Fitness

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You probably work hard so your dog doesn’t have to. Unfortunately, that also means you probably have to leave your dog home alone.

Between your job, bills, and taking care of your human relationships, it’s sometimes easy to take your pup for granted and put their needs for companionship on the back burner.

Luckily, our dogs are unconditionally loving, forgiving, cuddle machines! We just have to make sure we’re showing our appreciation for them by making up for all the time spent away.

If you’re feeling guilty and want to make it up to your pup, here are five great ways to do it.

1. Treat Your Pup To Dinner

Most of the time, you may not feel like cooking after a long day of work. Feed two dogs with one bone–figuratively–by taking out your pup to a pet-friendly restaurant–literally.

Reconnect with your furry friend at a diner with an outdoor patio, and feel free to give them a scrap or two of your chicken wrap.

More and more cities are allowing dog-friendly outdoor spaces at restaurants where people can eat with their pooches. Check around at your local eateries, ask your dog loving friends for recommendations, or search the internet for suggestions and reviews.

2. Go Out And Socialize

Mature Woman Pampering Dogs At Beach During Sunny Day

(Picture Credit: Joy Hughes / EyeEm/Getty Images)

We know dogs are pack animals. They need as much social interaction–if not more–than people do.

After a long day at the office, take your pup to your local park, dog park, or beach. Not only will your dog appreciate the outdoor time, but interacting with other canines is super healthy for your pup.

If dog parks are too daunting for your dog, take them to hang out with their favorite pooch friend on a play date.

3. Teach Your Pup A New Trick

If your dog is home alone for six to eight hours, even a visit from a dog walker may not be enough to stop boredom and loneliness. They’ll need some mental stimulation once you’re home.

Try really connecting with your dog by teaching them a new trick. Not only will it be mentally stimulating for your pup, but it will also be a positive bonding experience.

If your dog is a super smart breed, like a Border Collie or Poodle, then they’ll absolutely need to learn new things. Challenge them, or they may get bored and spend their energy in destructive ways around the home.

4. Spoil Your Pup With Toys

Jack Russell Terrier pulling cart full of balls

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While any psychiatrist will tell you that money and material goods can’t buy you love, it sure doesn’t hurt. Buy your pup a fun puzzle interactive treat game and play it with them.

Be crafty, too! You can take old socks and transform them into a toy that has your smell all over it. Even better!

Just make sure you supervise play time. You don’t want any aggressive chewers breaking pieces off and swallowing them. In fact, you should play with your dog and work on strengthening your bond. Fetch, tug-of-war, or any game that gets you involved will probably be your dog’s favorite!

5. Enjoy Some One On One Time

It’s easy to call watching Netflix with your dog on the couch “quality time.” For some lazier, cuddly dogs, this may actually be an ideal bonding experience.

Consider your dog’s needs. Take 15 minutes of your time that you would normally spend checking social media, watching a DVR’d TV show, or going over tomorrow’s agenda for the umpteenth time and spend it exclusively with your dog.

Take them for an extra long walk, pet them, and tell them how much you love them, or play games with them. This little amount of time means the world to your pup, and will make you feel wonderful, as well.

If you’re a working pup parent, what do you do to make up for the time you’re gone? Do you do anything special for your dog when you get home? Let us know in the comments below!

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