Do you leave your dog home alone when you’re at work or out for date night?
Although most dog owners would prefer not to leave their beloved pets home alone for hours on end, most people work outside the home. Even if you don’t leave home for work, you must go out for social events, shopping, medical appointments, etc.
So, when you do leave Fido home alone, how does it go? Do you return home to an orderly house and a friendly, wagging tail, or does it look more like a crime scene? If your pet doesn’t do well when he’s home alone, our dog trainers have some recommendations for you.
What Toys Are Good for a Bored Dog Home Alone?
Some dogs get bored more easily than others and, if your pet gets restless while you’re gone, you may be able to master the situation with carefully chosen toys to engage him.
The classic choice for keeping Fido engaged are chew toys that hold treats or a yummy food, like Petcube and Kong. If your dog exhausts the treat stuffing too quickly, try freezing a Kong with a mixture of peanut butter and dry kibble, or another of your pet’s favorite comestibles.
Treat-dispensing puzzle toys that require a little time to figure out are also great for keeping your pet occupied while you’re gone. The key is to find toys that challenge him (and take a bit of time to figure out) while not being so complex that he gives up and goes in search of other entertainment.
Helping your pet work off some energy before you leave can help too. A rousing game of fetch or taking a brisk walk before work can get Fido ready for a long nap once you leave the house.
Creating a Comfy Environment for Your Pet While You’re Gone
According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adult dogs sleep for about 12 to 14 hours per day. Puppies and younger dogs can sleep for as much as 20 hours per day. In addition, they also spend almost a third of their day lying down while awake. This means that your pet will likely sleep or chill out for at least part of the time you’re gone.
You can maximize your pet’s rest periods by creating a relaxing spot for him to “nest” while you’re away.
Start by getting your pup a high-quality bed (or two). Place the bed in the location where Fido likes to sleep. Place some of his toys on or near the bed, along with a blanket and an article of clothing that you’ve worn. This will give him the reassurance of your familiar scent even while you’re away.
If you live in a busy location with a lot of passerby traffic, shut the blinds and turn on some music or a white noise machine to minimize the distractions.
Can Dog Training Help Your Pet Stay Home Alone?
Despite your best efforts, you may struggle to keep your dog from barking, soiling or being destructive when you leave him home alone. If so, a professional dog trainer can help.
It’s possible that your pet has separation anxiety or another type of behavioral problem that can be addressed with dog training. Crate training is another viable option for keeping your pet safe and happy during the times you’re away.
Contact Innovative K9 Academy for help with this and other canine behavioral problems. Our experienced trainers can evaluate your pet’s behaviors and recommend the most effective approach for correcting the problem. With the help of our knowledgeable dog trainers, you’ll be able to safely and comfortably leave your dog home alone in no time.