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Smart Dog Toys: Do you work long hours and rarely get to spend quality time with your pet? Or are you so tired after a long day that your dog doesn’t get much attention?
These are common problems in the modern world. More of us are working full-time, which can mean our pup’s needs take a back seat.
The good news is that dogs don’t need expensive gifts or holidays. A few simple games and the odd 10-minute bonding session can make the world of difference. Here are five fun ways to give your dog the attention and stimulation he craves.
- Play Indoor Mental Games
Many dog owners make the mistake of thinking the only way to tire a dog is through physical exercise. While walks are vital for your dog’s health, mental stimulation is just as important.
A great game to play if you have a spare five minutes is “hide the toy.” Show your dog a toy, then ask him to wait. Hide the toy in an easy place in a different room, then release him with the command “find it.” Reward and praise your pet when he touches the toy.
This takes some practice, so your dog might not understand the game straight away. If he doesn’t find the toy, try easier places in the same room so he can see where you put it. Make sure you reward every time he touches the toy after the “find it” command. It won’t take long before he starts to associate the treat with finding the toy.
As he gets better at this game, you can try harder hiding places. This is one of the best ways to mentally tire your dog without needing to go outside.
- Make Time for Hugs with Your Pet
Like anything important in life, you should make a conscious effort to spend time with your pet. Even if it’s only 10-minutes before you go to bed, your dog will appreciate it and your bond will become stronger.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to settle down with your dog while watching the TV. For small dogs, you can get a pillow and create a makeshift bed on your lap. Larger dogs might need to go on a mat next to you.
A fun grooming session can also have a similar effect. Use a soft brush on your dog’s fur to remove any loose tangles, while giving the occasional treat. Dogs that don’t mind being groomed will love this – although it’s best to avoid it if your dog isn’t sure about brushes.
Most importantly, don’t underestimate the effect 10-15 minutes of attention each day can have on your pet. This is especially important if a dog is left alone all day.
- Get a Doggy Camera
If you’re at work all day, it’s natural to worry about your pet. Is he safe? Is he ripping up the sofa? Or is he barking all day and annoying the neighbours?
A simple solution is a dog camera. These connect to your home’s WiFi and allow you to watch your pet in real-time from your smartphone. The best models also have two-way audio, video and even treat dispensers.
While a pet camera can’t replace proper attention, they are great for playing simple games and talking to your dog during the day. A camera can also provide peace of mind that your pet is safe and well.
- Take Your Dog for Dinner
If you feel guilty about leaving your dog alone in the evening, why not take him with you?
Many restaurants have outdoor seating that’s great for dogs. If your pet is happy to chill out under the table, this can be a great way to spend more time together while getting a tasty meal.
This is also an excellent way to teach self-control. Outdoor restaurants have a variety of distractions, so take some treats with you and reward your pet for sitting still.
Of course, if your dog is reactive, especially towards people or other dogs, a busy restaurant probably isn’t the best place to take him. A picnic in a quiet park could be the perfect substitute though.
- Teach Basic Agility
Both mental and physical stimulation can reduce problem behaviours, make your dog feel happier and improve your bond. Combining the two is even better though – and that’s why agility training is such a useful tool for owners.
When you first start agility, it’s a good idea to take your dog to a few evening classes. These are great for tiring out your pet and teaching the basics. You can expect to learn simple activities such as jumping hurdles, walking over ramps and going through tunnels.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you might want to consider buying some agility equipment for the garden or park. Spending 15-minutes in the evening doing some agility training is an excellent way to relax and let your dog burn off extra energy.
You can even do this inside during bad weather. Setup a few cones and mini-jumps in the living room then teach your dog to complete the course. While this can’t match outdoor training, it’s a good substitute during the winter.
While most of us would love to spend the day playing with our pets, other commitments get in the way. With work, chores, socializing, children and countless other distractions, dogs often get less attention than they need.
Fortunately, most dogs only need a small amount of extra play time, attention and mental stimulation to improve their wellbeing. So, don’t get stressed or feel guilty about not being with your dog all the time. Instead, use these tips to make the most of your time together.
Below are our recommended Smart Dog Toys Online Today for your Dogs:
Joy Zobel is a Labrador owner. She is the manager of https://doggroomarena.com/ that has been developed to help people solve the troubles of pet ownership. She is an active advocate of odering the best dog food online for your dog. She wants people to understand that dog-behavior/health is reflective of our behavior towards.