Balance Long Hours at Work with your Pet

Written by Sierra Alvis

Balance your need to work late with taking care of your pet.  If your dog has been acting weird, he/she may be bored or upset. Here's advice on taking care of pooch. 
It's a familiar story. You come home from work, sink into your favorite chair and your faithful dog brings you your slippers. Only this time, your slippers are in bite-sized pieces, your curtains are covered in claw marks and that is not your dinner steaming on the table.

Give your furry friend toys: chewing knots or battery operated toys that move.
Change your pet's routine. Walk on a different path, change his schedule.
Get a friend or a dog walker to take your pet our if you can't. 
Keep the radio on when you're gone.
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The 10-hour work day, coupled with long commutes, gym memberships and dinner dates can leave your pet feeling ignored and bored. If your normally well-behaved dog has started barking, chewing or digging excessively, he could need some extra attention.

By taking a few simple steps before you leave for the office, you can help curb your dog's destructive behavior and keep you both happier at day's end.

Mess With His Mind
Help to stave off boredom by buying him toys that will stimulate his problem-solving and hunting skills. Food hidden inside a ball, chewing knots and battery-operated toys that move, are all ways to keep your dog's mind sharp. Experts suggest freezing a small piece of meat or cheese into an ice cube. Your dog will lick and bite the ice until he gets his prize.

If your dog's attention is kept on toys and games, he'll be less likely to resort to destroying your yard and furniture.

Spice Things Up
Offer him new food or treats. Change the route of his daily walks. Move his food dish to different locations in your home. Visit a dog park. Dogs, like people, become bored with the same daily routine. Mixing up his schedule or introducing him to some new sights and smells, could be just what he needs to pull him out of his doggy rut.

If you don't have enough time to walk him on a daily basis, enlist the help of a dog-walker or pet sitter who will not only interact with your dog but also introduce him to other pets.

Keep Him Company
To prevent your dog from becoming too lonely, keep the radio or television on while you're away. Human voices can be a great comfort to pets, as can the sight of other animals. Many pet stores sell videos and CDs that are meant to keep your dog from becoming bored.

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