Home Alone?

Mastiff SleepingWhat does your dog do all day?  You’ve got a full schedule with work, family & friends.  The kids are busy with school, friends and extracurricular activities. Have you ever stopped to consider what your dog’s life is like?  Is their mind stimulated? Are they home alone most all of the day? How often do they leave the property?  Here are some ideas to keep your ‘best friend’ happy, healthy and engaged.

Can you take your dog with you?  If you are just running short errands, take your four-legged friend along. Seat-belt them in for safety or take them in a carrier, but let them go along for a change of scenery. (Don’t leave them in a hot car, of course.)

Intelligent DogIf you must leave your dog home, make sure you give them plenty of safe enrichment exercises to keep them from being bored.  There are many interactive and puzzle toys on the market these days. Or Look at how much fun you can have with a simple Kong: http://www.dogstardaily.com/blogs/50-ways-kong

Schedule time with your dog.  Make sure they are still a priority in your life, at least a head of watching TV!  Write in appointments on your calendar to take them to the dog park, arrange a doggie play date with neighbors or explore different hiking grounds together.

Sleeping WestieSign up for a class or learn a new sport.  There are so many great training options available and the more things you do with your dog the better your relationship.  So pick a sport you both would like and go to class. Formal training shouldn’t stop with puppy kindergarten. Dogs, like people, have the capacity to learn throughout their life. Don’t be afraid of going back to school for those ‘master’ classes.  You might even start competing and pick up a few ribbons along the way!

During weeks when you know you can’t spend as much time with your dog as you’d like, hire a professional dog walker to come in during the day to exercise and entertain your canine charge.

Lost Soles Doggie Day Care can be a good break in an otherwise boring week for your social, pack-oriented family member.  Your dog can go one or two days a week or everyday whether you work away from home or not.

Consider life through the eyes of your dog then devise a plan to keep them exercised, entertained and enriched.

Pictures on this page are courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Mastiff Sleeping, Intelligent Dog, Sleeping Westie, Lost Soles