Home Alone: Canine Edition! The Good, Bad and Chewed-Up Couch

(NewsUSA) - Pet owners love being greeted at the door by their furry companions -- but coming home to see the sofa in chunks on the floor amid the smiling jowls of our pet isn't the welcome we hope for.

"We all love spending time with our dogs, but we need to leave them at home alone sometimes," says certified dog trainer, Laura Roach, from the nationally trusted pet care franchise Camp Bow Wow. "Nobody wants to come home to chewed-up shoes or ripped furniture. A tired dog is a good dog, so it's important to give them exercise and socialization."

Ensuring your pooch is well-behaved while you're gone is an important piece of dog training, but that doesn't mean they should remain cooped up all day. Dogs need exercise, and if they're holed up indoors for too long, they can develop behavioral or health issues or leave a messy accident behind for you to clean up.

As Roach noted, an over abundance of both energy and boredom usually explains why some dogs go nuts when left alone. See what professional dog trainers recommend to curb chewing antics.

1. Drop your dog off at doggy day care several days a week. Services like those at Camp Bow Wow provide over 100 convenient locations across the country, where your pup can play and socialize all day while you are at work.

2. Hire a pet sitter to take Fido for a 30-minute walk at least twice a week. Most pet care facilities offer an at-home component. For example, Camp Bow Wow has certified Home Buddies care givers to get your dog out of the house for a well-deserved break.

3. Purchase some interactive dog toys to keep your pet busy while you're gone. Interactive toys are puzzles that challenge your dog's mind and make them more likely to rest when they are done playing.

4. Keep your pet stimulated. When dogs are mentally exhausted, they don't have time to think about getting into trouble. In addition to buying toys that are designed to be challenging, pet owners can take obedience or agility classes. Hire a Behavior Buddies Trainer to come to your home to give you tips on how to wear your dog out mentally and ensure your home is "dog proof."

Curious what Fido can do to a living room when left home alone without exercise or attention? Play the interactive Facebook game "Bad to the Bone" at www.facebook.com/campbowwow.

While on Camp Bow Wow's Facebook page, you can also vote for the finalists from their nationwide search for the worst-behaved dog. Dogs will be matched in a weekly interactive face-off contest where the winner will receive a Camp Bow Wow gift certificate. Learn more about various services from the brand you trust at www.campbowwow.com.