Keeping Dogs Occupied While You Are Away
Some dogs don’t mind being home alone for a few hours, while others will miss you dearly before you even back your car out of the driveway. So what are the tips for keeping dogs occupied?
What Do Dogs Think When You Leave The House?
Dogs perceive time differently than we do. They’re attached to us and love being in our company. So, when we leave the house for a few minutes to take a quick walk to the mailbox, our dogs often think we’ve been gone for an hour.
With that in mind, how long do you think our pups think we’re gone for when we leave for an eight-hour workday?
Not all dogs do well being home alone. Crate training comes in handy because you don’t want to leave a puppy home alone unsupervised. Also, if your dog is high-energy and gets bored easily, or maybe they have separation anxiety, then they could become destructive and bark a lot while you’re gone.
So, what can you do to curb this behavior and make sure your furry friend is happy and safe being home alone?
Tips To Keep A Dog Occupied When You’re Away From Home
As much as we would love to spend an entire day with our furry friends, we can’t always be home. So, let’s share some tips to keep your dog entertained while you’re away from home.
Keeping Dogs Occupied – Provide Stuffable Treats Or Chews
To keep your dog busy, give them something to do while you leave.
For example, you can get a Kong toy with a hollow middle. Fill it with treats or peanut butter and allow your dog to work for their reward.
This stimulates their mind long enough that even when they get to the treat and there’s nothing left, your pup will be tired and should nap for a while or until you get home.
Dental chews are another good option. Once again, it should keep them busy enough until they get tired out and take a nap.
However, stay away from Rawhide treats and bones. These treats can be brittle and pose a choking hazard. You certainly do not want your pup choking or ingesting anything they shouldn’t when they’re home alone.
Put On Some Background Noise
Background noise can soothe your dog when the house is empty. They might be used to you and your kids running about the house, so having background noise on will give them the feeling that someone is home with them.
You can leave the TV on, the radio, or use a white noise machine.
For example, if you put on the TV, try tuning in to an animal channel. Your dog can be comforted by the sights and sounds of nature while you’re out of the house.
On the other hand, this background noise will also block out sounds from outside. So, your dog will be less stressed or agitated at people walking by or cars zooming up the street.
Keeping Dogs Occupied – Shield Your Windows
Speaking of outside sights and sounds, you can also block the windows. If your dog is bothered by people and cars going by your house (or the occasional squirrel sitting in the front yard), you certainly don’t want your pup to sit by the window, stressed out and barking all day.
You can block the bottom of the windows by getting frosted panes so that your doggo can’t look outside. Also, open the blinds from the top or the bottom. This will shield the bottom of the window while leaving the top open for natural light.
Give Your Dog A Designated Play Area
As a puppy, you’ll want to crate train your dog for many reasons. One might be for when you leave the house, and you don’t want them to get into anything they shouldn’t.
However, as your dog gets older, you should be able to trust them a bit more. Also, it’s not fair to keep them cooped up in their crate for most of the day.
So, you can get baby gates and allow them access to only one or two dog-proof rooms. Then, your dog will be able to stretch its legs and still feel at home with its toys.
Hire A Dog Walker Or Bring Them To Doggy Daycare
Alternatively, you can hire a professional dog walker to check in on your doggo once or twice a day, depending on how long you’ll be gone.
The dog walker can take your dog for an actual walk, or they can stop by to feed your pup and let them out to go to the bathroom.
On the other hand, you can bring them to doggy daycare. Your dog will have some time out of the house and get to play all day, but it’s also a great socializing opportunity. Your pup can hang out with other humans and dogs and be tired out by the time you both get home.
Keeping Dogs Occupied – Invest In A Nanny Cam
Dogs can be home alone for a while, but know your pup’s limits. For example, they might only tolerate being home by themselves for up to five to six hours before they get anxious. You can also buy a nanny cam to help keep an eye on your pup when you’re not home. Otherwise, with proper training, your doggo should be okay home alone.