Dogs require daily mental stimulation or they may become anxious and destructive, even developing undesirable behaviours such as barking or chewing.
Scavenger hunts can be an engaging and interactive way to keep your pup occupied! Try hiding treats under several boxes and encouraging your dog to find it with his nose; alternatively, try feeding him treats from an interactive toy that dispenses food! To further encourage their foraging instincts!
Dogs need mental stimulation in order to remain content and avoid acting out in negative ways, like barking or chewing things that shouldn’t be chewed or biting people who don’t belong to them. Without it, dogs can resort to other destructive behaviour like barking and biting others instead.
Be sure to walk your pet before work as part of your daily routine – this will tire them out so they’re less likely to demand attention later!
If your pup becomes too excited at any particular person or object on a walk, try using a tug to redirect their energy back. If this fails, use your foot (without kicking!) instead to redirect your focus.
Enrichment feeding can also be an excellent way to keep your pup active and entertained. Hide food throughout the house to encourage their natural foraging instincts and to help burn off extra energy.
Play with a toy
If your dog stays with you while you work, toys can help keep him engaged and stimulated. Food puzzle toys and snuffle mats can encourage natural foraging behaviours while also decreasing unwanted behaviours like excessive barking.
Tethered toys may also make an ideal option. Just ensure it doesn’t hang too long or contain a string that could become chewable or pose a potential choking risk for your pup!
Dogs frequently play with their toys to relieve themselves of boredom or separation anxiety, and you can encourage this behaviour by placing some of your favourite ones in a cupboard and rotating them out while you work. This should provide plenty of distraction while you get things done!
Give him a treat
One of the best ways to keep your pup occupied while at work is with food-related activities. Try hiding treats under cups (or upside-down flower pots if your pup is larger), and when their paw lands on one, lift it up to reveal their treat and praise them – this activity will keep their minds stimulated for extended periods.
Animal behaviour experts advise rotating enrichment activities throughout the week in order to keep your pup entertained and engaged with new challenges. This is particularly effective if your pup has become used to midday walks and play sessions with you but needs to remain at home due to work commitments during the pandemic season.
Give your pup an item like a Kong or West Paw Toppl with food-dispensing capabilities as another means to distract and teach him or her how to solve issues independently. Not only will this be a great way to keep them entertained for extended periods, but it will also teach them valuable problem-solving skills!
Give him a bed
Have a dog bed ready at home to help keep your pup calm and content throughout the day. This is particularly effective for helping those suffering from separation anxiety. Just make sure your pup knows to use his own bed instead of you when sleeping at night, otherwise he could become distressed at this change in routine.
To encourage your dog to use their bed, give a treat every time they do so. Soon you’ll be able to leave them alone longer periods without issues. If they refuse, try switching up their smell with something like using another bed or blanket from home; or donate old beds directly to local animal shelters or rescues to assist dogs who don’t yet have one of their own!