How to keep dogs happy and entertained at home

Every pet owner knows all too well the feeling of guilt when they leave their dog at home alone, especially when they give you those irresistible puppy eyes!

To ensure pet owners are caring for their pet even when they’re not at home, it’s important for owners to think about ways they can keep their pet comfortable, entertained and happy in their absence.

PETstock’s PETschool State Trainer, Mandi Wright, says the best way to keep pets entertained and stimulated at home is to create an enriching environment.

“Pet owners have access to so many great tools and toys that can be used to create a stimulating environment for their pet to help reduce boredom, anxiety or destructive behaviours,” says Mandi.

“Each time you leave your pet at home alone, make sure they have something to keep them busy. Think of it as giving them a “job” that they can work at for several hours.

“Before you leave for the day or evening, make sure your dog has been walked. Daily exercise for dogs is so important and it will help to exert excess energy, making them more comfortable and at ease when left at home.

“Walks are also a great source of mental stimulation for dogs. Allowing them to explore new surroundings and sniff on their walk is essential to tiring out their brain.”

For pet owners looking for new ways of keeping their four-legged friend busy throughout the day, Mandi has compiled some tips on how to create an enriching environment for dogs.

DOGTV

The way that we care for our pets is everchanging, so much so that there is now even a streaming platform for dogs. Designed to keep dogs feeling happy and confident, DOGTV offers pet owners a smart solution to comforting their pet when they’re left to their own devices.

“DOGTV is a fantastic new resource for pet parents looking for solutions to help with their pet’s behavioural or emotional development,” says Mandi.

“The scientifically designed platform enriches the lives of dogs through exciting sights and sounds. From relaxation to stimulation, the scientifically designed programmes act as a source of entertainment, happiness and calm for your dog.”

“When integrating technology into your pet’s regime, it’s important to be present for the first three interactions to ensure a smooth transition. You want to make it a positive experience, so having their favourite items, such as their favourite toy or blanket, nearby will make them feel comfortable.”

Pet owners can enter their dog’s photo or video via PETstock’s Instagram Page @petstock_australia or Facebook Page @PETstock by Thursday 3 June for their chance to become a DOGTV star!

Monthly and annual subscriptions to DOGTV are available exclusively at PETstock stores or online via https://www.petstock.com.au/c/dogtv.

Enrichment toys

Treat dispensing toys, such as Kongs or puzzle feeders, are a fantastic resource for pet owners that want to give help relieve feelings of stress or boredom for their pet.

“Not only do treat dispensing toys provide dogs with nutritional treats throughout the day, but they also provide them with a huge amount of mental stimulation which helps to minimize destructive behaviour,” says Mandi.

Ice cube treats

One of the easiest ways to create a boredom buster for your dog is to give them an ice cube to play with.

“This is one of my favourite ways to keep dogs busy! Not only is it hilarious to watch them run around trying to catch it as it slides across the floor, but it’s a great way to reduce boredom and provide them with comfort,” says Mandi.

“To make it even more enticing and engaging for your dog, add fruit, vegetables, yoghurt or even peanut butter to the cubes before freezing them.”

Sandpit

Dogs that suffer from anxiety will often resort to digging, chewing, or scratching at objects around the home such as doormats, TV remotes or furniture.

“For an extra distraction outdoors, fill a clam pool with sand or soil to make a designated digging area where they can dig and play with toys – it also won’t ruin your garden!” says Mandi.

“To make it even more exciting for your dog, create a treasure hunt by hiding some of their favourite toys or treats throughout the sandpit.”

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