Leaving your dog home alone is not always easy, because there is no doubt that your dog is the happiest when we are around! Dogs are social animals, and for them we, as dog parents are seen as members of their pack. However, it’s not always possible to spend all the time we have with our dogs. So, how not to feel bad about leaving your dog alone? Read the following tips!
Leaving your dog home alone: ok but for a limited time
The first tip is actually some kind of a rule. For the health and well being of your dog, you should not leave him or her home alone too long.
Adult dogs (over 18 months of age) can be left alone four to six hours a day.
Young puppies should not be left alone for more then two hours a day.
Teach your pup that being home alone is ok, that he is safe on his own and that you will come back. From the moment you get your dog, whether it’s a puppy or an adult, you have to practice “Leaving & Coming Back”.
Start with just a minute or two and gradually extend the length of time as you see your dog is comfortable alone, and as you become comfortable with his behavior while you’re out of sight. Your pup should learn that being on his own is normal and safe, so give him a treat when you leave the house but not as a reward when you return.
In the beginning, it is recommended that you don’t give your dog free reign of the entire house but leave him in an area where he is comfortable. Once your dog feels safe, he can be on his own in the whole house. Make sure that your pup has mastered toilet training that you don’t come home to any accidents.
What to do before leaving your dog home alone?
Make your dog tired! The best thing you can do before you leave your dog home alone is to give him some good, hard, morning exercise. Start learning how to walk your dog so that it’s beneficial for your dog and you.
When you provide your dog with morning walks or good exercises, your dog might flop down onto his bed to snooze right afterwards! This gives you the chance to leave the house without troubles. For most dogs, off-leash running and sniffing are ideal, because not only do they get varied physical exercise, but mental stimulation as well.
Keep your dog busy while you are not there
When you are leaving your dog home alone, make sure your dog has constructive ways to occupy his time when you’re not around. A good way to keep him busy is to put away his food bowl and use food-dispensing toys instead. Some of these toys offer variable difficulty levels so you can make it a long-lasting project and keep your dog active and engaged during the home-alone hours.
In general, by leaving your dog small tasks and fun toys to play with when you’re not around you can avoid unwanted boredom behavior (like biting and peeing in inappropriate places). However, never leave your dog alone with a toy that could be chewed apart and swallowed.
What should you do when you come home?
When you come home, after being away for an extended period of time, be sure to show your pup some love and attention! Take your dog out for a walk and play with him. Letting your dog stretch his legs after a day inside is a great way to help him burn off some energy.