I just got a new job that has me away from home for 11 hours a day, five days a week. My mother said she would watch her and has now renigged on her offer. What can I do to make her less lonely while she is alone? I have even thought about finding her a new home, but I am too selfish. I love her so much. Please help.
By Tina from Orange County, CA
When I had a puppy, someone advised me to keep the TV on while I was away, and put it on either Animal Planet or Cartoon Network. The other animal sounds from Animal Planet and the high pitched voices from Cartoon Network made her calmer, because she felt as if she wasn't alone.
Don't worry so much, invest in a toy that you can fill with food like a Kong or something you can stuff with peanut butter and let the dog play with it all day. Leave interesting things out to play with and change them out all day.
Leave him a blanket you have rubbed on yourself on top of a new dog bed and buy a box of treats that he only gets when you get home and give him one everyday. Go for walks that are fun. He will probably find things to do.
Training would be a fun way to spend quality time with your dog. (05/08/2009)
By Robyn Fed
I work nights, so I have to sleep during the day. My dachshund of course will not sleep much past 9am. To keep him occupied, I hide some of his toys around the house where he is allowed, and leave the TV on Animal Planet. He likes that and hunting shows. He likes to see the animals moving around on the screen, and look behind it to see if they are there. I know that you are worried. You will be able to tell in a few days if your baby is adjusting well to this. They can usually deal with a lot more than we think they can. Good luck to you. (05/08/2009)
fatboyslimsmom. You made me laugh. Your baby looks behind the TV to see where the animals go. I had a black miniature Poodle who watched TV and fish. He even used to watch me elf bowl on my computer (Christmas internet game). A little deer would cross the bowling lane and he would be mesmerized. Sophia is not much for TV. But I leave a voice activated recorder on. It has a counter on it, she is down to 4, so she is crying less. A lot less.
Thank you all for all the good advice given and yet to come. I love this site, everyone is so helpful. And I love the dog pics. (05/09/2009)
Put a mirror up on the floor, she will see herself and perhaps not be as lonely. Keep the TV or radio on at all times (I do this for our animals). They hear human voices and are comforted by them. Besides an intruder would not come into a home where there are voices or the possibility of someone watching the TV. Good luck and keep us informed on what you do. (05/13/2009)
I also have to leave my dog for several hours while I am at work. I find she is less lonely if I leave the cats inside with her. A nice bone or some chewy pig trotters or ears keep them busy for some time. Otherwise leave some doggy toys around the house for your fur baby to play with. Kongs are fantastic too. Good luck. (05/13/2009)
I don't know your situation, but what worked for us was we had some very responsible high school girls in the neighborhood, who would take our dogs out for a bathroom break and play time after school. They were happy to earn a little spending money, but this was less expensive than a formal dog walker, doggy day care, etc. The dogs are very fond of the girls now. Sadly they are graduating next year so I hope I can find someone else as good and responsible. (05/14/2009)
With small breeds, I think they get extra lonely, because they are "lap babies". I have small breed dogs. But, my little dog, was so happy when we choose to get another little dog to be a companion. I did get the same breed, and I've tried the same sex, and the opposite sex. I think with girl dogs, they seem "flirty" with a boy dog, so, after awhile, we tried girls. I've had better luck with the companion to a girl, being a girl, with Chihuahuas. This is true especially with them getting older, they just grow old and take care of each other together, but, I've had them since they were pups.
With small breed boy dogs, they must have a girl, they don't "buddy up" with other boy dogs, like the girls do. You may or may not want pups, so, fix accordingly. They love us being around, but, when we're gone, they have each other. Try to get the same age of your dog, or a little younger, so your dog will probably be the "alpha dog". Hope this helps. Glinda (05/14/2009)
Try a ComfortZone diffuser. They are wonderful. You can get them at Petsmart or online. They just plug in like a Glade plug-in. They give off the scent of the mother dog that only dogs can smell. It's very comforting to them. (05/14/2009)
What I did when I was working was I'd call the house every hour or so, lengthening the time between calls periodically until I didn't have to call at all. This took many months, but it only takes a minute or two and the dogs love it.
I call the house and when the answering machine picks up I call the dogs by name and talk to them for a minute. Just silly things. All they care about is it's my voice. It really helps to relieve their loneliness and any separation anxiety. (05/14/2009)
How about getting a cat? Maybe they would be buddies. (05/19/2009)
Pay a teenager to take her out for a walk every day and play with her this summer. Most any teenage girl would love to spoil this little sweetie. Then when school starts back up, maybe this teenager could come by after school and play with her or walk her for half an hour. If not a teenager, hire a dog-walker. Ask at your local pet store. Also, doggie-daycare once or twice a week could be something to look into. This way she could play with other doggies her size.
Everything will work itself out. Don't let "your heart break", keep a happy attitude and your happiness will be passed on to your little doggie-friend. You don't want to pass on "sad" or "bad" vibes. Dogs can tell these things. Don't worry, Be happy! (07/19/2009)
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