Help for the Home Alone Dog
Dogs are a social species and don’t feel relaxed or safe when their providers and protectors are away. Left without companionship or activities to distract them, dogs can develop behaviour habits that challenge us and our neighbours such as barking, digging, destructiveness, anxiety. Here are some Environmental Enrichment ideas that may help your dog cope at home when alone.
- Classical music has a calming effect on dogs and will also help mask noises that may trigger your dog to bark. See the range of dog cd’s called “Through a dog’s Ear”.
- Thundershirts are a close snug fitting shirt that can help an anxious dog feel more secure. See the “Cool Coats” made by www.rufruf.com.au
- Adaptil Collars are impregnated with a synthetic form of the pheromone a mother dog produces when raising her pups. Results of research clearly demonstrate the benefits of the Adaptil collar on the behaviour of pups and dogs. Pups feel more secure and therefore are calmer. They are less likely to be reactive when older if they are supported for longer with this pheromone.
- Puzzle Toys provide mental and physical stimulation. They provide an activity for your dog and a distraction while you are out. Instead of feeding your dog from a bowl, consider food being dispensed via a toy. Check out the Kong Wobbler at www.kongcompany.com and the variety of puzzle toys at www.ninaottosson.com. Another option is to scatter your dog’s food around the garden which will encourage sniffing and foraging; two very relaxing activities dogs enjoy.
- Visitors and Doggy Daycare can break up the day for the home alone dog. Arrange for someone to take your dog for a walk or simply provide companionship at home. Arrange for play dates with other dogs in the neighbourhood so dogsitting is shared.
Maybe you would like to share the ideas you have come up with that help your dog? Post to my facebook page so others can benefit.