How To Ensure Your Pet is Comfortable When You Are At Work
Leaving your dog at home when you go to work and seeing their sad puppy eyes begging you to stay is one of the hardest parts about being a dog owner. For most pets with working families, a lot of their days are spent home alone. This can be difficult if you have a new pet or a puppy who becomes distressed when you’re not around. Fortunately, you can train your pet to become used to – and even enjoy! – being home on their own. Here’s how to ensure your pet is comfortable while you’re away:
1. Make your leaving a positive experience
There’s a good chance that your pet has already learned that seeing you pick up your car keys and suitcase or handbag means you’re leaving. In order to make this experience less distressing for them, try to turn it into a fun and rewarding experience. Next time you pick up your keys, give your pet a treat or give them a joyful cuddle before walking out the door. Neutralizing their fears this way will stop them from associating your leaving with being a negative experience. When you return from work be sure to lavish them with praise and attention, giving them the security knowing that when you leave you always return.
2. Leave them at a pet day care
Leaving your dog or cat at a pet daycare centre is a good idea if your pet suffers from separation anxiety. Not only will they be stimulated and taken care of while you’re away, but they will also have the chance to play with the other pets. Most dogs are very social, so having that opportunity to interact with other dogs can be beneficial – especially if your dog is the type to need constant stimulation and activity. While at daycare your pet will be provided with enough exercise and playtime to keep them occupied and many daycare centres even offer a grooming service so that you can come home to a well-rested and pampered pet!
3. Hire a pet-sitter or dog walker
Usually, a cheaper alternative to leaving your dog at a pet daycare is by hiring a pet-sitter or dog walker. If you’re lucky, you might even know someone who will be happy and have the time to look after your pet while you’re at work but there are also options for those who don’t have someone on-call. Pet sitters and dog walkers are becoming increasingly popular, with websites such as Pawshake and Mad Paws providing families with trusted companions to look after your pet while you’re not home. These websites act like a travel booking website, where you can select which service you need and type in your location and dates needed and it will line you up with local sitters and walkers in the area. The bonus is you’re getting peace of mind knowing these companies use verified and trusted sitters while also provide free liability insurance if something were to happen. You can choose to hire someone to stay with your pet all day or have them come during a certain time to take your pet out for a walk and play in the park.
4. Create a fun and safe environment
If you decide to leave your pet home alone, there’s a couple of things to consider. Mainly, to ensure that your house is completely pet-proof and that there’s no hazards or opportunities for your pet to escape. Check all your fencing and gates to make sure they’re secure and there’s no gaps or holes for your pet to squeeze through, and take the time to check the latches on your security doors and windows. Sliding doors with retractable pet mesh fly screens are great for pets as they allow them to look outside and see what’s going on while keeping them safe and secure. They also provide natural airflow to ensure your pet is kept cool during the day. Leaving their favourite toys out for them to play with along with their usual bed and blanket will keep them satisfied enough until you come home. If need be, you can also leave the radio on during the day to provide them with some background noise. Studies have shown that classical music helps to not only soothe people but dogs, too!
5. Give them something to stimulate their senses
Puzzle toys are a fantastic way to keep your pet busy and to stimulate them while they’re home alone. Provide them with a Kong ball filled with treats to keep them occupied, or a unique and challenging cat toy to keep your cat from becoming bored and mischievous! Along with toys, sturdy bones and chew toys are a good option to keep your dog entertained while distracting them from getting up to any bad behaviour. They also are a great way of keeping canine gums and teeth healthy! Providing puzzle games keeps your pet physically and mentally stimulated and also boosts their ability to concentrate.
While most of us wish we could take our pets with us to work – or stay at home with them! – there’s plenty of ways to keep them occupied and comforted home alone. Providing them with toys and activities to keep them occupied in a safe and pet-proof environment will ensure that they remain happy and safe while you’re away. Never forget their safety and security, and remember to complete a thorough check of your property and doors and windows to make sure that they are prowler proof and pet-proof. Consider hiring someone to take care of your pet if they suffer from separation anxiety, and always remember to put aside some quality time to spend together!