Activities that will help your dog when he’s home alone

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Whether you have to leave the house during the day, visit friends, enjoy restaurants or be on the road for a while – your dog must remain calm and busy when you are on the road.

Different dogs have different skills to cope with time independently. For example, if your dog is used to you going out regularly as part of your routine, he may find it easier to spend time alone than dogs who are used to your presence all day and every day. 

For example, dogs adopted during the pandemic may need more help and encouragement than others!

Also, do not forget that a bored dog will make it fun! However, you can avoid chewed furniture and slippers by helping them adapt to being alone at home, with planned activities to keep them busy.

ACTIVITIES THAT WILL HELP YOUR DOG WHEN HE’S HOME ALONE

It would be best if you slowly taught your dog to stay alone for some time. The gradual build-up is the best way to support your dog through the transition. 

Make sure you have a comfortable bed or a dog hole that you know is a safe place for you. Also, ensure you have plenty of room to roam and water.

  • Try an ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser to give your dog security while alone at home. ADAPTIL has been clinically proven to create a calming environment at home and is recommended by veterinarians to provide comfort to dogs in challenging situations.
  • Give them plenty of exercise before you go-a good walk not only allows them to go to the bathroom, it burns energy and can mean they can sleep while you’re away.
  • When leaving, prepare in advance, so you do not have to rush and leave calmly and without fuss.
  • Help your dog understand that being alone can be fun: 
  • Find a toy that your dog associates with a fun time alone (put the toy away when you get back so that there are certain toys your dog can expect when he is alone).
  • This can be a KONG toy that contains some of your favourite treats-you can spend a lot of time picking them up.
  • Consider a puzzle toy where you have to figure out how to access the goodies inside (make sure you understand how the puzzle works so you get the reward instead of getting frustrated and giving up).
  • You can leave chewing gum for your dog. Something you’re sure your dog won’t swallow whole that won’t splinter, or a gum your dog could choke on.
  • Some electronic interactive toys are available for dogs that are left alone. For example, a bowl that dispenses a treat when your dog presses a light/touchpad will keep you busy forever. However, trying them while you are still at home is essential to ensure that your dog succeeds and does not get frustrated. 

also read : what can dogs not eat / keep your dog cool in summer

  • Make the most of your dog’s natural gift – his nose! Setting up a scent trail, or scavenger hunt can keep your dog entertained for a long time. Hide sweets (or nibbles from your daily allowance) or toys so you can smell and discover them. You can smell your dog before leaving him alone at home so that he can enjoy the fun anytime. Remember not to hide the treats in the same place every time!
  • They can also use a snuff mat to encourage your dog to use his foraging skills. Hide some croquettes or treats in the mat and leave it to your dog to search through the mat to get his treat.
  • In hot weather, you can freeze some treats in water and leave them to your dog so he can lick the ice cream to get to the treat. It will help you stay cool – but don’t forget to think about your floor area – a wipe-down floor works best!
  • Some dogs like to keep an eye on what is happening outside when they are alone. Maybe you are waiting for your return or watching the world go by, but make sure you have access to a window.
  • Conversely, seeing and hearing sounds outside can frustrate your dog. If this is the case, you should leave them in a room protected from outside noise and maybe let the TV or radio play to keep them company. See what your dog finds relaxing-it can be radio, classical music, or even Dog TV!
  • Dog cameras allow you to see what your dog is doing when you are not around. Some also allow you to interact with your dog remotely and even reward him or play a game with him-check how your dog reacts; does your dog respond positively to your remote interaction, or does it make him frustrated or confused if he can’t see you?
  • Have a friend or neighbor visit while you’re away – or get a professional dog handler to let you take another long walk.
  • If your dog likes to be outdoors, you should install a dog door that gives him access to a safe outdoor area. Always check that it works correctly before leaving, and your dog can get in and out of the house at will. Install it on time, so you know you like using it.

If your dog does not cope with being alone and shows signs of a hard time, seek advice from your veterinarian, who can check that he is doing well, before referring you to a qualified animal behaviour consultant. Your dog may need more support to feel comfortable enough to interact with these activities.

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