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How To Keep Your Dog Happy When Alone At Home?

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Your 4-legged friend is a sociable creature whose purpose in life is to be with you, your family, and right in the middle of whatever you have going on. It may seem like a very simple purpose, but you are your dog’s whole world.

When you spend most of your day away from your best friend, then they don’t have much constructive focus, and they’ll end up finding ways to entertain themselves. This can include destructive behavior, like pulling the stuffing out of a couch cushion, or more retaliatory behavior like knocking over your trash can.

Sometimes there are behaviors you can’t help, like when a puppy chews on the chair legs, but there are some things you can do to keep your dog happy when they are home alone.

 

Start Training Your Dog Before You Have To Leave Them

Training your dog to be left alone can be very easy. The RSPCA has a great guide. The idea is to start by training your dog to stay in their bed while you are in the room with them, then reward them for staying there while you go about your business.

Next, reward your dog for staying in their bed while you move to other rooms. Increase the distance and length of time you are away from your fur-baby. Once you are able to leave the room for longer periods of time, you can start to train your dog in the same way with you leaving the house.

 

Stick To A Normal Routine

Just like kiddos, dogs love a dependable and normal routine. Routines can be based off doing the same thing in sequence or doing a certain thing at a certain time during the day. For example, when potty training your dog, they’re less likely to have accidents if they know you’re going to let them out at a certain time.

The same concept goes for when you have to leave the house. The goal would be to follow the same routine, for example, start with breakfast, then a potty break, then a quick walk before you have your pup go lay in bed before you leave. By following the routine, your dog has time to slowly adjust to what is going to happen next and will know what to expect.

 

Provide Distractions

There are toys, such as stuffed Kongs, that can provide a healthy distraction for your dog to help them pass the time.

Many pet owners report that leaving a radio playing on a talk show, or the TV on helps. There are actually channels on your TV now specifically designed for your dog.

You can also “wear out” your dog with exercise before you leave, as long as it is part of your routine, so that they can sleep away part of the time you are gone. If you get desperate, there are aps available that provide pet care professionals who can walk your dog or let them out and play with them in the middle of the day.

 

Coming And Going Should NOT Be A Big Event

One of the major contributors to separation anxiety is when you make an emotional exit, or encourage your dog to get crazy excited when you come home.

So, try to make it a part of your routine to not make a big deal about your leaving the house. Experts suggest not even looking at your dog or saying goodbye.

Just like the training, have them lay down in their bed, give them their distraction toy, and just leave.

When you come home, move right into your routine, letting the dog outside, feeding them, and then after everything is settled down, you could give them some extra pets if you missed them during the day.

 

Know What Separation Anxiety Looks Like

If you come home to a knocked over trash can, it is probably a sign of boredom.

If you follow the guide we’ve provided, then your dog should have very little issues with separation anxiety, however there are breeds of dogs that are more inclined towards separation anxiety so it is important to know what it looks like.

Separation Anxiety usually starts with accidents that happen inside the home when separated from their “human pack.”

If your dog is on a potty schedule, and there are no other signs of health distress and they decide to go to the bathroom while you are away, it may be a sign of separation anxiety.

The next sign of separation anxiety is when your angel starts annoying the neighbors with some serious barking and howling.

This especially becomes a problem when there doesn’t seem to be a trigger, such as perceived danger, except the fact that they are alone.

Lastly, if you find chewing in combination with digging and destruction, such as on door frames or windowsills when you leave your dog home alone, then your pooch is probably trying to get outside to where they think you are.

This can even lead to your dog escaping the safety of your home and getting into an accident.

If you’ve adopted an older dog, or starting with a puppy, it is important to learn how to make your dog comfortable when you are away. Even older dogs can be trained to overcome their separation anxiety. If you start to have trouble, you may seek the advice of a professional, but in general the guide provided here can help significantly.