Thousands of dogs are being spoiled by guilty owners leaving them home to head to work, according to new findings. The research was commissioned by pet health specialist Lintbells, which revealed we could be encouraging unhealthy dog lifestyles by overindulging pets stuck at home all day.
Nearly a quarter of dog owners ask friends and neighbours to check in on their canine companions during the day, while many feed their own guilty conscience by feeding their pets extra treats or new toys. Other workarounds for saying goodbye to a pair of sad puppy dog eyes are to come home with something special, while a third will keep the TV or radio on as company.
With around one in five even turning down social events to avoid the sinking feeling of abandoning their best fuzzy friends, it seems that most of us are wrapped around their little paws most of the time. However, giving a dog more treats to apologise for not giving them exercise only furthers the problem, and taking your pup for walk after work will almost certainly lead to a more grateful dog.
“It is vital to introduce this time alone for your dog from a very young age, so that this becomes a normal part of life and their routine,” explained Dog behavioural expert Dr. Emily Blackwell PhD, CCAB, Senior Lecturer in Companion Animal Welfare who works closely with YuCALM and Lintbells.
“Giving dogs a special treat when they are left alone can be a great way of making time alone fun, however if the dog doesn’t eat the treat this can be a sign that it is anxious,” she continued. ““There is lots of useful advice and information out there to help owners teach their puppy that being home alone is a nothing to worry about.”