Every dog parent knows what it's like to leave for work or a trip and wonder what your dog will be doing while you are away. You don’t want your dog to get bored or lonely due to lack of stimulation when left alone. You already know about some obvious options, like doggie daycare or getting a dog walker to come by and take your pooch for a nice walk in the middle of the day, but there are other ways then those.
Our dogs need exercise and ways to deal with the stress of their owner being away. Giving them something to do not only calms their nerves if they get anxious, but it can also keep them from getting stagnant. Pets that don’t get much stimulation can get lethargic, which can actually affect their mental health. Just like humans, when a dog’s mental health is not well, they can sleep too much, not receive enough exercise, and even stop eating enough. So, here are some helpful distractions to help entertain your pup while you’re away so they stay happy and healthy.
Leave Treats For Them To Find
Dogs love treats. Duh! So, why not give them a little treasure hunt while you’re away so they get a chance to find some unexpected treats around the house. You can hide dog treats under the table, on top of furniture that they can reach, or inside hollow toys. As they wander around the house, they can sniff out the treats in each hiding place to keep them busy. Another great way to do this is to fill a hollow toy with peanut butter. Dogs will love it, get excited, and have to put in a bit of work in order to enjoy it. This keeps them moving, excited, and happily distracted until you get home.
Get an Indoor Fountain or Roomba
Dogs always love seeing things that move, but they don’t always understand what the thing is. If you’ve ever seen a dog following a Roomba around in a Youtube video, then you know what I’m talking about. They can spend hours trying to figure out what the machine is, and whether or not they like being around it, which will keep their minds engaged and working hard to understand what they’re seeing.
Things like a fountain can give them something to wonder about, and they spend some time exploring around it. With the fountain, you just turn it on when you leave and always have it off while you are there. This makes it new again to them each time they see if turned on. An added bonus of the fountain is that, on hot days, your dog can have some extra water in case they run out.
Buy Interactive Toys
One amazing option that is now available, is purchasing toys that interact with your dog. These toys are specially designed with pet’s brains in mind. Our dogs are pretty smart, and can learn a lot. So, don’t let them play with the same old toys, get them an enrichment toy from P.L.A.Y.’s website. Toys like the Wobble Ball are designed to put your dog’s mind to work and keep them sharp as a whip.
P.L.A.Y. also has play tunnels that work as mini obstacle courses for you dog to run through. This keeps their minds stimulated and gives them a chance to work on their problem-solving skills to learn how to use them. This is also a great way to give your dog some exercise time as they run around and through the tunnel.
Make sure that when you leave, your pet will have plenty to do – or find – during the day while you are away, and you will be doing your dog a big favor. It’s up to us to keep our pets healthy, active, and happy no matter how old they are. So, keep these ideas in mind the next time you leave your pup home alone to ensure that they are happily distracted until you get back.