5 Indoor Activities You Can Do With Your Pets During the Wretched Haze

Poor Fido must be wondering why we’ve been cutting down on walks. But Fido doesn’t care if there’s haze; it just wants to play! Even with the haze, it shouldn’t let it dampen your mood and deprive your pets of necessary stimulation. Try some of these indoor activities for pets; it’s a great way to build a strong bond between you and your pets.

Hide and Seek

Not only suitable during this period, but it’s also a great way to expend energy for dogs with too much energy and for us who have too little.

How to play this game:

  1. Throw a treat on the floor and issue the command ‘Find it!’ simultaneously. Do this a few times and let Fido have fun picking up the treats.
  2. Have Fido sit or stay while you allow it to observe you hide a treat where it can see and reach. Go back to your dog and encourage it to find the treat. Also, repeat this several times.
  3. Finally, have Fido stay stationary while you hide treats in places varying in difficulty. Have your dog work as hard as possible, and don’t be too eager to help when they can’t find the treats. Show them only when they seem to lose interest.

Teach new tricks

You have no excuses this time. Using the usual time used for walks, reinforce basic commands or teach them tricks you’ve seen Jack Russel perform on YouTube.

Toys and games

How can anyone miss this? Simple, and everybody has fun. Even watching them play is an absolute joy on its own. It’s tiring to keep throwing and throwing toys for them to fetch (I may seem perpetually tired, but another reason to keep fetching games short is that the sudden stopping action when they pick up the toys causes stress on their joints.)

If you have more than one dog, why not make them play tug-o-war? Or if you have some cash to spare, get them some new toys into which you can stuff treats. Not only is it stimulating and can be hours of fun, but it’s also able to distract them and mitigate symptoms of separation anxiety that cause them to bark/whine excessively and lick/scratch themselves.


Yup, massage. This a great skill to learn that’ll help dogs relax and improve their well-being. It’s also a great activity to soothe a fearful dog during a thunderstorm.

Grooming, spa treatments  

Not because I’m a pet groomer, but because you have the time, why not spend it grooming your pet? Not only does grooming keep your pet clean and healthy, but it’s also a time for bonding and getting your pet accustomed to the grooming process. Besides that, you can also prepare some DIY spa treatments to pamper your pet and, at the same time, treat skin ailments.

If you find any of the suggestions interesting, the internet is a great resource to find more information and solutions for your pet. But above all, stay safe, and it won’t hurt to stay indoors and keep your activities minimal for a week (hopefully just a week). Sometimes less is indeed more.


How much water should my pet be drinking?

We are constantly reminded to drink 8 glasses of water a day and eat only till we’re 70% full. But what do we do instead? Drink 4 glasses and eat till we’re 110%. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much the same situation for our pets.

While it’s easy to see if your pet is overweight, not everybody knows if they are getting enough hydration.

Water is so essential to every being’s physiological functions that it literally takes a book to describe them all in detail. When scientists look for possible lifeforms on other planets, water would be one of the conditions they’d look for first.

Combined with commercial diets, lack of hydration leads to urinary tract infections (extremely common with cats) and kidney and liver problems. Ask any vet the percentage of senior dogs suffering from any of them resulting from not drinking enough water.

But on the other hand, excessive drinking can be a signal to a variety of problems as well, including liver and kidney disease, diabetes, and hormonal disorders.

So how much is just right?

Ideally, both cats and dogs should be getting 60ml of water per kilogram of body weight. But even vets would say it’s okay if 70-80% of the recommended amount is achieved, give and take moisture obtained from wet food. I don’t think we’re even that strict with ourselves. (*On a side note, I recently adopted the habit of drinking at least 3 litres of water, and I do feel more energetic!)

How to measure?

  1. Calculate how much water your pet should be consuming. (e.g., A 5kg Maltese should be drinking approximately 60ml x 5kg = 300ml of liquid daily)
  2. Measure and provide the recommended amount.
  3. Measure the amount left over 24 hours later.
  4. Repeat Step 2.
  5. Always measure and refill at the same time of the day so you’ll have a more accurate gauge of how much water your pets are consuming.

