Sometimes, it is simply a fact of life that we will be required to leave our dogs at home alone for certain periods of time, but are you left feeling guilty when you do so?
How could we not feel guilty when we see those big puppy eyes looking back at us as we close the front door? It’s Heartbreaking!
As our work days appear to get longer, dog owners are looking for options to alleviate owner guilt and find solutions to ensure our dogs are entertained whilst alone. We all use different tips and tricks when we leave our dogs at home to try and prevent boredom and anxiety.
Here are some of the things existing dog owners have tried, but feel free to share your success stories with us!
- Leaving a radio or TV on
- Setting up a webcam or interactive pet camera
- Using a crate or swaddle jacket to create safety and security
- Leaving chew bones or toys
- Using doggie day-care and dogwalkers
You are excited to be bring your gorgeous new puppy home, but how do you know if your puppy is experiencing real separation anxiety or whether it’s part of the overall developmental process, and how can you help?
There are a range of symptoms your puppy make exhibit, including:
- Urinating or defecating all over your floors
- Chomping your furniture to bits
- Tipping over your garbage cans to rummage through them
- Shredding your carpet or rugs
- In fact, chewing and shredding anything is common
- Digging and scratching at door frames and walls
- Whining, barking, howling, and crying
Unlike boredom, where you pup is wanting some attention or wants to get up to a little mischief, separation anxiety commences from when your dog is left and continues until you return. If it is true separation anxiety your dog will begin to bark, yelp or whine as soon as they are left alone, together with any of the above possible symptoms.
Here are some of our top tips for reducing separation anxiety in your new puppy!
To help your pup get used to being alone, practice leaving your puppy for brief periods from the time you bring it home. This can be as simple as going into another room initially and closing the door, so that you can hear what is happening. You can then begin to extend this out, until you eventually start leaving the premises all together.
Before leaving your pup alone, play with them to expend their energy. However, make sure you leave some space in between playing and your departure, as departing immediately after play can result in your pup becoming excitable and feeling lonelier when you leave.
Provide them with a “security blanket” when you put them in their crate, pen or bed. This could be a comfort toy, a treat or some piece of clothing with your scent on it.
Commence obedience and discipline training early. This will allow your puppy to feel calm and confident in any situation. However, don’t worry if this doesn’t happen immediately. It takes practice, practice and more practice!