Is your dog at home all day, are they happy? They could be…
So how do you make your home a happier place for your dog when you’re not there?
More and more dogs are spending their days alone at home as owners need to work. For those living in cities, they may also lack access to outside space. But alone doesn’t have to mean lonely. If you’re willing to get stuck in, there’s no end of ways in which your home can become a daytime doggy haven.
For most owners, spending all day with their dogs is out of the question, after all, someone has to pay for all those toys. Your 9-5 office job inevitably means time apart, which can often be hard for dogs who are ‘home alone’ for extended periods and in some cases can even lead to mischief and misbehaviour.
So is there anything you can do to make this time alone more comfortable for the furry friend in your life?
Today, there’s no end of ways to make your dog’s days more comfortable, ranging from tips to toys, here’s a few useful (and fun) tips to help you get started:
Exercise (Plenty of)
As an owner, you’ll already know just how important exercise is for any dog. But for a dog who will be indoors for a large chunk of the day, it’s crucial.
Not just as exercise but as a way to help them relax during the day. A big run out on a morning can improve your pet’s mood for the entire day allowing them to settle in and relax before round two later.
For those lucky enough to be able to afford it, there’s also the option of dog walkers who can give your dog(s) some additional exercise and company during the day. And for those with extremely energetic dogs, in some areas, there are now even dog runners like Milo’s Dog Running or Jog My Dog who will actually take your dog out for a distance run.
A healthy balanced diet is essential for any dog, but for city dogs who spend a lot of time alone or inactive it’s crucial.
It’s up to you to ensure your dog is getting all the nutrients and minerals they need to keep them fit and healthy. But you also want to avoid foods that might contain additives that could affect behaviour.
Quality, natural foods, like our grain-free and superfood meals, are designed only to give dogs the things they need. They avoid additives that can upset them or affect their moods.
These types of foods are packed with natural, tasty nutrients and fresh ingredients that are perfect for a dog’s needs. And the best advice here is to try and get the best quality natural food your budget can afford.
A tidy home is a happy home
No insult intended. Instead, we’re talking about simple things you can do around your home to make it a little safer and a little less stressful.
Our top tips would be:
- Non-toxic cleaners: if your dog chews, or likes the odd porcelain cocktail, non-toxic cleaners can help avoid them making themselves poorly.
- Hide wires: Some dogs chew them, others run into them, neither result are is positive. Simply putting them away or covering them solves this.
- Flooring & carpets: Consider the areas they have access to. Wooden or tiled floors are tougher and cooler in summer but can be slippy. Carpets are cosier and less slippery, but they can harbour mites etc. if not looked after and are more easily damaged.
- Sealable lid: Toilets, bins and beyond, dogs are curious, clever and love an unexpected treat. Sealable lids or clips can stop some of their less charming adventures.
- Stair gate: If you happen to have stairs consider a stair gate. Some may think it’s overkill, but for those worried about more clumsy dogs, it can’t help them rest easy like all good parents.
- Fan/White noise: Some dogs are a little more nervous than others, and unusual or unexpected noises can frighten them. Leaving a fan on or similar can mask a lot of these, leaving them to enjoy their serene surroundings.
- A good vacuum: Despite all your efforts accidents will happen, it comes with being a parent. A good vacuum is the solution to so many problems.
Like you, dogs can benefit from having their own space. This doesn’t mean leaving them alone, it means their own place just for them.
Try and find an area in your home that can be indisputably theirs. It never moves. This might be where they will sleep or somewhere they can just rest, you could even create a den, but it’s theirs, and they know it’s there.
To create it, use things they love, start with the space itself using a bed or a blanket, etc. and then fill it with items they recognise, toys etc.
It doesn’t have to be lavish, it simply has to be somewhere they can go whenever they want to. So ensure it’s not in a part of the house where they have limited or difficult access.
A space like this can be invaluable during time alone, as it gives them a source of comfort and familiarity until you return.
Here comes the fun bit.
Put simply another way to make those hours apart more bearable is games and engagement. What this entails can vary from dog to dog and home to home. As space, energy and safety all come into play when choosing your dog’s entertainment.
But today there is no end of clever and exciting gadgets and toys to keep your dog out of trouble or at least entertained throughout the day.
Here are a few of our current favourites:
The Mighty Kong: already a toy legend, the Kong is a wonderfully simple way to keep dogs happy for hours. Simply fill it with your dog’s favourite treat, your dog will take care of the rest.
Petcube Bites: Want to join in the fun, this amazing camera will let you see your dog, speak to them and even throw them treats.
Doggy Brain Trainer: For the dog who needs a real challenge, this doggy puzzle is an ingenious way to keep them engaged.
Busy Buddy Tug-a-Jug: For the dog who likes a challenge, this can be a very effective way to keep them busy.
Indoor Tether Tug: To help work off any excess energy, this can’t be beaten.
A Route to Routine
Dogs love routine, not as much as you of course, but they still love it. Having a routine, whatever it is however that works for you, is the most important step in helping make your dogs time at home alone happy and comfortable.
If they know that this time is simply part of their day, they’re more likely to take it in their stride, and also enjoy it; especially if they have access to some of the above. Once you’ve found the balance of comfort and routine that works for you, then it’s time to start enjoying your time together.