Pet Talk: Leaving pets alone at home

While some of our furry friends are perfectly content hanging out solo during the day, others can really struggle. In fact, sometimes as our pets age they start to resent or even rebel against the solitude.

So, here are a few tips on leaving pets alone at home so that everyone is comfortable.

Practice leaving them alone. Start by leaving your pet alone for a few hours at a time to get them acclimated to the solo time. Then work your way up to the full day (if that's how long they will be alone).

Give them exercise in the morning before you leave the house. If you have a dog, give them a good walk or run. And always ensure you give them some attention upon returning home - we know you have dinner to start, but five minutes of affection can go a long way with a lonely pet.

Make sure they have ample food and water.

Leave a light on if you'll only be returning after the sun has set. You may also want to leave on a television or radio to provide some ambient background noise.

Give them something to keep them occupied, whether it's a favourite toy or some treats. Something that smells like you, such as a shirt or a blanket, can also be comforting.

Hire a pet-sitter or dog-walker. Perhaps a local high school kid would love a few extra bucks every week to pop by and give your pet some TLC while you're away from home.