The Town of Oakville has joined the Province of Ontario and Halton Region in declaring a state of emergency to support Public Health officials’ efforts to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of COVID-19.
The town is following the advice and direction provided by the provincial and regional Medical Officers of Health and has enacted its emergency planning operations including closing facilities and focusing efforts on delivering essential and critical services.
Parks, courts, dog parks and public washrooms are now closed. Signs are being installed to remind users to practice social distancing when outside. Please do not use park equipment and play structures as they are not sanitized. Trails remain open. Practice social distancing when on trails. For updates on the Town’s COVID-19 response visit: https://www.oakville.ca/townhall/covid-19.html
While Oakville’s parks are temporarily closed, there are still many games and activities you can enjoy with your dog that don’t require a lot of space.
Gather some boxes and a treat or favourite toy. Place it under an overturned box or container and let your dog find it. If your dog gets good at finding under the box, try hiding a toy or treat around the house and ask your dog to find it.
Hide and Seek
If your dog knows some basic commands such as wait. Ask him to wait, go and hide, call him or her to come and find you.
Here at the OMHS we use snuffle mats to hide treasures and let the dogs find them. Here’s a helpful video on how to build your own:
Stuff a Kong
Give your pet a stuffed Kong to entertain them for a while. Visit Kong for some great recipes: www.kongcompany.com/learn/stuffing-recipes
Do some obedience training and brush up on your dog’s skills. If you need help, many of the dog training schools are now offering courses online that you can do in your home and practice in your back yard.
Teach your dog a new trick. Dogs love to learn new things beyond the basics of obedience. There are lots of great video’s on YouTube that can help you with ideas or actually how to train.
Teach your Dog to go to a Place
Teaching your dog to go to a mat or bed or his crate and to stay there is a lot of fun and really pays off when you are at home working and you need some peace and quiet.
Take Along Your Furry Friend when you Exercise
Take up jogging and bring your dog along – provided that your dog does not have any health issues and is good physical shape you can begin conditioning him to run with you, or just go for a walk. But remember to maintain your social distance.
Play Some Fetch in the Backyard
As temperatures finally start to rise, head to the backyard and play a game of fetch or Frisbee. Please make sure you are using a pet-friendly Frisbee so that your dog doesn’t hurt its mouth.