As much as we would love to spend all day long with our dogs, kibble isn’t free. It’s a sad fact of life that we have to go to work. (Of course, if you’re a dog groomer like me, you get to spend all day with dogs anyway, but we can’t all be dog groomers either.
If you have to leave your dog behind, here are 5 tips to keep him happy and content while you are away at work:
1. It’s a Puzzle
In nature, nobody gets a free meal. Handing over your dog’s food without any work frees him up for hours of mischief, or simply hours of boredom. You can make this time fun and constructive by giving him his food in a puzzle toy instead.
You can mix kibble and wet dog food, and use the mixture inside of a kong. To make it even harder to get out, freeze it. This will provide your dog with hours of entertainment as he tries to get the food out of the kong. Tug-a-jug and many other puzzles are also available to keep your dog entertained. Swap out toys regularly to keep your dog thinking.2. Regular exercise
You may not be able to afford hiring a dog walker, but taking your dog out for exercise every day will make him more inclined to spend his time without you sleeping.
Even a short walk can make a big difference, but giving your dog a chance to really stretch his legs is best.
3. If your dog is naughty while you are gone, kennel him.
Many people think of a kennel as a prison cell, but an actuality it is more like a cozy den or bedroom. Some dogs actually feel more comfortable and secure in the safety of their kennel when you are not there.
Kennels also keep the dog from destroying furniture, marking territory, and counter surfing while you are gone.
If your dog is loose in the backyard or house while you are gone, you can help break up the hours by hiding treats for him to find around the house. Once your dog figures out what you are up to, searching for treats will become a happy past time.
5. Chew, chew, chew
Recreational chewing is a favorite dog past time. Leaving your dog safe chew toys can be a wonderful source of entertainment. Be sure to know your dog well before leaving him unsupervised with chew toys. If your dog is likely to destroy the chew toy, or break off chunks small enough to swallow, do not offer them. Also avoid chew toys that may get stuck on the dog’s lower jaw, such as marrow bones for smaller dogs. These chew toys are fine with supervision, but may not be when your dog is alone.
Diesel loves retrieving so his exercise time was spent with his favorite rope.