“Pet Shaming” has become a popular social media trend with pet parents displaying the destruction their unattended pets have wrought. While the pictures accompanied with little signs explaining the unattended pets crime are far too adorable, they are also far too relatable for many pet owners!
Dogs frequently display destructive behavior when left alone. Mostly because they are suffering from separation anxiety. While you know you’ll be back in the evening, that span of time can seem endless for a dog. The longer you’re gone the more their anxiety can grow and result in some pretty unpleasant behaviors. Chewing and poor bathroom habits are the two biggest symptoms. It’s important to remember that punishing your dog when you get home in the evening doesn’t do any good. Too much time has likely passed for them to understand what the punishment is for and instead they will just feel unloved and not learn anything.
Cats can suffer from separation anxiety too! While unpleasant bathroom habits are often a symptom for them too, they are often prone to scratch instead of chewing. In some cases, that can be far more costly! A dog may ruin a nice pair of shoes, but a cat can ruin your furniture!
What can you do help your unattended pets not destroy your home?
Keep Them Well Fed With Lots of Toys – Unattended pets will also wreak havoc when they are hungry and bored. Make sure that your pets have (or have had) plenty of food before you leave. Enough to sustain them for the duration of your absence. Also, make sure your dog has chew toys or that your cat has a scratching post!
Pick Up After Yourself – Make it a point not to leave things you value within your pet’s reach. Keep your shoes in a closed closet, electronics out of reach, and make sure that your trash containers are inaccessible.
Restrict Their Range – Don’t let your pet have free reign of your home while you are away. Keep doors shut to rooms you don’t want them in. If your pet is known for sketchy bathroom habits while you’re away, restrict them to a room with easily cleanable floors.
Arrange For Visitors! – If you can’t make it home in the middle of the day to check on your pet or spend some time with them, consider asking a friend or hiring a pet nanny! Dog walkers and pet nannies aren’t just a service for vacations. They can provide a much-needed bathroom break and playtime mid-day for unattended pets.