Snapshot: Just like your dog does not like to sit around all day after you leave it at home when you leave for work, you too for sure do not like the same. There might have been times when you desperately wanted to make the situation better for him, right?
Today we are going to discuss some toys that would keep your dog occupied, physically and mentally, and not let them get bored. So what say, let us find out more about it?!
Have you ever seen how your dog looks at you every time you open the door to go out somewhere for a long time, such as say for work? Of course, you have, no one can ignore those sad puppy eyes. But the fact remains that every morning you need to get up, get ready and leave your dog behind in an empty house.
Well, you are not alone, your dog also feels the same way. It is much worse for it as once you leave, while you get busy in the outside world hustling your way through life, it is left behind to pass its day in an empty house with nothing much to do around. But you know what? You can help your dog out in this matter. Read on and we have some of the things that you as the owner can do to not make your dog feel bored all day long alone at home.
How to keep your dog from being bored when home alone?
Even though you might not like it but you cannot all the time stay at home and look after your dog. No matter how painful it is, or how you feel like you’re leaving a part of your soul behind every day when you leave for your office in the morning, the protocol of life cannot be ignored.
But you can make it better for your dog who has to thereafter stay at home all day long with nothing worthwhile to indulge in. Below listed are some of the things that you can try to make it more bearable for your dog when it is left alone at home.
- Chew toys
Dogs love to chew on things. If your dog is not properly trained enough chances are it probably even chews on your slippers at home. Chew toys are hence great ways to keep your dog occupied. You could also buy food stuffable toys and stuff them with food such as peanut butter and freeze it. This could keep your dog constructively occupied for hours.
- Open curtains to a back window
While your dog is forced to stay inside the house, life outside those four walls would still be in full swing, if your dog is unable to take part in those activities going on outside the house, you can at least make a provision for him to enjoy the few of them. Before you leave, make sure to open the curtains or the blinds to a back window. Through that window, your dog can enjoy the view outside, which could serve as entertainment for it.
- Assign someone to walk the dog
If you know someone from your neighbourhood who is responsible enough to take care of your bed, you can approach them to take care of them for a while. They could perhaps take your dog out for a walk at a particular time when you could be busy somewhere else. This would also help your dog exercise regularly. But, of course, this is all provided that the person is free to walk your dog as well.
- Puppy daycare
Another good idea could be leaving your dog at a puppy daycare. Your dog could also find himself, other dog friends, at the daycare. But make sure to first research properly about the place. You can either look up the please on the Internet and go through the reviews there once, or you could also ask your friends about a well-reputed puppy daycare around your neighbourhood where you could keep your dog while you go to work.
- Adopt another furry friend
Provided you have enough resources you could also bring home for your dog a furry friend for it to play with. But before you go onto this option, we would recommend that you try out the other ones first. Adopting another dog is a pretty big step after all! It would not do much good to anyone or either of the dogs if you brought home another dog but field to take proper care of both of them.
Is mental stimulation as important for dogs as physical exercise?
Yes, the mental stimulation of any living being is as important as its physical stimulation and exercise. Its mental exercise is what fuels its physical stimulation or attributes. This is one of the most problematic aspects of leaving a dog home alone for long hours every day.
As we have stated above, there are a lot of ways by which you can keep a dog active even when you, the owner, might not be present there physically. You will notice that most of the options that we have suggested above involve activities where the dog needs to be mentally active as well. Be it interacting with other dogs at puppy daycare call mom or watching and analysing activities going outside from the window, the aim is basically to keep the dog mentally stimulated so that it does not get boring.
If and when a dog, or any pet for that matter, gets bored, it becomes mentally lazy. It would automatically affect his physical attributes and activeness as well. Even before you know it, it would soon start affecting the dog’s health as well! Now we would not ever want that, would we?!
5 mentally stimulating dog toys
We have already enlisted how chew toys can help your dog to remain active and engaged in an activity. Some chew toys can also be built in a way that challenges the mental capabilities off your dog and therefore keeps his mental abilities sharp and running.