How to check for proper hydration?

So even though your pet is optimally hydrated, there are times (e.g., When its ill, having diarrhea or vomiting, lactating, long hours outdoors in the sun, etc.)  when you’d need to check if your pet is dehydrated. First, you can pull the skin above the shoulder blades, and well-hydrated skin will snap back quickly into place. Secondly, you can also check their gums. If it’s tacky and dry, it’s poorly hydrated.

How to ensure they don’t drink too much or too little?

Drinking too little:

  1. Positive reinforcement: Praise your pet and give them treats every time your pet takes a drink. It worked for my dog real quick.
  2. Beef it up: Add pork or beef stock or whatever stock you’re cooking into their water. However,  I suggest that you only do this occasionally. The same reason why so many people are addicted to soft drinks, no?
  3. If they’re being fed dried food, try adding a liberal amount of water to their food.

Drinking too much:

  1. Feed them using a bottle instead because water is dispensed a little at a time. But because there’s usually a lot of dripping when drinking from a bottle, so you’d have to take that into account when calculating how much water is being consumed. 
  2. If feeding from a doggie bottle doesn’t seem to decrease the amount consumed, try using a big rabbit drinking bottle. The nozzle has a smaller diameter, so even lesser water is being dispensed.
  3. If there’s always someone at home, you can also try rationing the water, dividing the recommended amount into several portions, and giving them one portion every few hours. You’d have to use this method if your pet doesn’t know how to drink from a bottle.



Pet Grooming: Should I shave my dog if it has skin problems?

If your dog ever suffered from skin problems, you’d realize that sometimes it takes forever to cure. Even vets need to do some trial and error, and neither do they have any magic bullet that’ll stop the problem from resurfacing months later. This is because, as mentioned in my earlier post on chronic skin problems, skin problems can be caused by anything. As a result, not only is it torturing to the poor animals going through all that itch, it’s heartbreaking for us to see them this way and frustrating trying to find out the cause.

What seems right might not necessarily be

In our quest for a solution, we are often made to believe that shaving down the dog for the easy application of creams and observing the condition was a good idea. Although it may sound logical and a practice widely propagated by vets and groomers, just imagine for a moment you had a rash somewhere, and you ran a clipper across it. It’s the same as how scratching makes a rash worse or how shaving usually irritates our skin; clipping usually irritates the skin and if you were to shave the whole dog down, imagine the itch from their nose all the way to their tail!


And what would they do when they have that insatiable need to kill off that itch? They scratch, chew, and lick on the itch until the skin becomes red, raw, and wounded, But still, it itches, and scratching and chewing are the only ways they know how. So the vicious cycle continues until the point of self-mutilation, and we have no choice but to don the Elizabethan collar, also infamously known as the cone of shame on them.

Don’t cause unnecessary problems for yourself.

Even for dogs with perfectly normal skin, shaving too close sometimes causes redness and irritation, especially on sensitive areas like paws, throat, groin, anal region, and under the belly.

That’s why I don’t recommend customers to have their pets’ feet shaven bald for whatever reasons, be it because their pets lick their paws or because of the discolored paws from the licking. Usually, shaving only makes matters worse, and it’s more important to find the cause of the behavior rather than aggravate the problem.

If you really have to

However, if you insist that clipping is to be done, please instruct the groomer to leave at least a centimeter of their coat. During the grooming process, the shorter the cut, the smaller the blade would be used – the problem with that is the edge of the blade in contact with your pets’ skin would be sharper and heats up faster, two of the most common irritant during pet grooming.

Besides, the coat acts as a protective layer, and it’ll buffer the skin against any external irritants they’re being exposed to daily (e.g., chemicals, materials, heat, etc., which they’re allergic to). Furthermore, the coat also cushions the skin when the dog chews on or scratches itself. 


And since most vets prescribe shampoos instead of topical creams, the medication would have no problem working down to the skin.

Have questions on pet grooming? Write them down in the comments below, and I’ll be glad to answer them!