A dog’s life: Keeping pets entertained while you’re at work

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As responsible pet owners, it’s not uncommon to experience a pang of guilt when leaving our furry friends at home while we head back to work.

The key to a happy, well-adjusted canine companion lies in keeping them mentally and physically stimulated during your absence. Here are a few tips to ensure your dog remains entertained and content while you’re at work.

First and foremost, exercise is crucial. Just as we need our daily dose of physical activity, dogs thrive on it too. Before heading to work, take your canine pal for a brisk walk or engage in a lively play session. A tired dog is a happy dog, and expending their energy before you leave can help prevent mischief.

Interactive toys are a game-changer for a dog’s mental stimulation. Puzzle feeders, treat-dispensing toys, and chew toys not only keep your dog occupied but also provide a source of mental enrichment. Dogs enjoy the challenge of extracting treats from toys, and it keeps them engaged and focused, preventing them from feeling lonely or anxious.

Consider creating a designated play area for your dog. Set up a safe space with their favourite toys, comfortable bedding, and for our indoor dogs a window to watch the world go by. This designated spot will become a sanctuary for your pet, alleviating any stress associated with being alone. Introduce positive associations with this area by leaving treats or favourite toys, gradually making it a place your dog looks forward to. Our energetic outdoor dogs can often find hours of entertainment with sand or water filled wading pools and their favourite toys.

Incorporate background noise to combat the eerie silence of an empty house. Leaving on soft music, a TV show, or even a calming podcast can provide a sense of company for your dog. The familiar sounds can be soothing and act as a distraction from the solitude, making the environment more comfortable for your furry friend.

Technology can be a valuable partner in keeping your dog entertained. Pet cameras with interactive features allow you to check in on your dog, talk to them, and even dispense treats remotely. This not only reassures your pet but also allows you to actively participate in their day, fostering a sense of connection despite the physical distance.

Remember, every dog is unique, so it might take some trial and error to find the perfect combination of activities and toys that suits your pet.
Investing time and effort into your dog’s wellbeing while you’re away is a small price to pay for the immeasurable joy and companionship they bring into our lives.

For more information on how to keep your canine companion content as you head back to work after the holiday season, contact the team at Orchard Hills Veterinary Hospital on 4736 2027.

Kellie Tickner, Orchard Hills Veterinary Hospital

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