Five ways to keep your pup happy and healthy, even when times get “ruff”: Inspired by Claudia and Mac.
At just over a year old, Mac is an adorable Toy Maltese who loves people, playtime and pulling apart his toys. In his free-time he likes to snuggle and play fetch with tiny tennis balls. On top of that, he will always appreciate a carrot when it’s time for a treat!
This wonderful little boy came into my life when my caring dog-loving roommate, Claudia Fogel, brought him into our home. She adopted him when he was just a little baby and has raised him to be a well-behaved young pup. She is an outstanding parent and Mac loves her for it! He is lucky enough to go on multiple walks a day and spend time with many compassionate people who love him very much.
However, we have found that sometimes, our lives get busy and it can become difficult to dedicate large chunks of time to our pets (due to long hours at work, school, or special events). But of course we never stop thinking about them because we know how much care they deserve!
Thanks to Claudia, we have developed a couple of steps indicating how to keep your pup from feeling down in the dumps when they get lonely. Just because you aren’t always home, doesn’t mean you can’t get the most out of the time you have together!
1. Find someone who is willing to walk, play with or let out your furry friend when you don’t have the time. It doesn’t have to be a paid professional… perhaps just a friend helping out another friend, or a neighbor who is close by. Claudia always makes sure that
Mac has a chance to get out of the house many times every day to get exercise and go to the bathroom. Believe me, he appreciates it!
2. Set them up with a bunch of toys in a comfortable area before you go. Even though you may not be home, dogs might find comfort being around the things they love most, their toys! These toys probably remind them of you which can be comforting when no one else is around. It wouldn’t hurt to shelter them with a blanket or two either.
3. Take them on a run when you get back home. If your dog is young and healthy, it is a great idea to run with them! This way, you aren’t leaving your pup lonely (again) and putting the gym first… you’re combining the two and hitting two birds with one stone. Who wouldn’t want extra quality time with their favorite companion? Plus, after being cooped up all day, a run would be a great way for your dog to get rid of some of that extra energy.
4. Reward their positive behaviors. When you see your pup getting along with the company you invited over or perhaps after going on that run, reward them for it! Dogs will be more prone to stay upbeat and happy when they are gratified for it. However, do not simply give them treats because they are moping. This will only instill negative behaviors in your dog, teaching that those sad puppy dog eyes are indefinitely the way to get more treats out of you.
5. Organize a play-date. Most dog owners know other dog owners, in which case, there is no excuse for keeping your pup from making new friends. Letting your dog socialize is a great way to help them from feeling down in the dumps. It also allows for extra playtime with a friend who may be more inclined to keep up with running and wrestling, etc. (If you don’t know anyone specifically to plan a play-date with, find a local dog park and take your pup there. It’s a great way for dogs to meet each other!)
Claudia and I want to make sure that Mac is kept healthy and happy everyday. Hopefully these steps inspire you to do the same!
Mac posing for a picture.