If you’re a pet owner, you may feel guilty about leaving your dog home alone while you go to work or engage in other activities. Here are some tips to make it easier for both you and your pet when you need to be away from home.
1. Plan Ahead
When you leave your home, it can create anxiety and uncertainty for your pet. This is particularly true if you are typically around the house most of the time, then suddenly change your habits and leave more often and for greater periods of time. You can curb this anxiety by creating a practice routine, in which you initially exit briefly and slowly build up to longer times away. This can help your pet learn to be more comfortable with your absences.
Before leaving, you’ll want to dog-proof your home by minimizing any opportunities for your pet to rummage through garbage or get into other things it shouldn’t. Also, be mindful of your dog’s potential to bark excessively, as this can cause additional anxiety for your pet and invite trouble with your neighbors. An ultrasonic training system like Barx Buddy can curb this behavior. Having toys and other stimuli available can also keep your pup calm and quiet.
2. Leave Out Food and Water
Having access to fresh water is essential for your dog’s health, so leaving some out at all times, whether you’re home or not, is a must. When you expect to be absent for a long period of time, it’s a good idea to place several water bowls in different areas of your home; that way if your pup becomes rambunctious and tips one over it can still find clean water elsewhere.
Providing food can be a little trickier. Most experts warn against simply leaving food out, as this can lead to overeating. Instead, consider using an automatic feeder that opens and gives your pup access to food at specific times. Not only can this help keep your pet at a healthy weight, but it can also satisfy your dog’s craving for routine and structure.
3. Address Potty Needs
It’s important for your pet to have a designated bathroom area for when it must relieve itself. If you are lucky enough to have an outdoor space in which this can be done, consider installing a doggy door so your pet can come and go as needed. If that’s not an option, find an acceptable area of your home to set up as a potty place.
Absorbent pads with protective liners are readily available; these can be placed in the spot in which you’d like your dog to do its business. Pads featuring natural or synthetic grass are popular, as well. Both types of pads can be placed on trays to minimize mess and avoid damage to your floors.
While it’s understandable to worry about leaving your dog home alone, your pup will likely be perfectly fine on its own. Just take a few simple steps to prepare your dog, and your home, so your pet can experience a stress-free separation.