No matter how much you love spending time with your pup, there are occasions when you have to leave them alone in the house!
Although this can be difficult both for you and your pet, it is best to teach them how to function on their own when you aren’t around so they don’t develop separation anxiety. The truth is for some dogs being left alone isn’t a big deal, especially if they are older. Such dogs can function very well for up to six hours without you worrying as much about their wellbeing. However, for young puppies or elderly dogs that experience some health issues being left alone can be stressful and they can easily become bored or anxious. This may lead to distressing behavior which can further result either in your pup making a mess in the house or even getting themselves injured.
So, to make sure your best friend is safe and happy while at home alone, here are some tips you should follow to train your doggie properly.
Puppy-proof the Place
Your dog’s safety should be on top of your list when leaving them alone in the house. Whether you choose to put them in a crate or leave them to roam freely throughout the home, you will need to ensure that the space is puppy-safe. This means keeping any hazardous chemicals and sharp items out of reach so they won’t be tempted to act naughty.
To be on the safe side with this, consider getting pet insurance to cover any accidents your dog may get themselves involved in. Make sure you educate yourself first on how pet insurance works so you will know how to choose what’s best for your pup. The great thing is that it covers up to 90% of veterinary costs and offers many benefits.
Fill their Food and Water Bowls
Although you will probably feed your companion before you leave the house, you should still think about their feeding time and water intake while they are alone. This way they will still be well cared for and eat and drink whenever they have the need to do so. For example, make sure you wash their water dish beforehand and fill it up with fresh, clean water. By hydrating your pup, you are helping them manage their excessive panting especially if they are still learning how to fight separation anxiety. As for food, remember to keep dry kibble around the house to ensure that your doggie doesn’t go hungry throughout the day. You can leave treats around the place to keep things interesting for them.
Keep them Entertained
While some dogs deal with being alone in the house much better simply by sleeping the whole day in, others may get easily bored. That’s why pet parents should come up with fun activities to keep their pup entertained and engaged at all times so they won’t think about being on their own. For example, you can leave out your pup’s favorite toys around the house so they can play with them. Many dogs don’t have a problem playing by themselves, especially if it is a toy such as balls they can easily catch and throw. Also, you may want to consider leaving the TV on as the sights and sounds of other animals stimulate your dog’s brain and keep them from getting in trouble.
Ask Someone to Check up on Them
If you are planning to leave your best friend alone in the house for several hours, then you may want to consider having someone check up on them a few times during the day. Whether it is an actual pet sitter or simply your neighbor, they can take your doggie out for 20-30 minutes to perform their bathroom duties and entertain them for a little bit while you are still out. For example, many pet parents decide on hiring a pet sitter because they are most likely going to have experience with pups, so they will know how to deal with them in case of an emergency. Plus, they are much cheaper than leaving your companion in doggie daycare.
Establish a Routine
If you happen to leave your dog alone more frequently, it is important to establish a routine for them. Start off the day with a walk with your pup, give them their breakfast and then get yourself ready to go out. By maintaining a predictable routine like this one, you are teaching your dog the pattern of events that are happening daily. If you do the same steps every day, your best friend will automatically get used to the routine and know what’s going to happen next. This will certainly help them deal with separation anxiety much easier later on.
If your lifestyle requires you to leave your dog alone in the house for a few hours, then you must train them well so they won’t feel your absence. You must do your best to keep them comfortable, entertained and well cared for in order for them to get through the time with less stress and anxiety.
If you need help along the way, follow the steps mentioned here and keep your dog safe and happy even when you aren’t around.