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Quick Fixes for Canine Loneliness and Destructive Behavior
03/25/15 at 07:11 AM | Published Under Dog Behavior
By Sandy Robins
Our dogs are very social creatures. They like nothing more than spending time with their favorite people. Sadly, many spend lonely hours home alone because their pet parents work long days, and, some even have second jobs.
Loneliness and boredom can lead many dogs (and cats) to suffer from separation anxiety and stress. And this can result in a variety of behavioral issues such as excessive and continual barking, scratching and destruction of everything from the living room couch to your favorite shoes.
In fact, if you had a pet video monitor installed, you would probably see that the moment the front door closes, your pooch starts pacing anxiously up and down, trembling and hopefully looking out of the window. Dogs have also been known to go and pee or defecate on your favorite rug, or, even on the bed. Some even start self-mutilating themselves by pulling out chunks of fur and chewing their skin until its raw and bleeding.
It’s really important to recognize that such destructive behavior is not naughtiness and punishing is not the answer!
Fortunately there are some easy fixes to ease such stress and anxiety issues.
It’s a good idea to take your dog for a really long walk in the morning before you go off to work. This way, when you do leave the home, he will be tried from the exercise and content to go and have a nice long snooze.
By leaving some of his favorite toys in different places around the house, when he wakes up, he will be only too happy to go on a treasure hunt to retrieve them and engage in some interactive play. If you leave a couple of treats next to them, his nose will guide him where to go!
The latest goDog™ RIPZZZ plush toys are a great addition to the toy box. The fun fish-shaped toys have Velcro as part of their sturdy construction and dogs love the sound of the Velcro “ripping” as they shakes the toys in an attempt to subdue their prey.
The GoDog™ Wildlife range of realistic looking woodland critters are available in plush and also as stuffing-free flatz and will also provide hours of rough and tough play, withstanding major destruction because of the patented Chew Guard Technology ™.
Constructive play provides mental as well as physical stimulation for canines. Also consider taking a portion of your dog’s daily food allowance and placing it in a puzzle toy that will make him work for his food. This is a great way to keep him engaged and occupy his time.
If you can afford it, consider getting a second dog as a pal for your pet. Some dogs even enjoy feline company. Getting a dog walker to take your dog out for a walk while you are working will give him something to look forward to during the day. If you can’t afford such a luxury, perhaps there is a retired neighbor or friend who may not have pets of their own and would be only too happy to come and doggy-sit. It would give some enjoyment and focus to their day and to your dog’s too.
As a leading multimedia pet lifestyle expert and influencer, Sandy Robins celebrates the wonderful relationship that we have with our pets highlighting trends and innovative ideas as they happen. Sandy documents highlights how trends can improve our pet’s general health and well-being to enhance our human-animal bond. She is the 2013 winner of the Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contribution to the Pet Industry Award presented by the American Pet Products Association. Her award-winning work is very visible on many of the country’s leading pet platforms such as Today.com, MSNBC.com and PawNation, AOL’s pet centric website, and she is a regular contributor in publications like Modern Dog, Dogster and Catster, Pet Age and Consumers Digest. Sandy works as a TV lifestyle spokesperson for PETCO, PetProductTV, and as a pet safety advisor for TOYOTA. As an Author, her books include the award-winning Fabulous Felines: Health and Beauty Secrets for the Pampered Cat and For The Love of Cats, and her latest book, The Original Cat Bible. Sandy’s personal blog called Reigning Cats and Dogs highlights product reviews covering the complete spectrum of pet products. As a keynote speaker, Sandy has proudly spoken at the Troux Nutrition Conference and at BlogPaws 2015.