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Is Your Pet Happy Home Alone? Here Are Six Ways To Make Sure He Is.
1. Play in the morning:
Set aside at least 30 minutes of lively exercise and playtime right before you leave so your dog or cat can release excess energy. Fatigue will help him relax and snooze while you're gone. If your cat isn't into chasing toys, cuddle with her for 20 minutes, which will help her feel less lonely later.
2. Give him busywork:
To keep your pet from whining as you depart for the day, create positive associations with being alone. Every time you head out, give him a puzzle toy stuffed with food, which will take about 20 minutes to finish (longer if it's frozen). Try Kong's rubber treat dispensers ($10.99; Amazon.com).
3. Treat his senses:
Giving him something that smells interesting is the animal equivalent of leaving him a good book to read. Try rubbing a fragrant snack or a drop of olive oil on a rubber toy. For a nervous dog, spritz your home with soothing aromas like chamomile and lavender.
4. Hide his toys:
If you put out all his toys at once, he'll get bored. Put some away, then swap them back into the mix every three days so they feel new again. For a cat, drop an open paper bag on the floor before departing, and make sure she has a perch near a window for bird-watching.
5. Leave a friendly reminder:
Fill a Scents of Security blanket ($15.99; Amazon.com) with worn clothing. Your odor will comfort your dog — particularly a puppy with separation anxiety.
6. Schedule playtime :
Stick FroliCat's Twitch feather toy ($17.95; Amazon.com) to any smooth surface and use the "away" mode to schedule automatic turn-on times throughout the day.