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19 August 2022
Leaving your dog home alone may make you feel guilty and nervous. Taking the steps outlined below will help ease off the stress associated with it.
Burn off your dog’s energy before they are home alone, this will help to decrease separation anxiety. Some ways to tire out your dog include taking them for a walk, going for a run, and playing fetch with them. This will ensure that your dog will be resting and decrease the chance of them engaging in destructive behavior.
Before leaving, make sure that your house is clear of all objects that might be dangerous to your dog. You may be surprised to learn that your dog may see you leave the house and think that all rules are off the table. Jumping on the counter and reaching for a hand towel or going through the recycling bin are a few things that your dog may do when you close that front door. Ensure that no sharp objects are near your dog’s eye level, move objects away from the edge of the countertop, and store all scissors or knives in closed drawers.
Before heading out the door, make sure to fill up your dog’s water bowl. You wouldn’t want them to be dehydrated by the time you come home.
You’ll also want to make sure that your dog feels comfortable being home alone, this can be eased by having a cozy resting place for them, such as a dog bed. Playing music can also help make them feel less stressed. If you’re going to be away during the evening or night, it’s important to leave a few lights on for them.
It’s a good idea to keep your dog busy when they’re home alone, that way they don’t get bored. Add some Nutrience dog kibble or dog treats to an interactive feeder to keep your dog busy. However, we do not recommend giving your dog a long-lasting bone unsupervised, as this could be a choking hazard.
The longer you leave your dog home alone the higher the likelihood that they will display destructive behavior. They may get bored and want to burn their energy by doing things they shouldn’t, such as chewing on your favorite baseball cap!
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the maximum amount of time to leave your dog home alone. There are many variables that differ between dogs such as their age, their size, their energy levels, and much more. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t leave your dog home alone for more than 6-8 hours1. This applies to adult dogs, but puppies require more attention and exhibit different behaviors.
If you’ve never left your dog home alone, it’s a good idea to gradually increase the time they spend home alone. This will ensure that they slowly learn your schedule, and you’ll be able to make any adjustments as need be.
These tips will help ensure that your four-legged friend feels comfortable when they’re home alone. And don’t forget to give your dog attention when you do come back!