There are many more choices that you can opt for regarding mentally stimulating toys for your dog. Below we have enlisted some of the options that you could ponder upon.
- Kong classic
This toy has a pear-like shape. It is hollow on the inside, providing you space for putting in treats for your dog. As your dog chews on this toy, it will be rewarded with the treatment that you have hidden inside it. The smell of the treat inside the toy would also urge your dog to carry on with the exercise.
It has enough space for you to put treats such as peanut butter in it. Peanut butter in fact would be one of the best choices in this case. To further enhance the exercise quotient of the activity, you could also freeze the toy (and hence the peanut butter inside it) after putting the treat in.
- Kong genius
This again is similar to the toy that we discussed just above. However, this toy is better for solid treats. It has an X-shaped opening on one side and another opening which can be later closed, via which you are to put the treat inside the toy. This has a way better able to make the dog’s mind more active and urge to use its brain more.
It is not as easy to jerk out treats from an X-shaped outlet as it is from a uniformly circular one. That is probably why it has the word genius in its name itself!
- Food maze dog toy
This toy is somewhat like the ball you might have had to buy for your dog to train him to eat slower. This toy has a maze-like pattern with treats hidden in every corner of it. It would take a real genius of the brain to get those treats!
This option is also quite helpful as the entire system is cleaner and more compact than any of the other options mentioned so far, which just chew toys. Food also is easier to clean afterward.
- Puzzle ball
Another way to keep clever dogs contended and occupied when home alone could be the puzzle ball! The puzzle ball as it has in its name is a ball, a little bit squishy to give it sufficient bounce. On one end it has a small hole by which you can put treats inside the ball.
However, once you have put the treats in, a small flap would separate the treats inside the ball from the opening of the hole. The flap would not come loose unless your dog has sufficiently thrown and tumbled the ball over. But then again, this would be better off as an outdoor toy as its bombs might affect different accessories when within your house.
- Mazee ball
This is probably the best option that you could come across. This is a transparent ball with visible compartments inside it, where you can put the treats.
The treats come out of the same hole via which you would put them inside the ball. But the catch here is that the treatment would not come out of the hole unless and until the compartments are in proper alignment with the hole in the body of the ball. It would therefore really challenge the mental capabilities of your dog.
The toy is also super easy to clean. You can wash and cleans it with hot water, or even put it in the dishwasher.
Is it okay to keep your dog inside the house for long hours?
In an ideal scenario, no, it is not fine to keep your dog inside the house for long hours. They are quite free-spirited animals and need regular exercise to keep them fit and healthy.
The dogs by nature are not lazy creatures. However, if they are kept in for long hours, say for about 8 hours a day or maybe more, without much for them to do around the house, it could very easily affect their mental growth and therefore its physical growth.
But at the same time, it is also the harsh reality that you have to leave your dog behind, at least for the period when you go off to work. What you can do in this case is to make sure that your dog has something to occupy itself within the time for which it is home alone.
How long can you leave a dog at home?
Dogs are pretty much like humans. They crave companionship just like we do. Now how would you like if you were left in your closed apartment for long hours daily without an image to do around the household? That is exactly how sad your dog might feel, perhaps even sadder.
However, there are things that a person needs to attend to. You cannot stay home all day and all night letting go of all your other activities in life. What you can do is that you can regulate the amount of time for which you leave the dog alone at home.
Dogs are so similar to humans that their life of phases is also quite similar to us. When your dog is just a puppy, you can afford to leave it behind come on home alone, for a maximum of two hours. Again when your dog becomes old, its second childishness appears (just as in humans!) and you cannot again leave it home alone for more than 2 to 4 hours. It is only in its adult phase, that is when your dog is about 18 months old that you can leave it home alone for about 6 hours or so.
All of it said and done, it is always better to first analyse your daily routine before you go onto adopt a dog. Maintaining a pet is as difficult and overwhelming as maintaining a child! It is, therefore, better to first go through your schedule than having your pet compromising for the same later on.