Today’s guest writer is Robbi Hess, Story Editor at Positively Woof. Robbi is writing about how to enrich your dogs’ environment and keep him happy at home. 

Is your dog happy at home? That may seem an odd question, right? Of course he’s happy! You give him food, water, a comfortable bed, and belly rubs. There is no reason for him to try to run away is there?

Pet parents who have lost a dog can tell you how gut-wrenching it is. We love our pets as members of our family and when something happens to them or if they go missing, we panic. The best way to prevent that from happening to to provide your dog with a happy home and to eliminate ways in which he can escape from your home or yard.

We’re sure all the pet parents reading this do everything possible to keep their dogs safe and happy at hom. Accidents happen, dogs run away, and pet parents need to be vigilant to assure it doesn’t happen to their beloved dog.

Keep Your Dog Happy At Home

Tire him out. If you’re going to be having guests to your home, tire your dog out before they arrive. A tired dog is a happy dog. If you’re taking your dog for a long walk, run, or playing fetch in the backyard, he will be more likely to be calm when guests arrive.

Give her a new toy. Dogs get bored of their toys. Swap out a toy she’s been playing with for a toy she hasn’t seen for a while. We recommend swapping out toys on a regular basis. When you re-introduce a toy that’s been taken away, she will think it’s a brand new toy! Of course, you can always buy her new toys to keep her entertained and happy! Puzzle food toys are a great way to enrich your dog’s environment and to keep her mentally busy and engaged.

Belly rub sessions. What pup doesn’t love a good belly rub, hug, or time just snuggling with you on the couch, the floor, or in the backyard? We can’t think of a single dog who wouldn’t love that time with his human. Taking time daily to just relax and pet him is a great way to bond with your dog and it has a health benefit for you in that petting a dog has been shown to lower blood pressure. It’s a win-win.

A safe space. Just as pet parents sometimes want to “get away from it all” so, too will your dog. Provide her a safe space to relax and unwind. That “safe space” could be her crate, a comfy bed in the corner of the living room, or take a cue from her and see where she goes to get some privacy. Your dog may love to scoot under the bed when she’s scared or overwhelmed, that’s okay; give her a blanket or her favorite toy and let her relax. If you’re going to have a houseful of people over and your dog isn’t accustomed to that, make certain she can get to her safe space; in fact, it may be best if she is just allowed to be there while you have guests.

Mental and visual stimulation. Many pet parents leave the radio or television on for their dogs and that is a great way to keep them company when they’re home alone. An even better way to entertain them is to turn on DOGTV programming. DOGTV has developed programming that is scientifically-proven to entertain,  help alleviate your dog’s separation anxiety, and enrich his environment. The programming may look “off” to you, but to a dog it is mentally and visually stimulating and the sights and sounds will calm him when you’re away.  Go here to sign up for your FREE DOGTV  trial subscription.

If your dog happens to run away, we shared information on how to prevent your dog from fleeing with PetHub for National Pet Loss Awareness Month.