Welcome Coton Lovers:
10 Ways You Can Reduce Your Coton's Loneliness
In most cases, you are the center of your dog’s world so you can imagine what your dog is feeling when you're not there. A lonely or bored dog can be a recipe for disaster and often results in separation anxiety and behavior problems.
Of course it's not realistic to be with your Coton 24/7 - life is busy for all of us so we need to do whatever we can to make the time we DO spend with them high quality time.
And when we can't be with them there are things we can do to alleviate any stress your dog may feel when separated from you. Also, it can reduce any stress and guilt YOU may feel for not being able to spend enough time with your dog.
The best thing you can do is lose the guilt and do everything you can do ensure your dog has a safe, comfortable and happy environment.
So, here are some things you can do to prevent your dog from being lonely:
- Exercise. All dogs need exercise, even small dogs like the Coton. It's good for their health, and just like with us humans, it's also good for stress relief. You can just enjoy long walks together or do something really fun and different like agility training.
- Find interactive toys to help keep your dog busy and entertained while you're away. Find toys that provide stimulation and change them frequently to provide variety and prevent boredom.
- Get another dog or even a cat if your lifestyle allows. Getting a companion for your Coton can be a great solution. How do you know when it's time to get another pet? Sometimes having 2 happy dogs is better than 1 lonely dog, but it also can be challenging on your time, finances, and lifestyle. If you can swing the expense and the room it may be something to consider. See a recent discussion on this topic here.
- If you or other family members have to leave the house for long periods consider dog walkers, doggy daycare, or pet sitters. Too expensive? How about a couple of times a week instead of every day. Or what about a neighbor, friend or a responsible kid in the neighborhood? Care.com is a great resource for finding reliable sitters.
- Leave the radio on. It's been found that classical music is very soothing for many dogs.
- Some of you have told us that your dogs like to watch TV. You can read about it here. If your dog is snobbish about television, maybe it’s time to upgrade them to a movie… Have you heard about THE DVD FOR DOGS: The Ultimate Dog Sitter DVD? You can set it on an automatic loop so your dog can watch the stimulating sights and sounds over and over.
- Take your Coton with you whenever you can. Most of you can't take your dogs to work, but what about when you're running errands, playing chauffeur to your kids, or visiting with friends or relatives? Cotons love adventure; so include them whenever possible. Going out boaing, cycling, camping, swimming, fishing, sunbathing, or picnicking? Take them with you! It's a great way to make sure your dog is socialized and you will be spending quality time together. Cooper and Casey are great adventurers. You can see one of their adventures here.
- Let your Coton sleep in your bedroom if possible. You can put the dog bed in the room so your dog can feel close to you.
- Pay attention even when you're home. Even those who don't work outside of the house may take their dogs for granted now and then. You get busy with household chores or spending time on the computer and your dog may feel alone even if you're physically there. Talk to your dog, cuddle with your dog, have brief training sessions all throughout the day. Going outside just to check the mail? Take him with you. Reading a book? Have your dog cuddle up next to you. Spending time on the computer? Make a space for your dog near your work area and talk to him often.
- Make his environment warm and comfortable. Having a special place in your home where your dog can feel comfortable and content can help. You can fill it with his favorite toys, his crate, plenty of water, maybe an article of clothes or blanket of yours with your scent, or soothing music. What about an area with a window so he can watch the world outside?
I get emails all the time from people who want to know if the Coton is the right dog for them if they have to go to work every day and leave the dog home alone. I have found that people who are thoughtful enough to ask that question are usually those who make the best pet owners, regardless of how many hours they are away from home.
So, what do you do to keep your Coton from being lonely?
Tell us what you do to keep your dog from being lonely here.
Happy Birthday Cotons!
Happy Birthday wishes go out to special Cotons who have birthdays in March:
- Bambi - 3/8
- Callie - 3/14
- Ziggy (Doodles) - 3/28
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Gale and Luc