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Home Alone For Your Pet

Your dog is not happy being left home alone with nothing to do.  Dogs are pack animals bread to be active.  Their whimpers when you leave, and joyous barks on your return tell you how much they’ve missed you during the day.  While most of us can’t take our pets to work, we can make their days more enjoyable.  Here are 13 tips to make your dog's day a good one. 

  • Create a den-like space – a corner or a small room, that has soft cushion, items that contain your scent. Dogs are den animals and having a safe comfortable space will add to their feelings of security. Here is a guide to creating a doggie den.

  • Leave a radio on to a soft music or talk station – This will provide a distraction and help block outside noises that disturb them.

  • Make the day fun – Dogs are by nature hunters so creating a scavenger hunt of treats around the house, will appeal to their hunting instincts and offer an interesting activity.

  • Challenge them with puzzles – putting treats in a kong that forces them to solve a problem to get the treat achieves the same goal. Frozen treats add another element to the game.  The internet offers a vast array of puzzle toys to challenge your pet.  

  • Exercise– take your pet for a walk before you go so that their exercise-rest cycle sets them to rest after you leave will smooth your leaving and start their day well. A long walk after you have returned home can burn off the accumulated energy of the day and provide bonding time. Even if your dog has limited mobility, you can use a pet stroller to give them the stimulation of outdoor time. 

  • Be calm- if you make a fuss around leaving them they will find it more upsetting. Stop interacting with them 10 minutes before you leave and then leave with no fuss.  Likewise, when you return home, let a while go by before interacting. 

  • Toys- keep a supply of toys on hand and change them up so your pet has a new toy to play with from time to time. There are many subscription plans which offer monthly treats and toys.

  • Find a play buddy – find a neighbor home on the days you’re away and arrange cooperative play dates.

  • Interact remotely – There are a variety of remote interface devices now available that let you interact with your dog and even dispense a treat. They run the gamut from simple cameras to interactive video and treat dispensers.  Check out these ways to stay in touch.  

  • Hire a dog walker – There are online directories such as com, and care.com that help you find someone to take your dog for a walk during the day.

  • Day Care for Dogs – Many communities have doggie day care centers which offer socialization time. com offers a doggie day care search option to help you locate services in your area.

  • Calming treatments- There are many products which claim to calm the anxiety dogs feel on separation.  Research other people’s experience with each before investing for your pet.

  • Medication – Some dogs experience separation anxiety so acutely that medication is indicated. If, despite your best efforts, your dog is displaying serious signs of vomiting, destruction, loss of appetite, consult your vet who may prescribe medication. 

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