None of us actively wants to leave our beloved furry friends alone at home for too long, but from time to time, adult life gets in the way and we have to do pesky things like working late.
While sending a pet to a daycare center is one way of tackling the issue, some dogs, especially older dogs or cats, may find the experience somewhat stressful, and that’s not to even mention the costs it could run up. Doggie daycares also aren’t usually open late unless you’re boarding your pet overnight.
Thanks to modern technology, there are many great ways of ensuring our furry loved ones are taken care of in our absence, whether that’s providing them food and water, the ability to go to the bathroom, keeping them occupied, or even giving them treats and praise from a distance.
Ahead are some great examples of ways to do just this, so hopefully the next time you’re stuck working late, your pet won’t even know you’re gone.
Make Sure They’re Fed
Most pets are kept to a feeding schedule, and if you’re suddenly working late you could interrupt their proper nutrition if you’ve failed to get a contingency plan in place.
Automated feeders and waterers are great ways of making sure that your pets stay well fed and hydrated in your absence, and there are plenty of different types to choose from.
Many models of automated feeder will allow you to run them on a timer, however it’s also possible now to get automated feeders that are controlled by an app on your phone.
Auto-waterers tend to be much more simple, though, with most simply relying on gravity, or even watering fountains. These have also been proven to lead to better digestion in our cats and dogs by encouraging them to drink more.
Throughout all, it’s integral that your vet’s guidelines regarding portion size are followed, especially when it comes to senior pets that are more likely to have weight issues or overly sensitive digestive tracts. It doesn’t take much encouragement for a pet to overeat, and they’ll be especially likely if they’re motivated by boredom or nervousness. Before setting up any auto-feeders, make sure you’re well aware of the proper nutritional requirements of your pet and make adjustments as required.
Make Sure they Can Go when Nature Calls
One fact of life that runs through all of us, human or animal, is that, no matter what, when we’ve gotta go we’ve gotta go. You’ll want your pet to be able to go when they need to, especially if they’re older and unable to hold it in and or are more accident-prone. Besides toilet training, there are a handful of options on hand that can help your pets relieve themselves while you’re away.
Electronic or magnetic pet doors are a great option if have a fenced-in yard, and they aren’t overly expensive. This is also a good option if you want to allow your pet the freedom to roam around.
If you don’t have an enclosed yard, or you live in an apartment, another popular solution is to place a strip of grass or fake turf in an easily accessible location (and one that’s convenient to you so as to isolate the smell) and training your pets to use that.
Make Sure They’re Kept Entertained
While yes, making sure that your pets are well fed and able to go to the potty is of the upmost importance, so too is keeping them stimulated, physically and mentally, while you’re gone.
If you know you’re going to be out working late, maybe buying some special, interactive toys can keep them engaged. There are 3 main types of interactive toy: treat toys, chew toys and puzzle toys, each with their own unique benefits.
Treat toys are great for cats and dogs that may be prone to nervousness, chew toys are great for those that may want to nibble at everything in sight, and for those Einsteins that need a little more stimulation, puzzle toys will work a treat. For dogs who love a game of fetch, there are even ball throwing machines available.
Make Sure to Give Them Treats and Keep Them Reassured
A nervous pet can become a very unhappy pet when left to themselves for too long. Smart treat dispensers are a great way to keep them company from afar, and many products feature two-way video and audio that will also allow you to talk to your pet while giving them treats.
By seeing and hearing you while receiving some positive reinforcement, you can soothe any nervousness your cat or your dog may be feeling, and prevent them from feeling lonely. Soothing scents are also a great feature found in many smart treat dispensers that can further calm your nervous pet, while other simpler dispensers are available that simply run on a release timer.
Make Sure They’re Monitored
As mentioned above, some smart treat dispensers are fitted with cameras, and while this is great for interaction, it’s also great for checking up on your pet to make sure that they are behaving and that all is well. The problem is, though, that this camera will only be limited to one location.
It may be an idea, especially if you have a somewhat precocious pet, to install a few cameras around the house to keep an eye on them while you’re out working late. Nanny cams and other security gadgets are inexpensive, compact, and simple to install, with many being able to connect to your phone via a dedicated app. Any goings on at home will be filmed and stored on your phone, so you needn’t worry about your pet falling ill, going through the trash, relieving themselves in the house, or even doing something downright hilarious without you knowing about it.
Sometimes leaving your pet alone for a while is just going to be a fact of life, but hopefully the 5 solutions listed above will go some way in helping you and your furry loved ones to get by with nothing to worry about