Keys. Phone. Wallet. You’re all set to leave for work. And that one last look at your pet and your heart is ready to break. Let’s face it. We may want to spend every waking minute with our adorable fur-babies, but it’s just not possible. And pets hate being left alone at home. And what’s more, stressed and bored pets are the perfect recipe for disaster and their targets can range anywhere from the TV remote to your favorite pair of heels. They can even harm themselves, while exploring something that is dangerous for them. Here’s how you can make their time at home without you, easier to deal with, if not pleasurable.
1. Get Him Tired
Being cooped up at home with nothing else to do for hours together can cause anxiety in your pet. And sometimes all he needs is some physical exercise. Before you leave for work, help your pooch burn off his energy with a long walk. The walk will tire him out and keep him in a good state for the rest of the day.
2. Leave The TV On
Leave the TV on and up the volume a bit and set it on a channel that runs shows on animals all day. Human voices coupled with the sounds of barking dogs and meowing cats will help him feel less lonely.
3. Give Him Access To A Window
Your pooch loves watching what’s happening outside. Give him a nice perch from where he can look out the window. This can be done by just setting a chair or a cushion by the window. Even a pet door leading to a safe and enclosed backyard can help him get a feel of the world outside and keep him engaged.
4. Give Him Hollow, Treat-Filled Toys
Stuff a hollow toy with dog-safe peanut butter or his favorite treats. He would enjoy the challenge of taking the treats out of the toy and eating them. This will help keep him distracted from doing anything destructive out of boredom or hunger.
5. Use Calming Remedies
If you sense that your dog becomes anxious in your absence, you can try this calming remedy. Apply a few drops of calming essential oils like lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, or wild orange on your pet’s bedding.
Another effective remedy to treat your anxious pet is using dog-appeasing pheromones, which are available as sprays, collars, and diffusers. Dog-appeasing pheromones contain hormones similar to the ones nursing mothers produce to calm their puppies. This will help calm your pooch as it’ll be familiar to him. You can spray this onto his bedding, use it in a diffuser or spray it on his collar. These pheromones help calm anxious pets and prevent behavioral issues, during events that can unnerve them sometimes, like a visit to the vet, or separation anxiety when you’re away.
6. Get Your Dog A Furry Companion
Adopting another dog as a companion for your pooch is a good idea if you have the space and are ready for that commitment. The two can keep each other company when you’re away.
If you do decide to adopt, you’ll need to ensure that the new pup is vaccinated and is healthy. Also, you’ll need to ensure that the two get along. Many rescue organizations allow you to foster the pup for a few days and see how he gets along with your dog and if the puppy fits well in your family before you adopt him.
7. Invest In Dental Chews
Giving your dog chew toys and dental chewies will keep him from chewing on other things in the house. As a bonus, these will also keep his breath smelling fresh and promote dental health.
8. Give Him An Exciting New Toy
A new toy will keep him excited for the duration that you’re away. You’ll need to ensure that the toys are puppy proof and strong and don’t have any removable parts (like eyes or nose if it’s a stuffed toy). You can also keep your pooch’s toys fresh and exciting for him by rotating them. Put a few away out of his sight, and bring them out after a few days.
9. Use A Daycare Facility
If your pooch enjoys the company of other dogs and gets really anxious alone at home, you may want to consider enrolling him into a doggie day care facility for the duration of your work. But before you do, do ask around and get other pet-parents’ reviews on the facility of your choice. Also, do take a tour of the facility before you enroll him to ensure he’s in safe hands when you’re away.