There comes a time in every dog's life when his people must leave during the day. This can be an anxiety-provoking time for some dogs, and they need a distraction from the temporary separation. Dogs are pack animals and long days alone can leave them with the doggy blues.
Consider Doggy Daycare
If you work long hours, doggy daycare may be a welcome alternative to keeping Max at home alone all day where he won't get much social interaction beyond barking at a fellow dog passing by the window. Petfinder points out that one of the worst ways a dog can spend his days is alone in a tight, confined space where there is no variation in activity. Doggy daycare can provide a pack-like atmosphere for your dog during the day. Not every dog is a candidate for doggy daycare, as some dogs have more introverted personalities.
If a daily dog walker or doggy daycare is out of your budget, consider asking a trusted neighbor or friend to walk your dog on days you have to work and return the favor when they're not at home. Dogs need companionship, and a 15-minute walk around the block to break up the day can mean the world to them.
Food Puzzle Toys
Giving your dog a task to do during the day will keep her mind stimulated so she doesn't turn to other "jobs" in the house, such as tearing her teeth into furniture or chewing up your favorite pair of shoes. Food puzzles can keep dogs busy while they work tirelessly to get to their "reward" -- treats, of course! You can find food puzzle toys in the toy section of your local pet supply store. Food puzzles are made out of hard plastic or rubber and may be round, square or cone-shaped. They have various holes and small shapes that food can be stuck in, requiring your dog to play with and turn the puzzle to get his prize -- the treat!
If you have a fenced in backyard that is secure, consider installing a doggy door that allows your dog to go in and out as he pleases. This can be a doggy breath of fresh air. If your dog stays in one room of the house all day, make sure that room offers the best view. Consider installing bird feeders outside the window. Cats aren't the only ones who enjoy bird and squirrel watching. Consider leaving on the radio for your dog so he can enjoy a bit of musical stimulation. Soothing, soft music can help to calm anxieties. Television shows that feature nature or other animals may also be intriguing to some dogs. Rotate the toys you leave out for him to play with during the day so he can have something different to look forward to each day.
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