Tips For Leaving Dogs On Their Own
You’ve probably experienced this scenario before (or know of someone who has): You leave your house and come home to total destruction – courtesy of your loving dog. Keep reading to find out tips on leaving dogs on their own.
While frustrating, this type of behavior doesn’t mean your dog is bad. It’s simply a sign of separation anxiety, a common issue that plagues pets and, by way of collateral damage, their guardians.
Although you’d love to spend all day snuggling with your pooch, you have a life. Here are some tips for leaving dogs home alone so that you don’t feel guilty, your dog remains safe and your house avoids damage.
Leaving Dogs On Their Own 101 — Train Your Dog To Be Alone
At as early of an age as possible, teach your dog to feel secure when you leave the house. To do this, practice a scenario in which you leave for a few minutes and then implement a calm return.
Start by putting on your shoes, grabbing your keys and heading for the exit. If your dog acts nervous or excited, ignore it. Don’t make a big production. Simply walk out the door.
Wait a minute before re-entering the house. When you do return, don’t respond to your pup if they greet you at the door (no matter how difficult the urge). You don’t want to celebrate the fact that you’re returning home.
Instead, give your canine a command to head to its bed. Once they do that and settle down, give them lots of love.
Gradually stay out for longer periods of time, giving your dog the chance to get accustomed to your absence.
Tire Out Your Pooch
If your dog exhibits signs of anxiety when you leave the house, give them plenty of exercises before you go. A walk satisfies your dog’s need for physical exercise and mental stimulation. Once you arrive back home, your pup may be ready for a nap on the couch. You can leave while they’re sleeping.
End The Boredom
Destructive behavior, while you’re away, isn’t necessarily caused by anxiety; your dog could just be bored. If that’s the case, consider leaving them with a safe toy to occupy its attention.
A food-dispensing toy is one great option. Like a puzzle for your pet, your dog will have to work for food, giving them something to focus on while they’re alone. It will keep your pup busy, stimulated and entertained. Some pet parents give their dogs regular meals like this. Easy for you, fun for your dog.
You do need to be careful about what you offer your dog when you’re not home though. Make sure that the toy can’t be pulled apart or swallowed – or that you’re not over-feeding your dog.
How Long Can You Leave Dogs On Their Own?
Leaving dogs alone for up to six hours is fine if they’re healthy and over 18 months old. Puppies should get attention and a chance to do their business outdoors every two hours. If you have an elderly pup, try to check in on them every two to six hours.
Also, keep in mind that sick dogs need extra love and attention (just like humans).
Protect Your Pup With Dog Insurance
Preventative exams are a must for making sure that your best friend is healthy enough to be left unattended. To ensure that your dog is in optimal health (and to help you budget for veterinary visits), be sure to get protection with Spot Pet Insurance.