…Sounds too good to be true. Although your barking buddy might never be as elated as when he’s by your side, there are ways to keep him from going barking mad in your absence. Separation anxiety is, apparently, a real thing for pets, and keeping yours relatively happy can decrease a) the number of neighborly complaints over barking and whining b) eviction, because your landlord didn’t know you had anything that could bark in your apartment, other than your kid, c) the amount of physical damage to your personal belongings because Fido’s anxiety manifests in chewing tantrums, and/or d) pet psychiatrist fees. Read on.
Try to use food dispensing toys for when you’re not around your apartment
I know, I want one, too. A game that rewards me with food? Count me in.
Just remember to test these toys when you’re at home, to make sure they can stand up to Fluffy’s killer canines (teeth, that is). If not, don’t leave her alone with it. Pet toys might not carry choking hazards, but they should.
Other toys to have around your home
If your pet is a real mommy’s boy, he might need more than just a couple food-dispensing toys. Stock up around your apartment. You can switch toys every couple of days, keeping them in rotation to keep your pet guessing. We don’t recommend this as a strategy for child-rearing, incidentally. Everyone knows that one kid who gets everything he wants, and no one likes him.
Let them go
…not into the big bad world; let them go to the bathroom. If you’re going to be gone for hours on end, think about investing in some pee pads. Nothing ramps up a pet’s anxiety like anticipating your meltdown when you literally step in it. Of course, this is just an argument to have a cat.
Keep to a routine about coming and going to your apartment
Decrease the likelihood of anxiety by establishing a sense of normalcy. Sure, you might be gone all day, but Sheba still gets fed, walked, and sent to the bathroom at the same time every day.
Give them lots of love
You’re gone all the time. Unfortunately, you can’t explain to Buster that you’re providing for him, and him alone (excepting your college loans, but dogs especially have never been very good at understanding interest rates and payment plans). Reassure your pet by spending quality time with her when you’re home! (This, incidentally, is more likely to qualify as an acceptable child-rearing strategy.)
Medication may save you your rental deposit
I’m never the biggest proponent of drugging your problems into submission, but I suppose it might be justified in some cases. Ask your veterinarian, and err on the side of conservatism. If external remedies are in fact necessary, try an herbal one first?
Hire a dog walker
A shockingly novel suggestion…not. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs the country over have discovered that you can actually make a living by walking pets; in other words, this can be a pricey, if practical and humane, solution. Financially intimidated? That’s what neighborhood teenagers are for!
If you have any more ideas to keep your pet happy while you’re away then let others know on Facebook!