Saying goodbye to your pooch each morning is always a bit of a bummer.
You have to go to work, but you don’t want your pup to be bored while you’re gone. Long-term boredom can give your dog anxiety, and it could even spark destructive behavior—especially if your furry friend suffers from separation anxiety.
But there are a few things you can do to help keep your dog’s mind and muzzle busy while you’re punching the clock.
1. Use Treat-Dispensing Toys to Challenge Your Pooch
Treat-dispensing dog toys are an easy way to leverage your dog’s food drive while providing endless hours of distraction while you’re away. For example, the PetSafe® Ribinator Dog Toy is a safe, durable and fun option. Working with a variety of different treats, including smear-style treats like peanut butter and bully sticks, it’s a long-lasting distraction for pups while you’re away from home.
The PetSafe® Ribinator Dog Toy is also customizable to suit your dog’s abilities. Out of the box, the product is designed to make it challenging (but fun) for pets to access the treats hidden inside. However, if your pup finds it too difficult, you can trim some of the soft prongs for easier treat access.
2. Try Electronic Dog Toys to Entertain and Monitor Your Canine
To mix up your dog’s entertainment options, check out some of the electronic dog toys and devices on the market. These devices leverage the available technology to give your canine something to do.
Some of these types of toys will dispense a treat when your dog activates a lever or button, while others will double as dog exercise toys. A great example is the PetSafe® Ricochet Electronic Dog Toy. As your dog plays with one of the interactive paired toys, a fun and exciting squeak sound is heard from the other toy. When he investigates the second toy, the sound bounces back to the first toy.
Because these types of toys often allow your dog to see and hear you, they’re often very helpful for dogs who suffer from separation anxiety.
3. Hire A Dog Walker for Midday Walks
There’s no doubt that your dog waits all day to see you walk through the front door, but many dogs will also appreciate getting the chance to see any friendly face during their long, boring day.
One of the best ways to take advantage of this is by hiring a midday dog walker. As a bonus, this will help prevent your dog from having to “hold it” while you’re gone.
There are a ton of professional dog-walking organizations around these days, including Wag! and Rover. However, you may be able to save a few bucks by hiring a kid from the neighborhood to take your pooch out for a stroll.
4. Enroll Your Pup in Doggy Daycare
Boredom isn’t the only problem your pooch faces while you’re away—he may get pretty lonely.
Many dog owners take their pets to doggie daycare when they go to work to give them a chance to interact with other dogs. This option not only allows for playtime, it also offers you peace of mind knowing they’ll be under the watchful eyes of staff members.
Just understand that some dogs aren’t cut out for the daycare scene. This is not only true of dogs who don’t play well with others, but it can also be true for dogs who are shy or easily overwhelmed. Senior dogs, young puppies, and pets with health issues may also find daycare to be a little too intense for their tastes.
Ultimately, it’s best to make sure you find a good doggy daycare that has a vibe to match your own dog’s playstyle.
About The Author: Meg Marrs is the Founder & Content Director for K9 of Mine, a site dedicated to helping owners better care for their canine companions.