If you have to leave your dog home alone, there are a few things you can do to make the experience better for both of you. The simplest thing to do before you head out the door is to set up a comfortable space for your dog with plenty of toys and blankets.
Before you leave anywhere for any amount of time, make sure your dog has plenty of food and water. If possible, set up an automatic feeder and water dispenser so your dog always has access to fresh water.
Before long extended periods away, consider hiring a dog walker or dog sitter to check on your dog while you’re gone. This way, your dog will get some exercise and human interaction even when you’re not around. Or, maybe you also want to leave the TV or radio on for background noise. Anything to naturally reduce their anxiety.
Here are some things to do right now to make your dog more comfortable while home alone.
Start leaving your dog home alone for short periods of time
Start by leaving your dog home alone for short periods of time, like when you run to the store or take a quick shower. This will help them get used to the idea of being alone and give them a chance to practice self-soothing techniques.
Be consistent with your departures and arrivals
One of the most important things you can do to help your dog feel comfortable being left home alone is to be consistent with your departures and arrivals. If you always leave at the same time and come home at the same time, your dog will start to expect it and feel more secure. If you have to leave at different times or for different lengths of time, try to give your dog some notice so they can start to prepare mentally. And when you come home, make sure to give them plenty of attention and love!
Give your dog something to do while you’re gone
One way to help your dog feel comfortable being left home alone is to give them something to do. This could be a food puzzle toy that dispenses treats as they figure it out, a Kong filled with peanut butter, or even just a treat-dispensing ball. This will give your dog something to focus on and keep them busy while you’re gone. Be sure to leave them with plenty of water and a few safe chew toys as well.
If you’re like most pet parents, you, too, probably have some separation anxiety when it comes to leaving your furry friend home alone. The good news is, there are some things you can do to help ease the anxiety and make the transition easier for both of you.
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