Leaving your dog home alone can be a difficult decision. You want to make sure that they are safe and have everything they need, but you also don’t want to leave them cooped up all day. If this is your first time leaving your dog home alone, or if you are looking for some tips on how to make the experience better for both of you, read on! This blog post will discuss the do’s and don’ts of leaving your dog home alone!
How Long is Too Long?
Leaving your dog home alone can be difficult, but it is important to make sure that they are safe and have everything they need. The first thing you need to consider is how long you will be gone. If you are leaving for a short period of time, like running errands or going to work, your dog will probably be just fine. However, if you are leaving for an extended period of time, like going on vacation, you will need to make arrangements for someone to check on your dog.
The second thing you need to consider is what your dog needs. If your dog is used to being left alone, they may not need anything more than their regular food and water. However, if your dog is not used to being left alone, you may want to leave them with a toy or bone to keep them occupied. You should also make sure that your dog has access to their food and water.
The third thing you need to consider is your dog’s safety. If you are leaving your dog home alone, you will need to make sure that they are safe from any potential dangers. This includes making sure that they cannot get out of the house or yard, and that there are no hazards in the house or yard that could harm them.
Some things that can help you determine how long you can leave your dog alone include:
- Any health conditions or issues
- Seperation anxiety
- Potty breaks
- Feeding times
- Training and behavior
- Exercise and activity
- Other animals in the home
You should think about everything you know about your dog when determining how long you can leave them alone.
What Can Happen When You Leave Your Dog Alone
For some dogs being home alone is no big deal. While others may experience some level of anxiety or stress. If your dog falls into the latter category, leaving them home alone can be detrimental to their health and well-being. Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety may exhibit destructive behaviors, like chewing on furniture or shoes, barking excessively, pacing, or having accidents in the house. They may also become withdrawn and refuse to eat or drink. If your dog is exhibiting any of these behaviors, it is important to speak with a veterinarian or professional trainer to help them overcome their anxiety.
Make sure to pay attention to for any of these following behaviors when leaving your dog home alone:
- Chewing on furniture and clothes
- Getting lost
- Binge Eating
- Running away
- Whining, howling, and barking
Tips for Leaving Your Dog Home Alone
Even if your dog does have anxiety when alone, you will have to leave them alone from time to time. To help make the experience better for both of you, here are some tips to help make things a little easier:
Avoid Giving Your Dog Free Rein
If your dog is used to having free rein of the house when you are home, it can be tempting to give them the same freedom when you leave. However, this can actually make things worse for your dog. Dogs that have free rein of the house are more likely to become bored and destructive. If possible, confine your dog to a specific area of the house, like a crate or exercise pen, when you leave. This will help prevent them from getting into trouble and will give them a sense of security.
Don’t Leave Temptations Within Reach
If you don’t want your dog to get into something, don’t leave it within their reach. This includes food, trash, and anything else that might be tempting for them. Dogs are curious creatures and will often get into things they shouldn’t if given the opportunity. By keeping temptations out of reach, you can help prevent your dog from getting into trouble.
Tire Your Dog Out
A tired dog is a good dog. If possible, try to exhaust your dog before leaving them home alone. This can be done by taking them on a long walk or playing with them in the yard. A tired dog is less likely to have the energy to get into mischief.
Give Them Something To Do
To help keep your dog occupied while you are away, one of the best things you can do when leaving your dog home alone is to give them something to do. This could be a food puzzle toy, a Kong toy filled with treats, or even just a bone to chew on. Giving your dog something to do will help keep them from getting bored and will help prevent destructive behaviors.
Use A Doggie Daycare
If you need to leave your dog alone for an extended period of time, you may want to consider using a doggie daycare. Doggie daycares provide a safe and fun environment for dogs to play and socialize while their owners are away. This can be a great option for dogs that get anxious when left alone or that need a lot of exercise.
Use Food-Dispensing Toys
When leaving your dog home alone, utilizing food, like Kongs or puzzle toys, are a great way to keep your dog occupied and challenged. These toys can be filled with treats or kibble and will keep your dog busy trying to get the food out. This is a great option for dogs that tend to eat too fast or that need a little extra stimulation.
Turn on the TV or Radio
For some dogs, the sound of the TV or radio can help them feel less alone. This is especially true for dogs that are used to having people around all the time. If you decide to leave the TV or radio on for your dog, make sure it is not too loud and that it will not bother your neighbors.
Don’t Set a Bad Example
Dogs feed off of our emotions and can often sense when we are leaving. If you get anxious or stressed when leaving your dog home alone, they will likely pick up on that and become anxious as well. Instead, try to act calm and confident when leaving the house. This will help your dog stay calm and will make the experience less stressful for both of you.
Leaving your dog home alone doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. By following these tips, you can help make things easier for both you and your dog. And, if you are ever in doubt about leaving your dog home alone, there is always the option of using a doggie daycare. At Wounded Paw Project, we are committed to helping dogs in need. Contact us today to learn more about our work or to make a donation.