With our busy lifestyle these days, a lot of dogs often spend extended periods of time home alone. A lot of the problems we are seeing are due to a lack of mental and physical stimulation.
Dogs are social animals and it is important that you spend quality time with your dog each day. They should go for at least one walk a day (30 to 40 minutes at least) and if possible two walks are even better. It is also important to do a couple of training sessions each day and a visit to the dog park (if your dog likes other dogs) once or twice a week.
These ideas are in addition to your daily interaction with your dog.
You should also make sure that there is no danger to your dog or others in any of these activities.
Toys and more toys
There are many interactive toys on the market that are designed to keep your dog occupied when home alone. Rotate them on a daily basis otherwise your dog will get bored very quickly.
Less free feeding
Make your dog work for part of his food, hide it in the backyard, put it in a toy or a Kong.
Take your dog for a ride when you make short trips to the school to drop off the kids. It offers a change of scenery and when you have time take her to the coffee shop.
Place suitable scraps of food in a ice-cream container or Kong, fill with water and freeze. You can also use chicken stock a great idea for hot summer days.
A sand pit
Some dogs like digging. Provide an area where your dog can dig or use a children’s calm shell pool as a sandpit. Hide bones, treats and toys to encourage digging in this area.
Get a shallow plastic children’s clam and make sure your dog can easily get out! You can also put some of the floating toys in there.
Are another great toy where you can place dried food.
Remove the bottle top and the plastic ring for safety and fill it with dried food and your dog has to work to get it out.
Hide the stuffed kong or other toys in the backyard or sprinkle breakfast onto the lawn.
Consider a good dog walker if you are out all day.
Stay with friends
If you have friends with compatible dogs, maybe your dog can spend a day a week at their place and vice versa.
If your dog has access to the house he or she might spend much of the day inside, feeling safe and secure and sleep.
- Start a dog sport like agility, doggie dancing, obedience etc.
- Consider a dog day care
- Timed food dispenser
- Leave the radio on
- Pigs ears/roo flats etc
- Work for food no food bowl
- Off leash exercise
- Companion dog (not yours)
- Neighbours’ visit
Some of these ideas may not be suitable for you and your dog so be careful and always supervise your dog the first couple of times when introducing something new. Be sensible when choosing the best options for your dog.