How To Keep Pets Busy At Home

Even the calmest pets can get bored when left at home for the day.  Being bored and alone can also result in your cat or dog participating in some destructive behaviors.  Here are some tips on how to keep them busy even when you’re away!

  • Designated morning playtime: Relieve some of their pent-up animal energy before you even leave home.  Waking up 15 minutes early to go for a walk, jog, or for playtime can make all the difference to your pet’s lonely day.
  • Don’t make a big deal of leaving: If you get emotional about leaving them behind, your pet will sense it.  Play it cool and it will help keep them calm.
  • Leave them with something to do: Without mental stimulation, our pets can get bored and try to find their own fun or take their stress out on your furniture.  Leaving an interactive toy (like a frozen peanut butter stuffed toy or motorized cat toy) can help the time go by faster for our pets.
  • Evening activities: Whether this is time spent playing, grooming, or snuggling with your pet, be sure to spend time with them-even after a long day at school or work.  It will remind them that they are an important part of your life.’
  • Pet-sitter: Whether this is a neighbor, another family member, or a paid professional, having someone to come over around mid-day can really soothe your pet’s nerves.  This breaks up the time that they are left alone and gives them some social interaction-even if it’s not with you.
  • Doggie daycare: Sometimes dropping your dog off only once or twice a week at a daycare can make all the difference.  Socializing with other dogs and having lots of playtime will tire them out both mentally and physically.

If these tips and tricks aren’t enough to keep your pet calm while you’re gone, ask your veterinarian about these products!

1) Thundershirt: Made for both cats and dogs, we’re sure you’ve seen these during commercial breaks or in your local pet store.  The concept behind these vests is that they provide slight, comforting pressure to your pet to ease their anxiety.  A similar concept seen in us humans is when we are calmed when hugging someone. Depending on your individual pet, this medication-free product may be all your pet needs to “take the edge off” during stressful situations.
2) Adaptil for Dogs:  This pheromone product calms your canine companion down and can even help reduce multi-dog tension. By using a synthetic version of the pheromones that your dog’s mother used to calm him as a pup, Adaptil can help your pup stay calm while you’re away from home for the day!
3) Feliway for Cats: This product can be used to resolve scratching, spraying, excessive hiding, and even aggression issues in your anxious cat.  Like Adaptil, Feliway uses pheromone technology to allow cats to feel safe during unfamiliar or tense experiences.  If your kitty is stressed when you’re not home, this product may help him remain calm until you return.
4) Composure by Vetri-Science:  This product also has formulas for both cats and dogs.  It can come either as a bite-sized chew or in liquid form.  Composure has several calming ingredients, including L-Theanine (which is found in various tea leaves) and B vitamins.  Composure acts as a supplement rather than a sedative and can be used daily in pets with separation anxiety.
Here at Emerald Animal Hospital, your pet’s physical and mental health are our top priorities! Our caring veterinarians are ready to work with you and your pet to make sure their minds are at ease, even when you’re not at home.  Give us a call at 216-688-3737 to set up an appointment so we can meet your furry friend!