Entertaining Your Lonely Four-Legged Friend with Fun Games and Activities
Do you ever wonder what happens when you leave your dog home alone? Some dogs will bark until the cows come home, while others will poo and pee in inappropriate locations or tear, scratch and chew furniture apart. These destructive behaviors can cause you to feel terrible frustration and guilt, but in almost all cases there are ways to stop the insanity. Like everything else, there's a right and wrong way to control a dog. Here are just a few…
1. Keep Them Active
Often the key to a calm, obedient and well-adjusted dog is daily exercise and playtime. Walking your dog for just 15-20 minutes in the morning before leaving for the day may help him release some pent up energy — at least enough until you come home from work to walk with him again.
2. Hire a "Friend"
If your day is just too hectic to spend enough time in the morning playing or walking with your furry friend, you might want to consider hiring a local dog walker or pet sitter (or even a neighbor) to come in and spend some time with your dog in the middle of the day. Even though we're sure your precious would rather spend quality time with you, he’ll be more than happy that you gave him a friend to play with.
3. Adopt a "Friend"
Speaking of friends, dogs often have the most fun when they are being entertained by other pets. They can run around together, play hide and seek together, share toys together (well, sometimes that one doesn't work out too well); pets are the perfect playmates for other pets. Then again, you may want to make sure you're ready for all the extra responsibility — and the extra kisses — first.
4. Go Ahead, Toy Around
Just as the 80s saw mentally stimulating toys for newborns, so has the pet industry recognized the need for our dogs to be mentally stimulated. Puzzle-type toys that release treats at certain intervals or in response to interaction are excellent ways to keeping your dog from thinking about more destructive matters. Hard plastic dog toys with holes can be stuffed with various food products, like kibble or bits of meat flavored treats, so that the game is enticing enough to stick with until the goal has been reached.
5. Don't Worry, Be Happy
If your dog is suffering from what appears to be clinical anxiety, the stress of being separated from you every day may be more than he can handle and may in fact require medical attention. Anxiety is a serious condition, but it can be treated and resolved in most cases. Consult your veterinarian if medication or behavior therapy may help your dog.