As much as we love our furry family members, there are some places we have to go where our dogs can’t come with us. While some dogs may be able to be alone for short periods of time, being apart from your dog for hours or days on end requires more preparation.
Whatever your reason may be for having to leave your dog at home, there are ways to make leaving much less stressful for you and for your pup. Even the best-behaved dog can experience some stress-related behavioral issues when left alone, but making sure your dog is taken care of can prevent these.
When left to their own devices, dogs can get mischievous, bored, and restless. This usually means coming home to shoes that have been chewed on or trash that has been dug through and strewn about the house. The easiest solution to this is to crate train your pup. Proper training makes this a stress-free solution for a few hours, but your dog should not be left in a crate all day and night.
It’s important to take the time to train your pup, which means having the proper size crate, slowly introducing your dog and building their confidence with the crate, and starting off with very short periods of time before leaving your dog alone in the crate. A crate that is too big or too small can cause more problems than it solves. Your dog will naturally be uncertain around the new crate, but slowly creating a positive reinforcement and not getting anxious or emotional yourself will help keep your dog calm when you leave.
Whether you choose to crate your pet or they are laid back enough to let them roam free in the house, accidents still happen. This is especially true with puppies and senior dogs. You could spend your first few minutes home searching the house for accidents and cleaning up any you find, or you could use a dog kennel pad. These pads are designed to cover the bottom of a crate so that when your dog has an accident, the clean-up is minimal. These can be used inside or outside of a crate for puppies or adult dogs. Whether you use these pads to train your puppy or just for when your dog is alone for a while, they can greatly reduce the time spent cleaning up accidents around your house.
Have Someone Check in Daily
If you have a very high-energy dog or you have to leave your dog for longer than just one day, you should have someone check-in on your dog at least once a day. Hiring a pet-sitter to make sure your dog has enough food, is getting their exercise, and isn’t alone for too long is a great way to make sure your dog is well-behaved while you’re away. If you’re too busy or unable to take your dog for daily walks to make sure they’re getting their energy out, a dog-walker is a great solution for you, too. But each pet is different. A large, young dog with more energy is going to need longer, or more frequent, walks than a small, older dog. Determining how much exercise your dog needs will keep him happy and will keep him from misbehaving due to pent-up energy.
Leaving your dog alone doesn’t have to be a big deal. Whether you leave for a few hours every day, or you like to get out-of-town for the weekend, there are ways to relieve the stress on you and your pup. Crate training your dog is the first step in keeping your dog from making a mess. But if you need to leave for a few days, you should get someone to check in on your dogs at least every day. Regardless of how long you’re gone, kennel pads are a great way to prevent accidents or train your puppy. We all love our pets, so making sure they are comfortable when we leave is important. Plus, it makes their enthusiastic “welcome home” even more rewarding.