Ways to Make It Up To Your Home Alone Dog
One of the hardest parts of the day for many devoted doggie parents is leaving their pup behind when they head off to work. In fact, in a DogVacay survey of 2,000 pet owners, 80% said they feel guilty when leaving their dog alone for long periods of time.
If you feel the same way, here’s some good news: Our dogs are adaptable! Throughout canine-human history, dogs have had the remarkable ability to adjust to our schedules, routines and needs. In addition, since they sleep an average of 12-14 hours per day, most of them are likely to be catching up on their Z’s while their owners are hard at work.
Still, long hours alone can cause stress, anxiety and boredom in some dogs. To keep this from happening, offer extra enrichment, mental stimulation, exercise, and fun before, during and after work. Here are a few ideas to keep your “latchkey dog” healthy and happy:
Establish a Routine
Dogs thrive on predictability, so establishing a routine is one of the best ways to make your pup feel safe and secure, while preventing behavioral problems. If he knows that breakfast is at 6am, a walk is at 7am and you’re home at 5pm, he’ll have less stress and will be more likely to relax while you’re away.
Take a Pre-Work Walk
Set your alarm a little earlier, throw on your shoes, leash up your pup and head out the door for a good, long walk. Exercising him in the morning – even just for 10 or 15 minutes – is a nice way to boost your bond and help your dog settle in for the day ahead.
Offer Interesting Toys
Even though dogs sleep a good portion of the day, it’s a good idea to give your pup the chance to do something while he’s awake. For example, toys that can be filled with peanut butter, kibble and all natural Full Moon Treats and then frozen are terrific for exercising your dog’s body and mind.
Hire a Dog Walker
Enlisting the services of a professional dog walker can be a great way to break up the day for your dog, burn off some energy and get a few belly rubs, too. As a bonus, you’ll probably come home to a less hyper, less needy, better-behaved pooch!