You work, so you need to leave your dog home alone all day. When you come home, between the chores, paying the bills, and family, you still have a ton of things to do. Sometimes it can feel like poor Fido comes last. Here are five fun ways to make it up to your dog from Modern Dog Magazine.
1. Did someone say car ride?
Sure, it’s great to take your dog for a romp or long walk at a park. If you can do that, your dog will love it! But your dog is happy to go with you just about anywhere. So if you don’t have time for an epic adventure, take a mini road trip. Do you have errands to run at a store that accepts dogs? Take your dog with you! For example, many home supply stores will allow dogs. Or go to a pet supply store and buy your dog a special toy. Go anywhere your dog would enjoy. Simply a change in environment is mentally stimulating to your dog and she will of course take any opportunity to be in your company. Remember, though, that your dog should be comfortable in public, friendly with others, and well-behaved in social settings.
2. Hang out with friends
Take your dog to go visit some pals. Does your dog have a favourite canine play buddy? If you have an energetic dog that has been cooped up all day, giving him the chance to play with another dog can be great exercise as well as great fun. You also get the benefit of hanging out with other people who love their dogs as much as you love yours.
When evaluating playdates for your dog, choose a dog of similar size that has a similar play style. If you put two dogs together who have different play styles, one dog’s good intentions can be mistaken for hostility by another dog. For example, you may have a dog who loves to chase and be chased. Add a dog who loves to body slam, and your dog may get offended. Your dog may not appreciate a dog that slams into his personal space, and he could react with fear or aggression as a result. When it comes to matchmaking for your dog’s playtime buddy, be choosy to ensure a good match.
3. Take your dog to dinner
Give yourself a break from cooking tonight and take your dog out to dinner. Choose a restaurant with outdoor seating that accepts dogs. Don’t know of any in your area? Put together a picnic and go to a nearby park! Food, your company, and the great outdoors? For dogs this is the ultimate trifecta!
4. Learn something new
Train your dog! Work on foundation behaviours, such as walking nicely on leash or no jumping. Or teach him a fun trick. Positive training increases your bond with your dog—he learns to want to work with you. Whether you take a training class or learn something at home, it’s great quality time you both will appreciate.
5. Enjoy one-on-one time
Just spend time with your dog. If your dog is a snuggler, cuddle up together on the couch. Or simply spend 15 straight minutes telling him how awesome he is. After a long day, when you park yourself for a rest, encourage your dog to come join you for some bonding time together–some dogs needs to be encouraged to get off their bed and join you in the living room.
After you’ve spent all this time easing your guilt for leaving your dog alone so much, here’s a bonus tip just for you: stop beating yourself up. You have bills to pay and responsibilities. There are going to be times when you need to be gone. If you are gone more than 8 – 10 hours a day, do consider hiring a pet sitter to give your dog a break during the day. You might also explore a quality doggie daycare in your area. As long as you give your dog the appropriate amount of time, attention, exercise, care, and affection he needs to be healthy, he’s going to be ok. Dogs are amazingly adaptable creatures And your absence is forgotten the minute you walk through the door.