Before we become dog owners, we all have a responsibility to consider the amount of time we’ll be able to dedicate to our canine companions. Unfortunately, even if you’re around a lot of the time, the odd work trip or day out can still see you leaving your dog at home alone.
As many of us find out the hard way, this separation can see even the perfect family dog wreaking havoc at home. From chewed furniture to neighbor noise complaints and beyond, this can make an already difficult separation much harder. However, there are steps you can take to keep your dog happy even while they’re home alone, and we’re going to consider your best options.
Provide them with a Safe Space
Dogs are pack animals, and they rely on this pack mentality to face threats. Left alone, your dog may feel exposed, vulnerable, and in need of defensive behaviors, hence they may become destructive or uncharacteristically loud. To avoid this, it’s best to provide them with a generally safe space that they already know and feel relaxed in. Crates are great for this purpose and can even be kept open in any room to provide your dog a go-to safe spot that they know. Equally, leaving them in an area of the house that they spend a lot of time in and that has things like their bed, water, etc. can significantly reduce the impact of separation anxiety, and its overall negative outcomes.
Ensure Plenty of Stimulation
You wouldn’t like to be left at home with nothing to do, and nor would your dog. In fact, boredom is perhaps the leading cause of destructive canine behavior when home alone. To overcome this, it’s therefore important to provide plenty of stimulation for your dog when you aren’t around. Chew toys like Kongs that include puzzles your dog needs to solve can be especially great for this, as can fresh animal chew treats like those from Superior Farms which can last for the entire time you’re away in most instances. Simply experiment with a few different techniques while you’re around, and see which occupies your dog’s attention for the longest time so that you can pick the best option when you are away.
Get them used to Time Alone
While no dog owner should ever deprive their dog of attention, keeping your pooch happy when they’re home alone is also easiest if you get them used to their own company when you’re around. Obviously, you should never do this to the detriment of playtime or walks, etc., but something as simple as leaving your dog to play in the other room alone while you complete household errands can help them to adjust to the solo life. Then, when you do have to leave, it’ll be far less shocking for a dog that’s already happier in its own company.
Leaving your dog is never a pleasant experience, but you can at least rest easy that they’ll be happier at home alone when you implement these pointers.