A bored dog is not a happy dog. But, you can’t be there for him 24/7, ready to be his playing partner whenever he wishes to play. What you need to do is try to figure out how to keep your dog busy while you’re away.
Regular work hours are from 9 to 5, so you’re not gonna be home during that time. Your dog, on the other hand, doesn’t go to work. That means that there will be a couple of hours every day when he’s going to be left on his own. And that might make him feel bored.
Here are a couple ideas on how to prevent that.
1. Let Him Watch TV
Dogs can’t see in 2D – he won’t be able to recognize your face on a photo. But, he can see 3D images, like the ones on television screens. This means that if you turn the TV on, he will be able to see and even understand what’s going on there.
Sure, he won’t understand how it got there, but he will able to recognize dogs or other animals on TV. Add to that the sounds the program creates and you’ll have a dog glued to the screen while you’re away.
The problem is that not all kinds of moving images will grab your dog’s attention. It’s like with humans actually, some people love history documentaries, others prefer watching sports matches on TV. So, before leaving your dog in front of the TV, make sure that the program that’s on is actually interesting to him.
Generally speaking, dogs love watching other dogs, as well as other animals, including those they’ve never seen before. So, Animal Planet should be a good choice.
2. Give the Dog a Bone
Dogs love chewing. But, some things you have in your household are not meant for chewing. We’re talking about things like furniture, clothes, etc. Instead, you need to give him something that’s ideal for this purpose. A squeaky toy could be interesting, but most dogs find such toys boring after a while.
A much better option is to give him a big bone. There are several reasons for this, starting with the fact that he won’t be able to injure himself or break his teeth while chewing a bone. That wouldn’t be the case if the nibbled on a piece of metal, for example.
Another reason why a large bone is a good choice is that it’s of animal origin. And that makes your fluffy friend turn into a predator. A bone will make him mouth water and he won’t stop chewing it until there’s nothing left. And that’s exactly why the bone needs to be large. Otherwise, he’ll eat it long before you’re back home.
3. Get Him a Friend
You surely have a friend or a family member who also has a dog that needs to stay alone for several hours a day. So, why not team up and keep the dogs together? When they’re in company, they’re guaranteed to have some good time!
4. Take Him to a Puppy Daycare
Dog boarding centers have become a very popular thing lately. How they work is that you bring your dog to the center and leave him there for as long as you wish. Why would you want to do that? Because he will be taken care of by professionals. Not only will he get all the food and water he needs, but they’ll also take him for a walk and even let him play with other dogs.
5. Hire a Dog Walker
If you don’t have enough time to walk your dog on a regular basis, he might get fat, as well as end up suffering from various health issues. In fact, various studies have shown that those dogs that don’t get enough exercise often suffer from heart problems, diabetes, kidney problems, etc.
Furthermore, dogs that lay around all day take more time to recover from even some really mild health problems, e.g. treating a hot spot can be really difficult if your dog is inactive. To prevent such scenarios from happening, you can hire a professional dog walker to take him out while you’re away. The internet is full of websites where you can look for a dog walker in your area.
6. Help Him Get Some Sleep
Before they were domesticated some 15,000 years ago, dogs used to live like wolfs. While in the wild, they were hunting at night, while sleeping during the day. Their bodies are still meant for such a regimen. However, humans are not, so dogs had to adapt.
The problem is that even though your pup will try to stay awake during the same hours as you, the thing is that his body is built differently. His nature makes him stay awake at night, while his owner makes him stay awake during the day. The result is that he might not be getting enough sleep.
The solution is to help him get some sleep during the day. Unfortunately, considering that every dog is basically a guard dog, he might think that it’s his duty to stay on guard while you’re not at home. In order for him to get some sleep, you need to play your part. The things you can do for him include applying calming essential oils to his bed, setting the right room temperature (75-78 °F), or giving him a pet sedative that will put him a sleep fast (e.g. acepromazine).
Even though it is very important to keep your dog entertained during the day, what’s even more important is that he remains safe while you’re away. Puppies can be naughty and if you’re not around to stop them, they can do some really dangerous stunts.
So, before going away, make sure that there are no plugged cables around that he could chew and get electrocuted. Make sure that the windows are closed, so that there’s no way he could fall out from the window. Also make sure that there are no pillows or items of clothing that he could get ahold, as some dogs just love to destroy stuff.
Finally, make sure that your pup has enough food and water, and that there’s a litter box that he can use as a toilet.