3. Make a snuffle mat

A snuffle mat is a great way of stimulating your dogs’ senses and they are super easy to make. To create one of your own, you will ideally need to have a rubber mat with some holes in, a few strips of fabric or fleece, and a pair of scissors. 

Once you have gathered all these materials, you’ll then need to simply weave the strips of fabric through the holes on the mat which will, in turn, create a sensory haven for your dog to explore. When you’ve finished, it should look a bit like a flower or a large microfiber cloth. 

Hide a couple of treats in the fabric and sit back, relax and watch your dog have fun trying to find them. While it obviously won’t replace their need for a walk, snuffle mats are still a great way of keeping your pooch entertained while they’re stuck indoors.

Photo Credit: Film Bros via Pexels

4. Play games

Dogs are known for having barrels of energy, being able to spend hours on end running to their heart’s content around the park. When stuck inside, these levels of energy only build up and up and your dog will start to stress when unable to release it. 

To combat this, take an interest in them and play games with them around the home. If you have a garden, run around in a circle and make them chase after you to get rid of some of that energy. Or, if you’re stuck indoors, play fetch with a few of their favorite toys, throwing them from room to room.

Dogs often reflect the levels of energy their owners give out. By keeping your own spirits and level of enthusiasm up, your dog will too, meaning your time in self-isolation should be over before you even know it.

Please visit the CDC’s website for the latest information on Animals and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).


  • Good ideas. Thank you. 🐶

    • Most importantly: wash dog paws when you come back from walks. Take your shoes off as well. You & your dog can carry germs in with you.

      • Annie, so that means it’s ok to walk them? I can’t find an answer to that anywhere!

        • Yes you can walk your dogs. Best time I find is at night everyone seems to be inside at night. During the day ppl still have to go out to get food prescriptions and things around the house. The virus does not travel in the air. It has to come directly from a host usually BH cougb or sneeze whatever it lands on it can live on. That is why IG is important to wear gloves and also it sticks to clothing and hair. I doubt u will be bringing your pets into a store so no need to spray them after a walk. However if u go to a store of public place be sure time wear gloves carry antibacterial wipes to wipe anything you touch and Lysol spray to spray yourself and clothing and hair b4 u go back into your house. Also after going in public drink warm or hot liquid every 20 mins w lemon if possible. This will push the virus into your stomach and will then be killed by stomach acid. Just a few tips I’ve read good luck stay healthy stay home

      • So true!

      • Most importantly: teach your dog that you wash it paws after every walk as well 😉

  • There are no scientific studies yet that have eliminated if dogs can get COVID or if they can be carriers. Last year my dog got MRSA; another superbug from a routine vet visit. He can give it to me or maybe I was a carrier. Until the CDC or anyone can conclusively say dogs can’t get COVID; it’s a risk I won’t take. Thanks for all the great tips. Stay safe and healthy, all.

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