Keep Your Pet Busy while Home Alone
Regular exercise and mental stimulation, socialization and interactive play are all part of a daily routine for a well-adjusted dog. Unfortunately, pets often spend much of their time alone. In order to minimize the negative aspects of this social deprivation follow these tips:
- Play with your dog! Provide mental stimulation, social interaction, and physical exercise while you are with your pet. A regular schedule of activities will offset or reduce the distress your dog experiences during periods of social isolation.
- Take your dog to a training class to socialize him to other dogs and build his confidence.
- Dog home alone? Beat boredom! It is essential to provide chew toys and interactive toys to occupy your pet. Treat-dispensing toys are a great option to keep pooch active while you're away.
- Do not leave your pet unsupervised with rawhide bones or chips or even a rope toy if they are likely to shred and ingest it. Bully Sticks made from a beef tendon are a better option as they are great for dental hygiene and your pup will love 'em.
- Teach "house rules". Provide your pet with a safe place to be while you are away, such as a crate, yard or a dog-proofed confinement area. Proper confinement is a crucial aspect of dog care.
- Never leave your dog in a crate for excessive periods of time. As a rule of thumb, if you will be away for more than five or six hours at a time, your dog should be left in a confinement area (a dog-proofed room or portion of a room secured with barriers), rather than a crate. Dogs confined in crates for long periods of time can develop undesirable behaviors including depression. Used properly, however, a crate serves as your dog's den, providing security and comfort in your absence.
- Don't leave your dog in the yard for too long. Alone in the yard, a dog may experience social deprivation and will bark, dig and chew to relieve anxiety or boredom, or simply for enjoyment.
- Excessive barking? Left outside, dogs can develop a barking problem. They may bark from boredom, to communicate, in response to external stimuli, physical need (for food or water) or frustration. Modify their environment to prevent excessive barking: block your dog's view of the street (close the drapes) or block off his access to rooms with front windows.
- Finally, be prepared to exercise your dog as soon as you arrive home. Your dog has been coping with social deprivation all day and deserves your full attention as soon as you arrive.