Pet owners may wish they could cuddle their furry companions all day long, but someone’s got to bring home the kibble. Here are some tips for leaving your four-legged charges on their own.
Tucker Them Out
Some dogs are happy to sleep all day, but puppies and breeds such as border collies and huskies were born to run, says Sarah Pennington, owner of Vancouver’s Yaletown Dog Training. Fit in a vigorous walk-between 30 and 60 minutes-before work.
Play Mind Games
Even the most docile of pets can howl or gnaw out of boredom or separation anxiety. Serve your dog breakfast in a feeding toy that has them unlock a puzzle to access their food. Give indoor cats a gizmo that taps into their wild instincts, such as a noise-making crinkle ball.
Contain, Don’t Crate
Nature calls for young dogs about every half-hour, but resist putting your canine in a crate. Instead, keep them in a safe and chew-free area with access to food, water, toys, their crate and a spot for them to do their business.
Keep Watch, Big Brother Style
You can supervise, talk to and play with your pet while at work via your computer or smartphone app. Video chat with your animal over Skype by setting up an account for them and enabling the “auto answer” feature. As long as your home computer is on, your pet’s Skype will always pick up when you call.