All working pet owners will agree with me when I say that our hearts break into little pieces when we leave our beloved pets at home, without anyone else for company. The worst part is that when we come back, they greet us without getting angry and do not show any attitude. They just shower us with unconditional love and relieve us off the day’s stress. When they are so forgiving towards us even after being left alone, then the least we could do is come up with ways to keep them occupied throughout the day.
A word of caution – avoid giving your pets toys made of plastic or those with any metal parts, as their sharp edges might damage your pet’s gums or other areas.
Given below are steps that can be taken to ensure that your pet is occupied with something or the other while you’re not at home, without making a complete mess of the house.
Never leave the house without ensuring that there is enough food and water for your pet. Keep at least two bowls of water for your pet, so that he is hydrated well enough throughout the day. Depending on how long you’re going to be away for the day, you need to keep food accordingly so that he doesn’t remain hungry. You could also surprise him by hiding treats in easy-to-find places all over your house. This would keep your pet happy and occupied in sniffing out these treats.
You could make a puzzle-box for your pet, where you can hide a treat that is his favorite, in the middle of it. The puzzle-box will keep your pet busy for hours, till he actually finds his treat.
Animals love toys, especially those that squeak and make some kind of noise. Buy them some toys and keep them in different corners of the house. This helps a lot, because whenever your pet is snooping around the house trying to find something to play with, he will find the toy and get engrossed playing with it.
Do not get plastic toys, as they may hurt your pet’s gums. Instead, buying rubber or rope toys is a better idea. Giving your pet sufficient amount of toys will help in putting a stop to the damage and mess that he might make if left without toys or any sort of entertainment.
You could hire a dog walker or ask a trusted neighbor or relative to come over twice a day to walk your dog. Your dog might end up feeling saturated sitting in an empty house all day. He needs a change in scenario, and some good exercise too.
Letting your pet out is very important in order to prevent bladder problems. Fresh air and the company of other dogs will cheer him up a lot, and he will learn to be social with other dogs too.
Another reason why letting your dog socialize with other dogs is much-needed, is that it helps in personality development and also makes him less temperamental in the long run.
Keeping rubber or rawhide bones for your pet to chew on is another very good idea, which definitely works. Your pet would spend hours chewing the bone without getting bored. He would also end up having quite some fun playing with his bone by throwing it the air and catching it, shaking it, barking at it, etc.
There is a large variety of rawhide bones and chew sticks available in different flavors in the market. Some pets enjoy a nice and juicy carrot stick too. Giving your pet something to chew on when you’re not around helps in keeping him occupied. He would feel less lonely, and be happily munching and playing for hours at a stretch.
Animals enjoy being in the company of others, and this is not limited to only humans. They get along fabulously with other animals like cats and other dogs too. So if your dog does not mind having a cat around, and is actually friendly with them, you could consider getting one home to give him some company. If your dog does not like cats, then you could see how he reacts to puppies, and get another dog as a companion for him.
If you have a cat, then you could consider getting a puppy as a companion for your pet. Not everyone knows this, but cats take very well to puppies, and you will realize that they are amazing caregivers to young animals (except rats, hamsters, guinea pigs).
Make a den, bed, or a resting area for your pet, where he can take a nap once he is done playing or whenever he feels the need to relax. For this, you can either purchase a ready-made pet bed or a kid’s play tent, or you can make a play pen for your pet using a large pillow or a small mattress. In order to make the den more homely and comfortable, you can add in a blanket, some sturdy stuffed toys, and also some chew toys.
This can be your pet’s place to retire after a long day of playing. All pets love something soft and cozy to sleep on, and that is why it is very important for the owner to make sure that his pet’s napping place is clean and very comfortable.
A happy pet is a healthy pet, so try to keep your pet happy all the time, even when you’re away. The various ideas given here will effectively help keep your pet occupied when you’re not at home, and you can actually leave your house without feeling guilty. Although, in the end, try to be with your pet as much as possible, because your company is one of the most important things in the lives.