There is no doubt that your dog is happiest when you’re home. Dogs are social animals, and living in a group is part of their nature. They perceive their owners as members of their pack and want to spend time with us, watch us and help us. However, not many of us can spend all day with our dogs, although it would be great if we could. We have work, school, family, friends and other commitments in our lives. Do you feel bad about leaving your dog alone? You don’t need to as long as you follow a couple of guidelines.
How long can you leave your dog home alone?
The first guideline is actually more of a rule. For the health and well being, you should not leave your pet home alone too long. Adult dogs (those over 18 months of age) can be left alone four to six hours a day. Young puppies should not be left alone for long periods during the day – around two hours a day is the limit.
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.
Make your dog tired
Keep your dog busy
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.
If your want to keep track of the walks you do when you are home, you can try the Tractive Dog Walk app. The free app is available for iOS and Android.
Do you have experience with leaving a pet home alone? Please share your tips and knowledge!