Can You Leave Your Dog Home Alone?

If you’ve added a dog to the family during the lockdown, and are now worrying about what will happen when you return to work, you’re not alone. You can still be a good dog owner, and leave your dog at home. Most owners have to leave their dogs alone some of the time. To do so, you should be prepared so you can make sure your dog has everything it needs, physically and emotionally, before you leave it home alone. 

How Can I Train A Dog To Be Left Alone?

Proper training is very important if you’re going to leave a dog by itself. As soon as you have your dog, start practicing, so the dog will learn to cope when you do have to leave it. Start by practicing the ‘Leave & Return’ method. This shows the dog that being home on their own is normal and that you will always return. 

Put your shoes on and go to your front door. If you notice that your dog seems anxious, try to ignore it, so the dog gets used to the feeling. Repeat this step at least three times a day. 

When you get home, don’t go to your dog straight away to give them attention Instead, go about your usual getting home routine until your dog is calm before you greet them. This helps your dog to understand that coming home is normal, not exciting. This will help the dog to stay calm. 

When you go out, don’t say goodbye to your dog. This can make them want to come with you and worry about being left behind. If you just leave as though nothing much is going on, they won’t worry about it. 

Tips For Leaving A Dog Alone

Searching for a ‘dog daycare near me’ can be a good idea to find somewhere safe to leave your dog if you have to work long hours. However, on occasions when you do have to leave your dog alone, you can make it less stressful with some preparation, and some tricks to help your dog stay relaxed. 

Don’t let the dog go anywhere it likes in the house, especially when you first start leaving it alone. Instead, shut them in somewhere where they’re comfortable. The kitchen is a popular choice, as clean-up is easier in the case of any bathroom accidents. Put their bed or crate in the room you put them in. 

Give the dog some exercise before you go to tire them out a bit. Go for a long walk, or play an active game. If you can tire the dog out, they will hopefully sleep for most of the time that you’re away. 

Leave some food dispensing toys as well as or instead of their usual food bowl. These toys make getting at their food or treat last much longer, to keep them occupied while you’re gone.

Leave them plenty of toys to play with while you’re gone. This helps to stop them from becoming bored, so the dog is less likely to resort to chewing things, barking, or howling.

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