Dogs and cats love it when we are around them, which is why it is so hard on them when we leave them home alone. It can also be tough on us as owners having to leave our furry friend by themselves while we are away at work. However, as we all know, it is not possible to be by your pets side 24/7. This is why Petplan has come up with some helpful tips for leaving your pet home alone.
Tire them out
If you are leaving them for an extended period of time, exercising them before you leave will mean that they will not be hyped up the whole time you’re away. This will mean they won’t take out their excess energy on destroying things in your home. This exercise can be in the form of long walks, dog parks, off-leash running, interaction with other dogs, and allowing them to sniff their way around outside. All these types of activities not only allow physical exercise, but they offer a mental stimulation that will keep your dog relaxed and placid whilst you are out.
Time may be scarce in the morning and therefore may result in you not giving your pet the exercise they need. If this is the case, leaving your pet toys and puzzles to play with should keep them busy for the entire period that you are away. A great way to keep them entertained is with food dispensing toys which can be stuffed with food or release food at certain intervals or when pushed. Dogs not only love this as they are getting rewarded for playing, it also keeps them distracted from the real issues, such as you leaving them.
For cats, even though they tend to sleep for hours on end, offering a substation for sleeping is important. Something to play with or scratch is always a huge bonus and cats, although not very active, will have energy that needs to be released during the day.
Many owners may not have a lot of time to properly exercise their dog, which is why dog walkers may be a viable option. This not only gives them the much needed exercise and social interactions that they need, it also allows them to explore more of their surroundings and relieve themselves in a more comfortable location than inside the house. Although they may seem like an expensive cost, you could always see if friends are able to do the task and repay them with baked goods or other delicious treats that may entice them.
Leaving your pet alone for extended periods of time can lead to separation anxiety, which can be both harmful to your pet and your house. They may start gnawing at doors and windowsills, excessive cleaning, or even not eat until you come back home. If you notice these symptoms, or anything else you think is out of the ordinary, consult a vet or dog behaviourist to try and stop this behaviour.
Knowing your pet will go a long way to how they react to your absence. If you know you will be away most days, try to get a pet that isn’t known for their energy. Choosing a pet that will suit your lifestyle and surrounding is the best way to make sure you will both feel comfortable when you leave them home alone.