Your busy schedule can sometimes keep you away from your home and your dog. It’s a sad truth many pet owners have to confront. You can make the best out of a less-than-ideal situation by keeping some of these tips in mind.
Know the breed
Your dog may be the type not to mind being left alone. Or, perhaps your dog is prone to severe separation anxiety. It might be difficult to know either way until you try, but your dog’s breed and history play a role.
For instance, puppies of a breed known for unwavering loyalty or bred for companionship, such as friendly and loyal Golden Retriever puppies, are more likely to struggle without you than other breeds.
Knowing what to expect from your dog could help you decide how to leave Fido home alone. He might need more (or less) help to adjust to your absence.
Prepare a dog-proof area
Especially the first time you leave your dog alone, you might return home to some uncharacteristic destruction or potty surprises. Sure, you can technically clean a fancy rug, but a better idea is to plan ahead and ensure your dog doesn’t have access to anything too damage-prone.
You should keep your dog barricaded in an area without carpet or rugs, away from shoes, and so on. Baby gates work well for this in areas without doors. Better yet, crate training your dog could help you leave your dog in a kennel for short periods of time and if you ever need to board your dog for a long time away.
Keep a predictable schedule
Pets don’t like change any more than humans do. Dogs will fare better while you’re away at work if they know what to expect. Once you figure out what works best for your dog, stick to that routine as much as possible.
If he usually spends the day confined to the living room, changing that routine and letting him wander freely on some days may do more harm than good. Consistency is a great teacher.
Consider outside help
Midday trips home aren’t feasible for every dog owner, unfortunately. Your pup will probably be happier and healthier with some kind of break during the day, though, and a dog sitter or walker could make a big difference.
If nothing else, perhaps a friendly neighbor could stop by and let your dog outside. Your budget doesn’t have to stretch to include all-day doggie daycare if that just isn’t reasonable. Even a five-minute stop would break up the day for your pet.
Give your dog something to do
Some dogs are fine spending the day taking long, lazy naps in the sunlight. But being alone can be harder on other dogs who need more mental stimulation. You could try leaving curtains open to allow your dog to watch outside, leaving a TV or radio on for comforting white noise, or giving your pup a puzzle toy with a motivational treat inside.
Dogs are family members, too, and it’s hard for many owners to leave their pets behind when they go off to work. Simple adjustments and a consistent routine can make the workday easier for humans and canines.