Even if you chose to hire a pet sitter to break up your dog’s day while you’re at work or away from home, there is still going to be points during the day where your dog is alone.
If your dog becomes bored, they WILL find a way to keep themselves entertained. Perhaps they will venture into the kitchen to see if they can get into the garbage or open some cupboards to see what kind of goodies are hidden inside. Or maybe they will decide that your daughter’s stuffed animal looks like the perfect chew toy to keep them occupied!
Dogs not only need physical exercise but they also need mental stimulation as well. So how do you keep your dog’s mind occupied and engaged while you’re not there?
Try these 3 pet sitter approved tricks:
Stuffed Kong Toys
Prepare this the night before you’re going to leave your pup alone.
The best way to stuff a kong?
Step 1: add a bit of dried liver, peanut butter or cheese into the little hole on top
Step 2: Fill about 1/3 of the kong cavity with dog treats such as marrow bites or regular (small) biscuits
Step 3: Fill the remaining 2/3 of the kong with canned food or dry dog food nuggets
Step 4: Leave a treat sticking out of the opening to provide immediate pay off and entice your dog to want to continue digging through the Kong for more!
Step 5: Freeze over night. Not only does it feel good on their teeth, it makes tackling the Kong more of a challenge for them!
(Note: be sure to account for all of the extra calories they will be eating by cutting back their food a little bit so they don’t gain weight)
Hide and Seek
This game is fun and easy!
First, you’ll need to put your dog in a room by himself or in the bathroom while you set everything up (other wise it’s no fun!)
Take some of your dog’s dry dog food or favorite treats and hide them around your home. They can be hidden behind chairs, on the stairs, around corners, really you can hide them anywhere!
Don’t make it too challenging for your dog to find the treats, otherwise they’ll give up. You also don’t want to stuff them too far underneath things because your dog could scratch at furniture trying to reach them.
While your gone, your dog will spend his time using his nose and his mind to figure out where the treats are hidden and will keep him plenty busy and satisfied!
(Can you tell I am a big fan of Kong toys??)
The Kong Wobbler is essentially a giant weeble-wobble, it has sand at the bottom of it to prevent it from ever completely tipping over. As your dog nudges it with her nose, it tips on its side a bit and then bounces right back up, dropping little pieces of dog food or treats as it does so.
This keeps your dog happily entertained and rewarded. She has to figure out how to keep getting treats out of the toy so the excitement doesn’t wear off until there’s no treats left.
Here’s what you do:
Fill the bottom container of the Kong Wobbler with kibble or treats small enough to fit through the treat dispensing hole.
Place the Wobbler in the middle of the room and let your dog enjoy the fun!
All of these tips are extremely easy for you, as the pet parent, to set up for your dog. The reward is a happy, well entertained dog who is more focused on his toys and the “task” at hand rather than wandering through the house looking for things to get into on his own!
We’d love to hear from you! Do you have any games/toys that your dog loves to play while you’re away? Comment below and tell us about them!
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