Separation anxiety is a real concern for many dog owners and their pets. Your dog can even sense when you are about to leave the house based on the changes in your routine.
A dog with separation anxiety can become distressed and frantic when you aren’t at home, causing them to destroy things in your house or relieve themselves inside where they aren’t supposed to.
While you may consider using a crate while you are gone, not every pet owner is comfortable with this idea. Let’s take a look at a few smart ways to keep your dog busy when you are away.
1. Hire a Pet Sitter or Walker
If you are gone for hours at a time due to work, school, or other obligations, it may be time to hire some help. A reliable pet sitter or dog walker can come to your home and give your dog the attention they need while you are gone during the day.
They can play with your dog for a certain period of time, take them out to use the bathroom, and go for a long walk to tire them out. This option doesn’t have to be an expensive one, either.
Check your local social media groups or download pet-sitting apps to find the perfect person for the right price. Having someone you trust to take care of your pooch will also come in handy if you ever have an emergency.
2. Keep Treat Dispensers on Hand
Dogs have a natural instinct to hunt for their food. A treat dispenser gives them the chance to use their natural instincts while you are gone for hours, which can even make them smarter in the long run. It also helps keep them busy when you aren’t around to give them the attention they want.
Treat dispensers let you hide their favorite treats so your dog has to work to get them. There are plenty of options on the market for every breed and size. They’ll stay busy when they know they can get to their favorite dog treat with just a bit of hard work.
For natural dog treats that taste the best, visit The Pampered Pup so that your dog will not turn his nose up at the faux-flavors.
3. Keep the TV On
It sounds simple, but it really does work. Turn the television on for your dog while you aren’t there to keep them distracted. Since the pictures and noises on a television show are constantly changing, they will get distracted during the day to seek out what they are hearing. While they won’t actually “watch” the television, the sights and sounds of the shows can be soothing for a dog left alone. There are even programs designed specifically for dogs that can help curb separation anxiety. Just don’t keep the television on too loud, and make sure your dog is able to walk away from it if the noise gets too overwhelming for them.
4. Try a Treat-Dispensing Camera
If you need to keep your dog busy while you are out, it may be time to invest in a high-tech option. A treat-dispensing pet camera gives you the opportunity to check on your dog while you are away. Not only that, but many models now allow you to interact with them at the same time. You can talk to your dog and reassure them during the day to keep them distracted. Additionally, many cameras allow you to dispense treats from your phone when you are away.
5. Think About Getting Another Dog
If you have the money and time to dedicate to another dog, this could be a great way to keep your dog busy while you aren’t there. Your dog will have a playmate when the house is empty, which can be a big help when they have separation anxiety. Just make sure you take the time to research the best breed and age for your situation.
6. Create Their Own Area
One way to keep your dog busy when they are home alone is to give them their own special dog zone to sleep and play in. If you have a section of your home to use, purchase a quality pet gate to section off the area just for your dog. You can also keep them in a larger room if you have one available. Remember to keep lots of dog treats, toys, and comfort items in the area, as well as their dog bed and water. Blankets and stuffed animals are also a must! This will help them stay busy and out of the rest of your home.
7. Keep the Blinds Open
If your dog can look out one of your windows, keep your blinds and curtains open while you are gone. When they can watch the activity outside, such as cars, birds, and pedestrians, it will give them something to keep their mind occupied. If your dog is a small breed, push a chair or cushion up against the window for them to climb on while you are gone.
8. Enroll in a Local Doggy Daycare
If you’re really worried about your dog during your long days, consider enrolling them in a local doggy daycare. Even a couple of days a week can make a huge difference in their demeanor. If your pup is well-socialized, doggy daycare will give them a great place to burn off their endless amounts of energy, especially when they are just puppies. Talk to other pet owners to get recommendations on a place before you leave your dog.