Your dog would love nothing more than to spend every waking moment by your side. Unfortunately for your best friend, modern day life requires you to step out once in a while.
To make the transition a little easier, we’ve put together a list of tips to keep your dog happy and safe while you’re away.
Tip #1. Exercise your dog
The key to your dog’s happiness is through regular exercise. Dogs are lively and energetic creatures that require plenty of mental and physical stimulation.
To avoid behavioural problems while you’re away, take your dog out for a 20 – 30 minute walk first thing in the morning. This might mean you need to wake up a little earlier but it will work wonders for your dog’s well being and temperament.
Expert trainer Zac George recommends fetch as the most efficient way to exercise your dog. The video below explains the reasons for his statement and a step by step guide on teaching your dog to fetch.
Tip #2. Provide a cozy environment
You may not realise this, but dogs spend 50% of the day asleep! This amounts to 12-14 hours for adult dogs and 18+ hours for puppies.
Investing in a cosy blanket and a soft bed will provide your dog with a safe place to rest. Tending to this basic need will remove discomfort and help keep them calm while you’re out and about.
There are many reasonably priced options available online, such as the cozy cave.
Tip #3. Don’t make leaving home a big deal
Do you ever feel like your dog can read your mind? That’s because dogs were bred to work with people, making them conscious of your mood and temperament. As their pack leader, they will look to you for guidance on how to react in different situations.
If you make a habit of saying long goodbyes or encourage extended greetings, your dog will feel your absence more acutely. Instead teach your dog that coming and going is not big deal by leaving home quickly and casually.
For more acute cases of separation anxiety, your dog may require extended training sessions. Watch the video below for helpful tips from an expert trainer.
Tip #4. Buy dog toys
Dogs experience the world through their senses so it’s not surprising that nervous behaviour often results in unwanted chewing. When leaving your dog home alone, it’s important to leave some “acceptable” chew toys for them to play with.
To avoid overfeeding your dog, put their morning serving of kibble into the toy. This will further motivate them to play with it.
Tip #5. Provide enough food and water
Like humans, dogs display destructive behaviour when their basic needs aren’t met. If your dog is hungry, thirsty or lacking nutrition, their survival instincts will trigger, forcing them to bark, chew or pace.
To ensure your dog has enough food and clean water, invest in a food and water dispenser. Using the combination of a Kong and food dispenser will also allow you to feed you pet in smaller portions, more regularly. In the long run this will help control their weight and aid in good digestion.
Tip #6. Develop a routine
Like children, dogs work best on a schedule. Setting regular times for walking, feeding, playtime and training will set the baseline for their expectations.
If you leave the house and return at a similar time each day, your dog will be less likely to experience anxiety. Check out the ideal schedule for dogs and puppies in the link below.
Tip #7. Play some music
Studies have shown that music (especially classical music) has a calming effect on dogs. A company called Dog TV has taken it a step further by introducing videos that display movements and colours that draw a dog’s attention.
Tip #8. Invest in a dog walker
There is nothing like human contact and fresh air in the middle of the day to keep your dog smiling. Although hiring a dog walker is often expensive, the benefits are worth it.
The extra 30 minute walk will keep them healthy, assist with socialisation, help digestion and curb destructive behaviour. In the long run, the cost of medical bills will likely outweigh the savings on the dog walker.
Being home alone can be tough for dogs, but there are things you can do to make their alone time more comfortable. In this post, we covered eight tips.
- Exercise your dog
- Provide a cosy environment
- Don’t make leaving home a big deal
- Buy dog toys
- Provide enough food and water
- Develop a routine
- Play some music
- Invest in a dog walker
Did we miss something? Post it in the comments below