How To Keep Your Dog Entertained When You’re Away From Home
Being a pet owner is a serious business.
Yes, all those photos and videos of happy and cute dogs with their people enjoying the day is great to see, but there is much more behind it than meets the eye.
Before the first puppy-selfie, comes a huge responsibility. After all, taking proper care of a dog requires several things, from mandatory puppy vaccination, over daily exercises, to proper training.
In addition, it’s important to have mentally stimulated and entertained dog. Every little action that you perform toward your dog, leads to having a happy and healthy pooch.
Is Your Dog Properly Entertained?
Let’s face it, modern ways of life and fast living in general means that you have to make some serious adjustments in every area, including the pet sector. So, unless you are living in a huge house with an even bigger backyard and a pack of dogs, the chances are that your dog is bored, or he spends a significant amount of time alone. Dogs are social beings and they love to cuddle with their owners all day long. However, in reality, things don’t work that way.
When you are at work or something unplanned jumps, you have to be ready and to know the ways on how you can keep your dog entertained while you are away. As you probably already know, dogs can be rather destructive once they are left alone for a long period. Of course, this doesn’t apply if your dog is one of the breeds that can be left alone, but still, you shouldn’t overdo with the number of hours.
The majority of activities that dogs prefer include at least one human performing tricks for them, but it doesn’t mean that there are no activities that don’t include the owner. Check these 5 ideas on how you can keep your dog entertained (even when you’re not home).
1. Provide A Window View
Everyone loves a room with the view. Dogs are no exception. Canines are known for loving to discover and snuff around. Therefore, having a window view is a great way for dogs to be in the center of the events.
Dogs sights are much better than those in humans and they do notice things that we don’t, such as small insects moving, rodents moving around the house or squirrels jumping from one tree to another one. Moreover, easy access to the window will keep their nose busy as well. This will allow your dog to ‘air sniff’ because he will catch some scents from outside that you will not notice. Ever.
Anyway, clear the view for your dog and let him observe what’s going on outdoor. Make sure that the spot is good and he can watch in the yard and on the street. Furthermore, your window-dog will be greeted by every passing neighbor dog.
2. Hide Treats Around The House
In general, dogs love to snuff around. Even if your dog is not a fan of sniffing, he probably loves food, right? You can use the love that your pup shares toward food and engage him in a unique hide-n-seek treats hunt.
Hide his favorite treats in different places all around the house. Make sure that you hide them in places that are easy to approach and not surrounded by anything that could hurt him.
Out of all senses, their sense of smell is the most sensitive one. This means that dogs can smell around 10.000 times better than humans can. That being said, hidden treats will give him something to do when he is alone. This way he will stay entertained and active. But, be careful with the number of treats you share.
This game is especially inconvenient if your dog suffers from separation anxiety. You can take Kong Toys and place treats inside. You can even use small frozen chunks of meat or vegetable and place them inside the Kong toy. That will keep him busy and stress-free for hours.
Pro tip: The treats shouldn’t take more than 10% of your dog’s overall daily food intake.
3. Leave Your TV On
If you are leaving home and you know that you will stay outside until the dark fall, make sure that you leave a light on. One light bulb can do wonders for a dog’s mental stability.
Some dogs are more sensitive than others, so if your dog is one of them leaving a TV on is a good thing. TV sound will neutralize other sounds or at least lower them, so if your dog is scared from the sudden storm, it may not be too stressful for him to go through that with a TV on.
Some dogs even love to watch TV and even have an unusually expressive reaction to TV scenes (especially animal channels or tv shows). That will crack you up once you see them.
4. Find New Pet Friends And Buy New Toys
In general, dogs won’t ever refuse a company of another dog (this doesn’t apply if your dog has a fear of other dogs for some reason) and an opportunity to chew on a new toy. That being said, a good starting point would be to provide your dog with interactive and long-lasting chewing toys.
Truth be told, your dog prefers some toys more than others, so to keep him entertained, rotate his toys frequently, so he doesn’t get bored with other ones. Regular rotation of toys will make them last longer and keep him more interested in playing with each of them. Also, you will save some money as well. Buy one extra chewing toy, and save your shoes!
Dogs are usually crazy about two things: food and being a part of the pack.
When they are not eating, they love being outside and doing whatever they can do at that moment. If they have a friend for those moments, well… nothing can beat that happiness.
So, whenever you have time provide your dog with some additional doggie park hours, hire a dog sitter or arrange a playdate with neighborhood dogs. Also, if you know that you will be away for almost a day, hire a dog walker or a dog sitter ahead. You can always talk with your dog sitter about your dog’s favorite locations and near dog parks.
5. Get A New Dog
Having one more dog is a double responsibility, but also double the fun. One thing is for sure – your dog would love to have a four-legged companion for everyday adventures.
Although having two dogs may sound like a lot of responsibility, in reality, it’s not too difficult to take care of both of them.
When you’re not home, you won’t have to worry if they are entertained or not. The chances are that they will have the time of their life. They will play, run, and also communicate about their next adventure.
Make sure that you get a dog of similar age, size, and activity level. After all, they have to be able to follow each other in daily activities.