In this day and age it is, unfortunately, essential for many of us that we have to be out at work all day. This can often mean that poor Fido is left alone to amuse himself. This has to be carefully managed so as not to cause psychological problems for him such as extreme boredom which in turn can cause problems for us such as a wrecked house! Some people are lucky enough to be able to take their dog to work with them but for the rest of us, we have to find ways to keep Fido entertained and out of mischief.
An adult dog will naturally sleep most of the day but during his waking hours will need to be mentally stimulated to avoid boredom and separation anxiety. Even a dog which is kept in an outdoor run during the day requires some form of entertainment if he is not to become a nuisance barker. This means finding ways to keep him occupied.
If you can afford it, employing a dog sitter or walker to come and take him out during the day is an ideal solution. If not, then arm yourself with toys for the dog to play with. Make sure these are robust enough to withstand a good shaking and chewing and, most importantly, try to vary which toys he has on different days so that he doesn’t get bored with them. Buy him new ones on a regular basis; much cheaper than new furniture!
A popular device, which all dogs love, is the Kong. This is conically-shaped, made from hard rubber, with a small hole in one end and a slightly bigger hole in the opposite end into which you put food treats for the dog to find. These could be his usual kibble or biscuits. It is best to mix these in with meat paste or peanut butter, for example, the idea being that they are slightly difficult, but not impossible, to extract. There are also now food dishes available in major pet stores and online, which fulfil the same slow-release of food principle. You could even put the Kong in the freezer overnight so that as it gradually thaws it takes longer to get the treats out. This is especially useful during the summer months. You could make something called a doggy popsicle, which could be something like chicken broth or a mixture of this with peanut butter or marmite and carrots or kibble. Freeze it overnight then take it out and leave it for the dog to slowly lick. Of course, remember to place this somewhere easy to clean!
Best of all, when you get home, take him out for a good long walk or book in with the Finchley Dog Walker and let me help your dog run off all that pent-up energy.