Now contrast that to the life of the average dog. Most dogs get a few short walks a week, and generally are left to fend for themselves while their owners head off to work. My pack is lucky to have a work-at-home leader. But what about others?
Can you imagine the boredom of being left behind 2 walls for the entire day, with only a chew bone and a few toys. Think about this from the dog's viewpoint. He wants to play, but with who? He wants to chew, but knows he'll be reprimanded when his owner arrives home, if he does.After an hour of pacing the house, checking all windows and doors for possible escape, Fido drops for a nap, mostly out of pure boredom. No wonder he is so happy to see you when you arrive home!
Have I described your dog? There is something you can do about it. New Years is coming and along with it that Resolution you always consider. How successful have you been with achieving those goals? Maybe this year's resolution could revolve around your Rover. Try one or more of these on for size:
- I will walk my dog for a total of 1 hour or more every day, so he will get to see the sights and smell the smells of the world's smorgasbord.
- I will create some Busy Bones to freeze, and leave one with my dog each time I depart for more than a couple of hours.
- I will shop for some safe, mentally stimulating toys to help my dog enjoy problem-solving activities to work his brain and tire him out.
- I will rotate toys so that each time I offer one, it will seem like a long lost friend.
- Knowing that many dogs will not eat or drink while their owner is away, I will assure Fido is fed and given an opportunity to eliminate before I leave. I will always leave an adequate amount of fresh water available.
- I will evaluate my home's dangers to my dog and block access to these or remove them, if possible.
- If my dog is in the house-training phase, I will arrange sufficient bathroom breaks and walks with a neighborhood friend or petsitter, to help my puppy learn good house manners.
- I will provide training to assure that my dog is well-behaved and not a danger to others.
- I will socialize my dogs with both humans and other dogs from an early age to assist him in learning good manners and having healthy relationships.
- When I leave for a long outing, I will assure that my Fido is fed, tired from activity, and ready for a long nap to pass the time.
- When I return after a long day, I will reserve time to exercise and practice training or have playtime with my dog, to continue the bond and expend his pent-up energy.
|© Carrie Boyko|
Mentally and Physically Stimulating
Activities will Bring Out the Best in Fido
Which Resolutions would suit your dog the best? Think about him when planning your New Year's Resolutions. Remember that this relationship is one that will give back more than you put into it, for many years to come. Build the bond!