Spending Quality Time: Avoid Doggie Disasters by Keeping Your Pet Active

Even if you’ve had them for many years, your dog may sometimes act strangely and cause damage for no apparent reason. It can be tempting to overlook such actions, but when this type of behavior persists, it’s necessary to act without being overly harsh with your furry friend. Experts insist that when a dog acts aggressively and destructively, there is a reason behind it, and it’s important to take steps that will protect your belongings and help modify your pet’s destructive instinct. Use these tips to keep your pet active throughout their life so they stay healthy throughout their golden years.

Protect them

While it’s important to work on correcting your pet’s behavior, it’s just as important to take safety precautions that will keep them safe in the meantime. Think about your dog’s favorite ways to cause damage, and act accordingly. For example, if they are a chewer, secure any cabinets they can reach so they can’t access and chew up what’s inside, especially where you store supplements and cleaning supplies. If they are always on the lookout for leftovers, make sure your kitchen trash can is lidded or latched, and that dirty dishes are out of reach.

Keep them company

Dogs are social animals that thrive on close contact, play, and affection. When they’re left alone for long periods of time, some high-spirited and energetic breeds may respond to solitude and boredom by tearing up furniture. Make a point of taking your pet for a walk at least twice a day, and spend some time playing fetch or chase if yours likes to run around the back yard. If there’s a dog park nearby, your pooch can get in some valuable play time with other dogs on the weekends.

Dog sitters have become an especially popular choice for dog owners whose jobs keep them too busy to spend enough time with their pets and make sure they are active throughout the day. Many sitters allow their canine customers to socialize with other dogs and can give you an opportunity to check in on your pet via video connection during the day. If the disruptive behavior persists, it may be time to bring in a dog trainer or enroll in obedience school.

Maintain an active routine

Dogs are creatures of habit. They do very well with daily routines, which keep them feeling secure, grounded, and calm when you’re not around. Make sure your pup gets fed and walked at the same time every day. It’s also a good idea to give baths and clip nails at the same time. Once your active daily regimen is well-established, don’t be surprised if your pooch starts scratching at the front door at walk time. That’s a good sign that your schedule is having the desired effect, and it is a positive behavior that should be encouraged.

Positive reinforcement

Your pet looks to you for reassurance and security. Using positive reinforcement to reward good behavior is an excellent way to encourage them to keep it up and that they can expect further rewards, whether it be a tasty dog treat or extra active play time at the park or with you. Acts of positive reinforcement can help your dog become more independent and respond calmly during periods of isolation.

Safe and secure

Every dog should have a bed, a secure place he can retreat to when he’s feeling anxious. A dog bed should be a comforting touchstone that provides a sense of peace and calm that he won’t identify with unpleasant memories and episodes of discipline. This is a place for his favorite chew toys, blanket, and anything that provides reassurance, so make sure he has round-the-clock access to it.

If your dog repeatedly chews up his bed, try redirecting them to a favored toy or bone using positive reinforcement to help them understand what’s acceptable and what isn’t. Rotate several different toys so your pooch stays interested and loses his predilection for dog bed chewing. Lots of exercise will also help discourage such destructive behavior. Bear in mind the reason for the destruction could be a lack of attention/activity or a way to relieve anxiety.

Don’t despair if your dog starts gnawing on your favorite love seat or scratching the baseboards. It’s probably a play for attention, or a response to loneliness. Do your best to make time for them every day and try to tire them out so he doesn’t have the energy for destruction.

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