A critical issue that tends to come up with Beagle owners very often and also discussed often in Beagle Clubs is how to keep our beloved pet occupied and avoid finding this:
Unfortunately, most of us are busy with work engagements that will keep us sometimes out for most of the day.
This short article contains some ideas that will keep your dog occupied and able to spend some time alone, without chewing or destroying things.
First, Beagle’s are pack animals that like to be in groups and being alone makes them quickly anxious and bored and sometimes even destructive. To avoid coming home from work and having to clean up a mess or even order new furniture, here are some ideas we have tried to keep our canine occupied:
Exercising to remove excess energy:
Make sure that you exercise your Beagle as much as possible before going to work to release some of his build-up energy. Exercise will avoid destructive behaviour such as chewing on things, and we recommend at least 90 minutes per day, of which some of it is either running or fetching.
Idea 1: Burn excess energy
Use Toys to keep Beagles occupied:
Some toys have been studied to keep your dog occupied by stuffing them with treats/dry food, which can take your dog hours to empty.
We have mainly used Kong Toys over the years by filling them with dry food and sealing the top with either peanut butter or banana. The Kong toy has helped us to keep the beagles occupied for hours and avoid barking also.
Here is a short video from the Kong academy:
Nonetheless, change toys regularly as beagles tend to get bored after a while. Here are some more ideas :
- Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel
- Idea 2: Use toys to keep them occupied
Hiding food at home to organise a hunt
If it’s not for several hours, sometimes hiding treats around the house can keep your Beagle occupied for some time. Here the trick is not to leave the treats on the floor, but hiding them further up, which makes it more difficult for the Beagle to find them.
Idea 3: Organise an inhouse/garden hunt
Create a hunting bucket
Take a bucket/container and fill it with treats hidden in different layers such as towels, old clothing which will keep the Beagle occupied in finding his treats but also coach him problem-solving. The hunting bucket will make some mess, but less than leaving the house to a Beagle’s destructive behaviour.
Idea 4: Hide treats, create a treasure hunt
Use the TV/Radio to your advantage:
Leave the discovery channel or some other animal channel on or even YouTube with a long documentary; it is incredible how many hours Beagle can sometimes watch tv. Tv and radio will keep their attention away from other harmful behaviour.
Idea 5: Use the TV or radio
Give the Beagle ice to play with
Take some food and put them in a container with some water and freeze it. As the ice melts, your dog will have access to some food and will be busy for some time getting its treats from the ice. It will leave some mess!
Idea 6: Use treats frozen in ice
Hire A Dog sitter
Sometimes work can demand long hours, and the only way to cover a long absence is to use a dog walker. There are a lot of professionals about; we have nonetheless always used teenagers and paid them like we would our babysitter. So far we have had no problems, with the dog sitter coming twice and checking the dog and taking him for some brisk walks for 30 minutes at the time.
Idea 7: Outsource to a dog walker
Keep his chewing needs satisfied.
Dogs chew to do basic mouth hygiene, hence make sure that he has got the right toys to do so. We have avoided rawhide in the past as they can break and become dangerous if swallowed.
Idea 8: Satisfy his chewing needs
Most expensive idea: Furbo with dispenser
Similar to a baby camera Furbo allows you to interact with your Beagle as it has 2-way audio, camera and a treat thrower that will your Beagle occupied for hours. It also has a barking/yelping alarm making sure that you get a message on your app, giving you the chance to either talk to your Beagle or throw him a treat, as the new Furbo comes with treat dispenser. Great if you need to be out on longer business trips.
Idea 9: Use available technology
Last resort the use of a large dog crate
If you used a crate when your Beagle was a puppy, then he will be used to stay in there during your absence. We have always tried to train our Beagles since they were puppies to be ok being in their crate. This has avoided significant issues during our absence. Nonetheless, we talked to some Beagle owners, and they use large dog crates even with adopted animals s of a certain age to avoid destructive behaviour in their properties.
Idea 10: Use a crate