Like some kids, a house dog can find ways of making mischief when left alone. Since many pet owners have to leave the house and go to work, their dogs might get bored when the owner is away. If you are concerned that your canine buddy might get into things that could cause problems, we have some tips from our canine expert friends at The Pampered Pup to keep your pup occupied and out of trouble while you are away.
With a new puppy or after moving into a new residence, your pet will need help learning the boundaries when you are not home. Use child safety gates or close the doors to rooms and areas that are off-limits to the dog. It won’t take long for your pup to discover the permissible roaming places in your home.
Make your away time extra special for your furry friend by setting up a treat dispenser. A popular style of a treat dispenser holds several treats inside until the dog learns how to nudge it or operate the switch to release a treat. Of course, you don’t want to stock more tidbits than your pup should have, but a few throughout your absence will help to fill your pet’s hours with contentment.
Leave some playthings for your dog while you are gone. Chew toys that don’t make a mess or squeak toys can be entertaining. Playing with a rubber ball is fun for dogs that know how to roll it without an adult’s help. Sometimes dogs like to have a cuddle toy for naptime and often choose a favorite cuddle buddy for that purpose. Make sure the toys can be readily seen or found by your pet instead of laying hidden under the sofa or behind the television cart. Don’t leave slippers or newspapers around for your dog to chew on when bored.
Music or Audio
Some pet owners turn on a music recording when they leave the house and set it on a loop track or a timer. Not only will dogs appreciate some background noise to reassure them that in this way, at least, they are not alone, but they will also learn to recognize the music or nature sounds being played as the signal that you are gone. They will then know to switch their home alone routine until you return. Dogs enjoy different sounds just as people do, so you may want to experiment to find the music or noise that your dog prefers, such as chirping birds or rain, etc.
TV or Videos
You may already be aware of your dog’s favorite movies or TV shows. Put them on a timer to start at a certain time after you have left the house. They don’t have to play the whole time you’re away, but at least part of the time your pet will be entertained by a favorite video or character that keeps loneliness away. Put the video or show on a timer to start at its usual time if you won’t be there.
Phone Message Recorder
Set up a phone message recording device and call your pet while you’re gone. Just speak a few sentences to reassure him that you are not gone forever, and he will probably get excited and perk up to hear your voice. You can also prerecord messages and use a smart device to play them at certain times of the day when you are not there.
Have Someone Stop By
You can ask a neighbor or family member to stop by if they are in the area and have a key to your place. They can let your dog outside for a few minutes to get some exercise and fresh air as well as shower him with positive attention. Even once a week will help if someone cannot do it every day that you work.
A thoughtful attitude to keeping your dog happy and well behaved when you work away from home will teach him good manners and effective discipline. Prepare for your absences by making arrangements to keep your pet happy and engaged with interesting activities while you’re gone. You and your pet will both be happier when you get home to reward him with a exciting outdoor run and plenty of hugs.