*We have worked with our carefully chosen partner Furbo to bring you this post
Leaving your dog home alone is never easy, and it comes with its own specific set of worries. Anxious pups might howl, mischievous mutts are certain to get into trouble, and even the most well-behaved pooches can get lonely and find their own ‘entertainment’.
It’s key to remember that puppies and adult dogs can handle different amounts of time alone. The Blue Cross recommends that although it’s good to get young pups used to their own company, they shouldn’t be left for long periods in their first year. All dogs differ, but the general advice is no more than two hours for puppies, and an absolute maximum of six for older dogs. Of course, it all depends on how active your pet is, how much exercise they need, and how they feel about being alone.
When it comes to actually leaving, there are some tricks to keep dogs distracted – and away from all the chewy temptations of your house.
Invest in a durable hollow toy – there are several brands out there, like Kong, that specialise in them – and stuff it with your dog’s favourite food. This could be peanut butter, wet food, or even a mix of both. If you know your pooch is quite determined, you can up the difficulty by freezing it beforehand. And if you want to make it really interesting, add in a few different layers so your pup doesn’t get bored halfway through.
Thanks to the internet of things, we can now check in on our dogs from anywhere and see what they’re up to. One of our absolute favourite gadgets is the Furbo dog camera, as it has some extra features that are especially helpful for pooches who are prone to boredom. Not only can you see and talk to your dog – handy for when you catch them chewing on something they shouldn’t – but you can use the Furbo iOS or Android app to throw them treats on demand. There’s space for 100 of them in the Furbo, so there’s no risk of running out. Check out our review of the Furbo to see it in action.
DOG PUZZLE TOYS
It helps to give your mutt’s brain a good work out, which can help distract them when you’re not there to play. Puzzle toys are a great way of doing this, particularly if your dog is food-motivated. There are plenty of different types, all of which challenge your pup to use their eyes, nose and paws to work out where the treats are hidden. Bear in mind though, dogs that are determined chewers might also work their way through the puzzle itself.
DOG SNUFFLE MAT
Similar to a puzzle toy, a snuffle rug challenges dogs to use their nose to find the treats. There are many different kinds on offer, from the smaller scrunchy versions, to the bigger activity mats, which have lots of different pockets, strips and flaps of fabric for you to stash food. While this won’t keep your dog busy for hours, it’s a good way to keep them occupied as you leave the house. Remember, particularly destructive dogs may want to chew the fabric as well.
RADIO & TV
Got a dog that’s anxious when left alone? Plenty of people swear by a bit of background noise. Sometimes, it’s just about leaving the TV on to provide some familiar sounds, but you can also try a dog calming playlist on Spotify. It’s a good idea to play this occasionally when you’re in the house, so your dog doesn’t just associate it with being home alone.
Investing in a slow feeder can stop your dog bolting its dinner, but also keep them busy while you’re away. The prospect of food is enough to win most pups over, and it gives them some positive association with their human leaving. Whip out the slow feeder before you step out the front door, fill it with your dog’s favourite kibble, and it should keep them occupied for a little while at least.
Find out more about the Furbo Dog Camera and purchase one for your pup today at: www.furbo.com.
Do you have some great tips for keeping your dog entertained when they are home alone? Share them with us in the comments below!