It’s a modern day fact of life that we all work and sometimes it means your furry friends are left at home for prolonged periods of time. This can lead to doggie boredom and as a result, stress or a destructive behaviour.
We’re quite lucky that between having our own business (which is pet friendly) and having great neighbours who call in on our dogs, they’re often have visitors and lots of entertainment. Since our oldest Rio has started struggling with stairs, we tend to leave her at home with Lex and they keep each other company. They check out the garden, have a sniff and nap quite a lot!
Either way, no one likes leaving their furry friend so here are some tips to combat bored dogs at home.
Leaving treats or toys around the house or garden for a tracking game! It gets some mental stimulation, we love the ‘go find it’ game. It’s also a great distraction when you’re leaving the house so they don’t notice so much. This can help with separation anxiety as well.
There are also great puzzle or interactive toys available to keep your dog preoccupied. Either to get treats out or kong toys stuffed with treats.
If you do use treats, make sure you take that into account for their main meal as you don’t want to end up with an overweight pup!
TIRE THEM OUT
Before you leave, have a game of tug of war or take a long walk. Getting your furry friends worn out before you leave them at home for a long period. Contrary to what people might say, tug of war won’t make your dog aggressive. – Training your dog with basic obedience comments burns lots of energy and wares them out. 10 minutes before you head off gives their brain a workout too. Plus training basic commands regularly will be a great bonus when you have visitors or are out and about.
KNOW YOUR BREED
Some breeds love to fetch, some track, pull, dig, some agility. Use this as a basis to design activities or obstacle courses for your furry friend.
GIVE THEM A VIEW
Dogs are inquisitive, they love to know what’s going on. If they see the garden and they can keep watch it’ll be great for them. We tend to leave the television on too (Lex just loves Animal Planet!)
Overall, it’s a fact of life that you have to go out and from time to time you have to let your dogs at home. Don’t fuss or get upset before you leave the home, they pick up on this and it’ll upset them too. Instead give them cuddles 10 minutes before you leave but then give them a distraction so they don’t notice you heading out the door. Make sure they have their comforts either a create or their warm bed in a spot of sunlight and fresh water.
Then look forward to hurrying home because you know there’ll be a wagging tail to greet you no matter what.