Home Alone

 

This article was written for Pet Guardian Angels of America by Kari Oakley


Photo by Pexels

When You’re Not At Home

Most people don’t have the luxury of working from home, so leaving your dog is unavoidable.  Those sad puppy dog eyes staring at you as you head out the door will send you on a one-way guilt trip. If your pup has separation anxiety that only adds to your stress and worry.  Fortunately, there are several ways to soothe your dog while you’re away. Your sense of wellbeing will be enhanced and so will your dog’s. Consider giving your dog:

1. Your Scent

Dogs are social beings. Since they’re pack animals your pup likely considers you the “alpha” of the family. You’re important to your dog and she misses you when you’re gone. So, leaving something cuddly with your scent on it can be soothing. This could be a shirt that you’ve worn or a blanket or a stuffed toy.

2. A Pet Camera With a Treat Dispenser

How would you like to be able to look in on and communicate with your pet in real-time while you’re at work, even on the other side of the world? And how would you like to give him a long-distance treat? As long as you have an internet connection and your phone you can virtually visit your pet with a two-way video and voice feature. Some of these cameras can record video.
This gives you the advantage of seeing what your dog has been up to all day.

3. Calming Noise

For some pets, it’s beneficial to have a little bit of noise in the home when they’re home alone. Depending on the type of noise, it can preoccupy and soothe your dog’s mind. White noise might be the right choice for some dogs while soft music or television could be best for others.  There are even TV channels that are just for pets.

4. Busy Toys

Many toy options are available to keep dogs occupied. These include automatic ball throwers and chew toys. Doggie brain teasers are great for smart dogs that tend to get into mischief while alone. These toys dispense treats as a reward for their problem-solving skills. As is the case with
humans, a bored pup is generally more anxious, so it’s good to keep them occupied and their mind stimulated. Dogs have been known to do substantial property damage as a result of unaddressed anxiety.

5. CBD Oil

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a natural alternative to drugs for treating many ailments in humans and animals. One of the benefits of CBD oil for pets is its ability to calm without the risk of lethargy or harmful side effects. No need to worry about your dog getting high; CBD oil comes from the
hemp plant, not the marijuana plant, so there are no psychoactive effects from it.

6. A Cozy Hideout?

Dogs love to curl up in small places. A crate, tent bed, “igloo” or other covered or enclosedbedding is a great place for them to go to get away from it all. It’s also a safe space to which they can retreat from loud noises that may frighten them (e.g., fireworks).

7. A Buddy

Dogs will consider all humans and animals in their homes as a part of their “pack.” If your pup gets along with other animals, she may enjoy having a doggie brother or sister, or even a cat companion.

8. A Pet Sitter

Finding a great pet sitter to drop in on your dog during your workday is helpful. This individual can give your dog a walk or some cuddles, playtime and treats. Regular visits from the sitter will give the pup something to look forward to.

Ideally, you and your dog would be together 24/7, but unfortunately, that’s not realistic for most people. Having these tried and true interventions in place before you leave will help your dog relax while you’re gone. Then he’ll be stress-free and ready to cuddle and play when you’re back. Your day will go better not having the distraction and worry of wondering how your dog is getting along.

Kari Oakley gained a love for fitness and animals as a young girl in Wisconsin. She spent each summer on some type of adventure, either a day at the lake with her family or just hiking with her friends. She took her love for fitness with her through college to get her degree in Kinesiology (Exercise Science). She has been working as a personal trainer/life coach in the Chicago area for the past 3 years. She has recently decided to share her passions with lower income schools in Chicago to help children develop a knowledge and love for fitness. When Kari started working with the kids in Chicago, she decided she wanted to share her knowledge and passion with as many people as possible. She has been freelance writing alongside ever since.