6 Smart Ways to Keep Your Pet Happy While You’re at Work All Day

Pet owners may wish they could cuddle with their furry companions all day, but someone’s got to work to bring home the kibble. These tips should help keep your four-legged charges happy while they’re alone, which will make coming home to them all the sweeter.

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Sweat so they slumber

Shannon-Y/ShutterstockMost cats and some dogs are happy to sleep all day, but puppies and some ener­getic breeds (such as border ­collies and huskies) were born to run. Help your pooch burn off nervous energy with a 30- to 60-minute walk­ before you leave. These are secrets that your pet won't tell you.

Chat them up

Vanoa2/ShutterstockWhile you’re at work, you can supervise your furry friend via an indoor security camera. You can also video chat over Skype (seriously!) by setting up an ­account for your pet, enabling the auto-answer feature, and leaving your home computer on. Here are fun facts that you never knew about dogs.

Play mind games

anetapics/ShutterstockEven the most docile pet can gnaw out of boredom or separation anxiety. Put biscuits in a Kong or other feeding toy that a dog needs to chew, bang, or spin just the right way to access the treats. Indoor cats will enjoy toys that tap into their wild instincts, such as a noisy crinkle ball. This is what the animals in shelters wish you knew.

Contain, don’t crate

fotoliza/ShutterstockNature calls for young dogs every half hour, but resist cooping your canine up in a crate, which can lead to behavior problems from lack of exercise and socialization. Instead, keep him or her in a small area, such as a laundry room, with access to food, water, toys, and a corner covered with newspapers.

Find a room with a view

Shannon-Y/ShutterstockArrange a perch where your dog or cat can look out the window. If you have an enclosed yard where it’s safe for your furry friends to roam, install a pet door to allow them to go out as they please.

Track their steps

EVAN KAFKA FOR READERS DIGEST MAGAZINEGPS collars, which text you if your pet leaves a designated safe zone, are especially important for animals that have access to the outdoors. Most also function as activity trackers, so you can tell how much exercise your dog is getting during the day. This is how you can help your pet maintain a healthy weight.
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