You come home after a long day at work and the trash is out of the bin strewed all over the kitchen, the toilet paper is ripped to shreds, and your pet’s bed stuffing is in tufts across the living room.
You look at your pet and want to correct them but then you know they won’t get why they are being corrected because all of this happened over the course of the day.
It’s a common occurrence for many pet owners to come home to these types of scenes. Your pet has been left alone all day and, honestly, we can’t expect them to be on their best behavior all the time. They, just like us, get bored and when left to their own devices will sometimes wreck some havoc to get a little attention.
So how do we prevent this from playing out? Well, I have some tips and tricks for you that will help keep your pet active while no one's home.
Stick with me, because now that many of us are finally going back to work and not staying home- your pets may just need something to occupy their time.
A daily mealtime and playtime routine, not only keeps pets happy everyday, it’s a way to prepare them for when I’m away from home.
Pro Tip: Follow the same morning, afternoon or evening routines everyday. Examples of this would be if I go out in the morning- I do a morning routine, go out and do the evening routine when I return. If it’s midday when I leave the house, I follow a morning and afternoon routine, go out and return for an evening feeding routine.
Routines should include scooping litter boxes if you have cats or letting the dog out for potty time.
Leave toys out for them to play with while you are gone. I always leave toys for the cats to play with on their own, but I also play with them before I leave. Most of the time, I return home to find my cats in the same place curled up peacefully.
With my dog, Snoopy, I followed the same feeding and potty schedule everyday, but I had to tire him out. He was a high-energy dog when he was younger. He also had separation anxiety, so playtime was definitely needed before I left the house.
Dogs also need to keep busy when you’re not at home. Leave a fluffy or tuffy toy out, maybe a peanut-butter filled toy, as well as comfy blankets.
As my dog has aged, he’s happy with blueberry treats, hugs, a plushy toy to snuggle with and a soft blanket. Snoopy is obsessed with soft throws, so he gets a fresh one every time we go out.
If you are looking for a new plush blanket or throw- check out the ones we have in the shop here. They are so soft! Your pooch will love them!
If they have a lot of energy make sure to play with them before you leave so they know once you’re gone it's time for a nap or rest.
Play time doesn’t need to take a long time, but it does need to be quality time. Ten minutes of interactive playtime uses your cats or dogs' energy.
Pro Tip for Cat Owners: I sprinkle catnip on their cardboard scratchers, and rotate their toys before I leave the house.
Other things you can do to help them pass the time while you’re away is have interactive play with a laser toy and long rods with attachments.
Leave the TV on. Cats and dogs love to watch TV. Try a fish channel for your cat or they have a pet channel that you can try for your dogs.
Pro Tip: I strongly recommend the TV to be attached to the wall in a stud- the cats may jump at the TV!
If I’m gone for more than 12 hours, I will get a pet sitter. Some dogs may need a pet sitter to visit them after 6 hours. Yes, this is a real job and, honestly, your pet will thank you for it! After all, your fur baby is part of your family and deserves nothing but the best!
Also, a great treat can be enrichment slow feeder bowls and lick pads. They are great to use when you want to show your pet some love while you're gone.
I hope that helps you and your fur baby readjust to you being away. I know it has been hard to leave those lovable guys alone, but use these tips to help set them up for the best transition as things are finally getting back to normal. Well, a new normal that is!