Home Alone: Canine Edition! The Good, Bad and Chewed-up Couch | Pets
(Welcome to our pet column, courtesy of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla. We post a new article each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)
Pet owners love being greeted at the door by their furry companions — but coming home to see the sofa in chunks on the floor amid the smiling jowls of our pet isn't the welcome we hope for.
"We all love spending time with our dogs, but we need to leave them at home alone sometimes," says certified dog trainer Laura Roach of the pet care franchise Camp Bow Wow. "Nobody wants to come home to chewed-up shoes or ripped furniture. A tired dog is a good dog, so it's important to give them exercise and socialization."
Ensuring your pooch is well-behaved while you're gone is an important piece of dog training, but that doesn't mean they should remain cooped up all day. Dogs need exercise, and if they're holed up indoors for too long, they can develop behavioral or health issues or leave a messy accident behind for you to clean up.
As Roach noted, an overabundance of both energy and boredom usually explains why some dogs go nuts when left alone. See what professional dog trainers recommend to curb chewing antics:
1. Drop your dog off at doggy day care several days a week, where your pup can play and socialize all day while you are at work.
2. Hire a pet sitter to take Fido for a 30-minute walk at least twice a week. Most pet care facilities offer an at-home component.
3. Purchase some interactive dog toys to keep your pet busy while you're gone. Interactive toys are puzzles that challenge your dog's mind and make them more likely to rest when they are done playing.
4. Keep your pet stimulated. When dogs are mentally exhausted, they don't have time to think about getting into trouble. In addition to buying toys that are designed to be challenging, pet owners can take obedience or agility classes. Hire a Behavior Buddies Trainer to come to your home to give you tips on how to wear your dog out mentally and ensure your home is "dog proof."
Curious what Fido can do to a living room when left home alone without exercise or attention? Play the interactive Facebook game "Bad to the Bone" at www.facebook.com/campbowwow.
For more information, visit www.campbowwow.com.
(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pet-Connection-Programs-inc-Marilla-NY/114420508616511?ref=ts. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)
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