KEEP YOUR GREYHOUND BUSY WHILE YOU’RE AT WORK
We can’t all work at home anymore, or take our dogs to work with us, so many of our hounds are spending a lot of time alone during the workweek. You think about your dog all alone at home — and you wonder what they’re doing or if they’re bored or lonely. Leaving your pup home alone is inevitable for many working dog owners. If they become bored and make their own fun, that does not bode well for us. However, this doesn't have to present a problem because here are seven ways to keep your pup entertained while you are away at work.
A TIRED DOG IS A GOOD DOG
First, try to tire them out before you leave. Dogs need about 12-14 hours of sleep a day, but you can’t expect your dog to sleep all day if he’s not tired. Take him for a walk before you go, or let him have some outdoor time in the backyard, or have an early game of chase the ball(s). He’ll be much more content to sleep after he’s had a chance to tire himself out. A super comfy dog bed is a good investment too.
1. EARN THEIR BREAKFAST
Our dogs were bred to work alongside us, and a lot of our dogs are missing out on some mentally stimulating activities. One of the easiest ways to challenge your dog’s mind is by making them work for their meals. Have your dog work for their breakfast by using a food dispensing toy, like a Kong Wobble or a snuffle mat. NOTE: you should never leave your dog alone with any toy unless you’re certain they will not eat it!
They’re natural scavengers, so having to work for food isn’t mean or unusual — it’s normal and mentally stimulating for them. You don’t have to buy a special toy either. Just take a few minutes to hide little bits of kibble here and there throughout the area where your dog spends his days, so that it all adds up to his regular meal. If you don’t feed kibble, read on – there are more ideas that may be better suited to you both.
2. A ROOM WITH A VIEW
Dogs like to know what’s happening outside so give them a chance to scope out the yard. A lot of dogs love napping in the warm sunlight in front of windows. Leave the drapes/blinds open so they can see who is walking by, or check out the neighborhood squirrels or bunnies. Remember to keep the window closed! You don’t want your dog bursting through the screen when he sees a squirrel.
3. DOG TV
If a window view isn’t practical, see if your houndie pays attention to the television. If so, leaving a TV on all day may help keep them entertained, and hearing a human voice may help him feel less lonely. According to National Geographic, dogs are fully capable of recognizing the images they see on TV. Some dogs love watching TV and can be entertained by their favorite shows for hours. There are even specific channels, like DogTV, that play programs adapted to the canine brain. Or you can keep it tuned to Animal Planet. Alternately, You Tube has videos for dogs to watch, like this 8-hour charmer https://tinyurl.com/2p8dd9xd.
If you don’t want your dog addicted to daytime television, test out his love for music. A study done with a large group of rescue dogs showed classical music can keep dogs calm, but loud, grating music can have the opposite effect. Comcast has several classical Music Choice channels . Another study found reggae music is also pleasing to the canine brain. The science of sounds for dogs has even spread to audiobooks. Audible has an entire collection of audiobooks specifically chosen and narrated to entertain dogs and keep them calm.
5. GO HOME FOR LUNCH/HIRE A DOG WALKER
You need to take a lunch break anyway, why not spend it with your dog? A visit from you in the middle of the day, even if it’s 15 minutes, will give your Greyhound a break from monotony. It’ll also give him a chance to empty his bladder. If a lunchtime visit from you won’t work, consider hiring a dog walker. You could even ask a friend or neighbor to drop in for a few minutes and entertain your dog. Your dog will love the company and the extra loving and exercise will do him good.
6. BUSY BUCKET
Other than commercially made dog toys (a stuffed Kong is a perennial favorite), you can make a “Busy Bucket” for your dog. To create these homemade time-consumers, take a sturdy plastic or aluminum pail and throw some treats at the bottom. After the treats, put one of your dog’s favorite toys in the pail, and then fill the surrounding space with a hand towel. Continue to layer and tightly pack the bucket with toys, treats and towels that promote problem solving, as well as big chew treat to top it off. As the dog searches through the pail, they’ll discover layers upon layers of entertainment.
Technology is catching on to the dog lover’s plight, and pet webcams are now a popular home addition. There are plenty out there to choose from, and they allow working dog parents to remotely check in on their pets during the day. For the best experience, find a camera that allows you to talk to your dog through a speaker. You can tell him how wonderful he is or distract him when he’s about to do something naughty.
It’s expensive, but I love this one on Amazon: Owl Robot- Mobile Full HD Pet Camera with Treat Dispenser, Interactive Toy, Remote Control via App, 2-way audio. You can move it around remotely, play hide ‘n seek, control treat dispensing.
Try out some of the ideas on this list that you think will best entertain your dog. Remember to always prioritize your pup’s safety. If all goes well, he’ll stay happy during the day and be waiting with a wagging tail and a smile when you come home.
Have you found something that keeps your dog happy while you're away? If so, please share in the comments below.