When you are away all day, what does your dog do? Play? Bark at every sound?
I have suspected that mine sleep most of the time when I am gone. They also sit on the stairs in our hallway where they can see the driveway through the window, waiting for someone to come home! Thankfully, it has been quite some time since everyone has been gone long hours at the same time but I sure do remember what it felt like knowing that the dog was alone for 8+ hours a day. I hated it.
Many years ago I actually PRAYED that the Lord would send some kind of entertainment for our yellow lab, Blondie. I was desperate! When we got home from work there were paw marks down the dining room wall. My only guess was that there had been a spider on the wall just high enough to get her attention but out of her reach! LOL A one time blessing but I was looking for a daily solution.
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When Your Dog Has To Be At Home Alone
When we finally got a second dog it lifted the guilt quite a bit but not everyone can, or wants to, have two dogs. So, what can you do to make their days go better?
- Leave the television or radio on for some familiar noise. It isn’t real company but the background sound may be comforting.
- Leave fresh water and food.
- Leave a light on, in case you don’t make it back home until after the sun goes down.
- Leave SAFE toys. That is a tough one since one dog’s “safe” toy can be the next one’s trouble. You know your dog so choose those toys wisely.
- Keep dangerous items out of reach. We have a basket of medicines on the table when we are home but it goes inside a safe cupboard each time we leave the house. Our 1 year old puppy is a paper-eater, too, so I have to do a search for napkins, newspapers and such to get them out of the way way before we go out the door.
- Find reliable help. You can have a friend come by to let the dog out to go potty. If they love walking, perhaps they would be willing to walk the dog for you. There are professional dog walkers for hire, as well. If you are not going to be able to walk your dog after work, have someone do it for you.
- Buy a pet cam. Our son has a video system that he uses to check in on his dogs while he is at work. It gives him comfort to know that all is well. On one occasion, he called us for help as he discovered that the electric had gone off in the house. We went right over for him to check on the house and his pets.
- If your dog must be crated for several hours, get him a very big cage. My yellow lab, Sadie, sleeps at night in a crate that is sized for Great Danes (they call the size “ginormous” LOL) She has had some problems with joint pain and we want her to be very comfortable. With this super-sized crate, she can stand up and move around. Sadie is such a good girl that we wouldn’t crate her at all but at night we do it for our own safety. We don’t want to trip over her if she moves around the house. The puppy? Her crate is also big (it is the 42″ model) We just love spoiling our girls!
Now, this is really fun. There is a new interactive pet cam. It is the Petcube Pet Camera that Flings Treats! Pet parents can see and hear their pets and even talk to them. When your dog responds with panting or a bark, you will hear it and see it. You can have a regular doggie-conversation!* And, get this, you can even toss him a treat! No joke. That’s what this big boy [below] is waiting for in this picture. My dogs would be doing exactly what he is doing …. listening and waiting for that treat! (Do cats do that? I have never owned a cat so I don’t know.)
So, how do you handle things when you have to leave your pet for a long day? Do you have someone help you?