Sadly, we don’t exactly live in an ideal world. If we did, all of our jobs would have in-house pet daycares and we could bring our four-legged friends to work with us. In the less accommodating world we actually live in, our pets have to stay at home while we spend the next 8 to 10 hours making the money that we’ll later use to spoil them. For many of us, our pets are like our children, so leaving them at home for so long can mean a lot of stress for us (and them). Here we’ll discuss some of the dangers of a pet left to its own devices, as well as some ideas on how to reduce them.
Eliminating: While many dogs are capable of going extremely long periods of time without eliminating, it’s not a good thing. “Holding it” for too long can lead to urinary tract infections and cystitis.
Boredom: A bored pet will look for something with which to entertain themselves, and that something won’t always be a good thing. Both dogs and cats chew, especially when bored or anxious – chewing means destruction, destruction means debris, and debris means choking hazards. And cats are masters of entry, finding their way into cupboards and cabinets with harmful materials like cleaning chemicals.
Stress Disorders: Dogs are social creatures, and though some might make you think otherwise, so are cats. Being left alone, or “separated from the pack” for too long can lead to high levels of mental tension. Stress disorders in animals have been linked to lethargy, mental ticks, destructive behaviors, and, in extreme cases, self-mutilation.
Here are some things you can consider in order to keep your pet safe and happy while you’re at work:
Potty Pads: Potty pads can give your dog a place to eliminate while locked indoors. Avoid the doggy door situation; not only does that let them go outside unsupervised, but it’s an all-around safety concern where your home is involved in that it’s an opening for intruders. Lock up the doggy doors when you leave.
Visual Entertainment: Cats love a good show. Set up sources of entertainment in places that are within view. Try a bird bath or a bird feeder right outside the window. Or set up a secure fish aquarium indoors to act as a kitty television.
Recruitment: Do you know your neighbors well? Do you have a friend who owes you a favor? Does your city have dog walking services? Having someone stop by in the middle of your workday to take your dog for a short walk and some play time can take some of the edge off of being left alone.
Drain the Batteries: Schedule some time in the morning before work to give your pets some exercise. Take your dog on a job with you or stimulate your cat with toys that make him jump around. Wear out some of the energy they might otherwise use poorly once you’re gone.
Toys: Try to include “puzzle toys”, toys that present a mental challenge to your pet, such as bones with treats stuffed inside. Be careful with what sort of cat toys you choose if you also have a dog at home. Smaller cat toys can become choking hazards for your dog.
The Buddy System: If your living space and finances allow it, consider having more than one pet to give your cat or dog a friend to play with while you’re gone.
Music: Leave some gentle music playing on the stereo. It can having a soothing effect on pets as well as emulate a social atmosphere.
Technology: Thanks to pet-loving engineers, we have surveillance technologies available that can help us keep an eye on our pets while we’re at work. iWatchLife lets you install remote home surveillance for as little as $4.99 per month after purchasing the cameras for a reasonable price. Recordings and event alerts can be connected to your mobile devices so you can check no matter where you are.
Depending on what areas of the house you’re looking to keep tabs on, you can set up remote access to your home computer with a webcam running.
TAGG is a pet tracking device that you access from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. It’s a small, wristwatch-like device that fits on your pets’ collar and lets you track and receive alerts about your pet’s movement.
Pet QR Tag is a new variation on pet identification. It’s a small pet tag with a barcode that can be scanned by smartphones. The owner simply enters all necessary pet information into the online database (name, your phone number, relevant medical needs, veterinarian contact information, etc.), and should your pet get loose outside, someone who finds him can find all they need to know with a quick scan.
Author Bio:Jay Acker heads up a team of writers producing safety manuals, training courses and other safety related materials for business customers. They make safety training kits, courseware and safety posters for www.safetyservicescompany.com.