In yesterday’s blog we shared how dogs are therapeutic in the work environment, but the concept is only just now getting traction. If you can’t take your dog with you, how can you make life better for your dog while you’re out? After all, content dogs are much less likely to be destructive.
As an example, one of our BaxterBoo employees adopted a beautiful Bearded Collie mix (Lilly) from our favorite shelter and she would become quite upset when her new owners would leave her. Lilly would chew up her adoptive mom’s shoes, bedding, and even nibbled her bible… anything she could do to try and feel close to her scent. I did my best to tell her that this was a compliment of affection, but when you’re looking at teeth marks on your favored things, it can be troublesome, to say the least.
Hit the Trails, Heap the Toys
Happy dogs are dogs that have mental, physical, and social stimulation. A daily walk is the number one thing that can be done for both you and your pet’s well-being. Try a short one before work, and a longer one in the evening. Consider hiring a dog walker during the day if your hours are long and you can’t quite seem to fit the walk in.
Owners are becoming much more attuned to the emotional and mental richness of their pets’ lives. Dogs have a pack mentality, were bred to have jobs (like herding, or guarding) and staying home in a sterile environment can be depressing for our smart, social, furry friends. To counteract boredom while you’re at work, provide several chew toys and feeding puzzles. These are also helpful for cats. Of course, here at BaxterBoo.com, we have a wide selection of things to keep your pets entertained while you are gone!
Consider a Companion
Your dog or cat might appreciate having a buddy around. Dogs have even been known to bond with animals of other species because the pack mentality is so ingrained. Each animal is an individual, though, so do some research on how to introduce pets to each other for best results. It wouldn’t do to have one destructive anxiety-ridden dog teach another dog bad habits!
Likewise, my two cats love each others’ company. Before we adopted Ms. Boo, our first cat enjoyed her dogs, but having her own feline friend has been very sweet to watch as they groom each other and play.The cats and dogs all get along for quite the menagerie of social interplay.
Many modern adults grew up as latchkey kids and may cringe at the thought of their pet being alone all day. Others might think it is ridiculous to put their pets in daycare. But the pet daycare business is thriving as pets are often considered to be members of the family. Prices and policies vary, but this may be a viable option to alleviate your own guilt about not being there and be a boost for your pet’s mental/social health and, subsequently, yours! Some places even offer pet cameras for you to check in on your furry babies while you work!
Play Date Partners
It might be a better solution to pick a pet companion for your pet in the neighborhood or apartment complex. See another dog of similar temperament at the dog park? Maybe the nice retired lady down the street has a cute Shih-Tzu that would get along with your Lhasa Apso and you could trade outings for your dogs to share together. It’s a great way to interact with your neighbors and foster that sense of community we all long for.
Our last suggestion is only available in California so far, but if enough interest is raised, you might be able to subscribe to Dog TV for about $4.99 a month through your satellite provider. This programming is designed specifically to entertain and soothe your dog with specially designed images and sounds that are particularly attractive to dogs. A California shelter installed Dog TV and note it has had a calming effect on the dogs, making them show better for potential adoption. Visit dogtv.com for more information.
Featured photo courtesy of William Woodward.