Have you ever come home at the end of the day to find your shoes chewed to bits or your curtains pulled off the rods? Believe it or not, your dog or cat isn't being deliberately destructive, says Patricia McConnell, a certified applied animal behaviorist in Black Earth, Wisconsin, and author of The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs (Ballantine). "He sees it as trying to play with something interesting," she says.
So the challenge, then, is to plan interesting things for your pet to do when he's faced with a day alone. Before you leave, take your dog on a super-long walk around the neighborhood. Or grab that shoestring your cat is so fond of and lead her on a merry chase.
Continued on page 2: Home Alone Ideas