One of the most important things to take into consideration when thinking about getting a dog is whether you can dedicate enough care, time and attention to your new pet. A lonely and bored dog will find a way to fill up time with potentially destructive behaviour, so it’s important to keep your dog entertained while you’re out of the house.
The key is to keep your dog physically and mentally stimulated so that they can spend hours alone as pleasantly and peacefully as possible. This handy guide breaks down the best ways to keep your dog happy and healthy while you’re at work.
Put on the TV
While you’re away, let your dog watch television to keep them distracted. Dogs need plenty of stimulation to keep from getting bored, so switching the TV to a channel where there are plenty of animals is a great way to keep their attention. The sight and sounds of other animals will make your dog feel less alone and give them something to focus on, other than destroying furniture, barking or howling. However, it’s important not to leave your dog in front of the TV every day, as it will eventually get boring.
Toys and treats
To keep your dog from chewing your furniture or carpets, leave them with a variety of stimulating treats and toys to play with while you’re at work. Interactive toys that allow you to hide treats within them will keep your dog occupied for hours, or you can set up a treat scavenger hunt to encourage them to stretch their legs around the house in your absence.
However, these treats and toys should not be a substitution for play sessions between you and your pup. It’s important to spend time with your dog when you get home after work and reward them for their good behaviour while you were away. To say well done to your best friend, treat them to one of our Hide Stuffed Pork Rolls Dog Treats.
Get a companion
If your dog is lonely when left alone, consider adopting or rescuing another pup. You need to ensure that any new animal you bring into your home is healthy, has been vaccinated and will get on well with your dog. Some breeds aren’t compatible with other canines, with the most dog-friendly breeds being the Cocker Spaniel, German Shepherd and Poodle. Reputable rescues will often allow you to foster a pup first and adopt them once you’re sure they fit into the family.
The best way to get two dogs to like each other is to make sure both are trained in basic obedience, that they are slowly introduced to one another over time, and aren’t left unsupervised until you’re sure they get along.
Let your dog keep lookout
It’s not only cats that enjoy looking out the window - dogs love watching the outside world and keeping tabs on what is going on around their home. Leave the curtains drawn or blinds up when you go to work to keep your dog entertained and familiarise them with the neighbourhood, although you may have to warn your neighbours about potential barking when another animal goes past. If you have a small dog or toy breed, it’s best to place a cushion or chair by the window to help them comfortably see out.
Keep them calm
If your dog becomes nervous, anxious or overactive when you’re not at home, there are dog-friendly products designed to promote calmness. Try a plug-in diffuser, giving them a treat designed to promote rest and relaxation or using a dog pheromone spray. To find a product that will suit your dog, consult your vet or a reputable pet store.
Enrol in doggy day-care
If your dog experiences severe separation anxiety when they’re left alone but you need to work long hours, you may want to consider enrolling them in doggy day-care. If your dog is well-socialised and enjoys the company of other pets, send them to a facility where the staff are trained to keep your pup safe and active.
If your dog isn’t well-socialised or gets anxious around lots of other dogs, you could set up a playdate with the pets of a trusted neighbour or family member. Allow a pet parent you trust and a dog that you know gets on well with your pet to come over and look after your pup while you’re at work.
If day-care or a pup playdate isn’t an option for your dog, you can hire a dog walker to exercise them every day. This is a great solution for active pets, especially if you want to keep them occupied during the day. If you can, squeezing in a stroll before you go to work is one of the best ways to avoid your dog using their energy in destructive ways.
Some breeds need more exercise than others to keep happy and maintain an even temperament, so it’s important to plan your day around your dog to provide them with the exercise and attention they need to keep happy.
The Webbox Difference
At Webbox, we pride ourselves on seeing the world from a dog’s point of view, so we can understand what they want - not just what they need. We put our love, creativity and excitement into everything we do, offering fantastic food and tempting treats designed to keep your dog happy and healthy. For chomping chews and tasty treats, shop our dog food range today.