Many dogs are left home alone every day while their parents go to work. When we leave our dogs home alone, it is the equivalent to leaving a person in a room with no books, no computer, no cell phone, no ipad, no iphone, and no magazines, etc. That person is left with two options: (1) nap or (2) entertain themself by making toys out of stuff around the room. When we translate this to the dog world, this entertainment can mean shredding paper, tearing apart pillows, digging, scratching, barking and taking things out of cabinets.
Here are some easy home-alone tips to get a peaceful dog:
- Give your dog 45 minutes to 1 hour of exercise before you leave for the day. Take them on a morning walk or run with you, or play fetch in your home.
- Feed your dog out of Food Projects and Kongs. Ditch the food bowl and wait to feed your dog until you are leaving. Five minutes before you leave the house put down a couple of food projects. Let your dog enjoy discovering the hidden snacks!
- Hire a dog walker for a mid-afternoon walk. Your dog should go out at least once, if not twice, if you are away from the house for 8 hours or longer. We recommend Throw Me A Bone NYC for our city clients. If you are on a budget, see if you can trade pet sitting services with a friend or neighbor in exchange for something else. Another option is to offer your doorman to have his lunch break in your apartment and hang out with your dog for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Mid-afternoon snacks. If you have a friend or dog walker that takes your dog out midday, have them give your dog another food project as they are getting ready to leave. A kong or food project filled with healthy vegetables and a smear of peanut butter is a great low calorie snack.
- When you get home, be prepared to take your dog on a long walk or to the park. When we fail to give our dogs attention when we first get home it can lead to behaviors such as barking, chewing and nipping out of frustration and boredom.
- Contact Lauren Camerini, at ThePeacefulDog.com, to set up a training lesson on how to provide mental enrichment for your dog such as brain games and puzzle toys. Remember, a tired dog is a well behaved dog!