The residents at Essential Living are lucky enough to be allowed pooches in their pads. It’s tough to find rental properties that accommodate pets (trust us, we have been there), but at Essential Living, dogs are very much a part of the community, so it’s very important we consider them during this difficult time too.

These are tough times for all of us, you don’t need us to tell you that. So whilst the nation gets to grips with the current state of affairs, we have come up with some tips and tricks to keep doggos entertained and their humans sane during these very trying times.

We have including some of our favourite activities that we do with our three dogs, Puggy Smalls, Pops and Pomegranate, that have proven successful for both human and hound while we have been staying home during the nationwide lockdown.

Brain Training

First and foremost - BRAIN TRAINING! Stuff those puzzle toys and teasers with treats and let the brain training commence! There's a huge variety of different types available online from pet stores who are still delivering to your door. But don't worry if not, you can easily make your own DIY versions with things found in the home! Cupcake tins filled with treats and tennis balls make super fun sniffer games, whilst simply stuffing a toy in an empty loo roll tube and folding the edges will give your dog heaps of enrichment and a sense of achievement when they manage to get inside! Don't be afraid to cover and stuff old rubber toys with doggy safe peanut butter or low fat cream cheese, this will give their old toys a new lease of life and your dog will be kept busy for hours on end!

Learn a New Trick

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!?  We have been using our extra time by stimulating the doggos by learning new tricks to impress our friends on FaceTime! Puggy is working on ringing his bell, Pops can now sit and lie down and Pomegranate is leaps ahead, and can dance on her hind legs and spin! The dogs love the one on one attention they get and the tricks really do make people smile!

Research shows that interacting with dogs can help to reduce stress and anxiety, so get yourself some training treats and have a go!

Groom Time

With all this time on our hands, I don’t think our dogs have ever looked, or smelled better! We are unable to get the dogs to the groomers, so its very important, especially for long haired breeds like Pomegranate, that we keep their coats healthy and tangle free. We have been trying all the products in our dog cupboard and getting the dogs really comfortable with being groomed. Their coats are in great condition and it has definitely helped to strengthen our dog/owner bond even further!

Spring Clean

If like us, after a few days of social distancing or self isolation, you are starting to climb the walls, utilize the time to get clean and organized! Whether your pooch has a cupboard, a box, or a bedroom (guilty) now is the perfect time to have a good old spring clean that Mrs Hinch would be proud of. It will give you a sense of achievement and it always feels good to be organized and on top of things, then sit back and relax and enjoy your beautiful space you have created.

Tough treats

Luckily, we stocked up on some tough, long lasting chews before lock down. Our three really love the pizzle sticks, pigs ears and cows ears, anything stinky and natural!  They are great for their dental health and they are keeping boredom at bay for an hour or two - depending on how quick your doggo destroys them! Most pet shops are still delivering, our favourite is the independently owned Pet Pavilion who have an abundance of goodies available for home delivery, nationwide.

Hide and Seek

You don’t need any fancy toys or expensive treats for this one. Our dogs love a good old game of hide and seek with pieces of chicken, peppers and cucumber.

They love to sniff out the goodies and they get a real sense of achievement when they find it! You can use a snuffle matt if you have one, but no worries if not, we use everyday objects to hide tasty treats for the dogs, as well as placing some under the sofa, all over the rug etc.… Our dogs LOVE this game and could hunt all day long if we would let them!

Get Moving!

Is no big secret that exercise is good for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, so get up, get dressed and get out, just keep your distance from other pooches and owners to meet social distancing guidelines. If you really can’t get out of the house then a good old game of fetch and retrieve, or a homemade doggy agility course around the lounge will do the trick!

Create Content

Create content, don’t be afraid to be silly and put a much-needed smile on peoples face by sharing cute dog photos and videos! You don’t need an Insta famous dog or a fancy camera to get creating and sharing feel good photos. Whether you choose to put them online for the world to see, or share them only with your nearest and dearest, never underestimate the power of a cute dog selfie!

Above everything, stay thankful and stay connected. Although the responsibility of dog ownership is an additional stress during this time, take a step back to be thankful for the unconditional love and entertainment that your four legged side kick gives you, and never be afraid to reach out to friends, family, neighbors or support groups if you need. We are all in this together.

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Charlie Osman


Charlie is the Co-founder of, an agency, hub and blog for dog lovers, with her three treasured pups in mind, Pops, Puggy Smalls and Pomegranate. Charlie’s obsession for dogs became so consuming that 18 months ago, she decided to quit her day job in London and work full time for her pooches, along with her partner Nick. With Puggy being one of the most followed dogs in Europe, and all three working as successful dog models and influencers, they couldn’t be happier (or busier) and they haven’t looked back since!”