You might send your four-legged friend to doggy day care or take plenty of walks, but there are times when your fur baby needs to be alone in the house for a while. When left alone, dogs can resort to destructive behaviour if they get bored or suffer from separation anxiety. Here are a few tried and tested ways to keep your furry Fido happy (and out of trouble!) while you’re out:
Play treat hide-and-seek
If you’ve got time for a few training sessions, hide a number of small treats around the house for them to seek out and find while you’re away. Start by rubbing the treat’s scent in an area and encouraging the dog to find it with a verbal cue. Reward with an extra treat and they’ll soon know what to do. Hide the treats in dog-accessible places where they won’t disturb other household items, such as in boxes, under beds or in corners. Switch the spots up often to provide a stimulating, rewarding and distracting activity.
Got a few old shirts? Cut them into strips, braid to your desired thickness and knot the ends to create DIY chew ropes. Make sure they’re braided and knotted tightly to ensure no unravelling or choking hazards. If you’re after a more durable fabric, try denim from an old pair of jeans. Alternatively, tie a shirt around an old plastic water bottle if your dog likes noisy toys.
Use treat puzzles
There’s a plethora of “kong”-type toys available that distribute treats as they are played with, or have space for food to be “nosed” out. For an extra “food-access” challenge, use diluted meat or vegetable stock and freeze with treats in cube or ice-block moulds. This provides a slow-release experience (so food isn’t gobbled up instantly) and is perfect for the coming summer months.
Rotate and distract
Keep a few toys aside so you can give a different one or two each time you go out. Rather than having them all at once and all the time, the variety will keep them entertained and intrigued. Don’t forget, another simple distraction can be a radio turned to calming, quiet music, or a TV (why not put animal planet on?).
However you keep your dog happy at home, you can use Morepork’s smart home security system to check up on them from your smartphone or tablet while you’re out. AMI and Morepork have teamed up to offer the first six months of your 12-month Morepork plan free when you take out AMI House Insurance. Plus, you’ll get a free Morepork Security Starter Kit and smoke alarm* To find out more, see our info page here.
*Limited stocks, terms and conditions apply.