How to Create a Calm Space When Leaving Your Dog Home Alone
Leaving your dog home alone can be hard to take. It can be hard for you, especially if your girl is crying on the other side of the door. It can be hard for your neighbors, who might be around to hear those cries even when you aren't. It can be hardest of all on your doggo, who loves her human, plain and simple. You are the highlight of her day and she loves having you around.
When you go out, seeing those sad puppy dog eyes and hearing those pitiful whimpers can make you feel like you're abandoning your doggie BFF. Try these proven ways to ease your pal's stress when she has to stay home alone so that you can both have a great day and keep the peace in the neighborhood.
Set a Daily Routine
Dogs don't see the world the same way humans do. When you walk out the door, your pooch may worry she'll never see you again. When she knows what to expect during the day, she can better understand that you'll eventually come home.
Aim to leave the same time every morning and return the same time every evening. Your pup will come to understand that you won't be gone forever, and she'll feel more secure with each passing day.
Think Toys, Toys, Toys
Providing your pal with stimulating toys is another great way to keep her calm and engaged on her own. Give her toys designed for enrichment — such as treat puzzles — to keep her focused on something other than how much she misses you.
Start the Day With a Workout
Take a long walk together before you leave. It'll help keep your furry friend healthy, and it goes a long way toward ensuring she feels calm while you're away. After a good romp with you, odds are that she'll lie down and take a recuperative snooze the moment the door shuts.
Your pupper feeds off your emotions. If you make a big deal about leaving, she'll think it is one. Keep your goodbye short and sweet. Avoid turning it into a huge production, and she'll be less likely to feel like the world is ending.
The same is true when you return home. If you burst through the door like you couldn't wait to see her (even if that's the case), she's going to go bonkers. Instead, stay chill. Reward her with calm, focused attention instead of frantic hugs and kisses.
Watch for Separation Anxiety
Sometimes, she's more than a little sad when you leave your dog home alone. Separation anxiety is characterized by repetitive behaviors such as vocalization, defecating inside, restlessness, refusal to eat, and self-injury. If you suspect your pup experiences separation anxiety, talk it over with your veterinarian.
They might suggest options including supplements featuring calming ingredients that can help ease pet stress or crate training that can give your pet a feeling of security while she waits out your absence.
Adopt a Buddy
As a pack animal, spending the day alone goes against your doggo's natural tendencies. Having a companion to play with while you're away might be the perfect thing for her. Maybe this is your opportunity to finally adopt that second pup you've been thinking about all this time.
Whether you get her a buddy or not, having a dog who cries while you're away doesn't have to be a deal-breaker. You can take your furry friend's behavior down a few notches with some patience. The right prep can ensure you won't come home to a pup who woke the neighbor's baby or destroyed the sofa cushions. Rather, everyone — you, your neighbors, and especially your sweet girl — will be happy and chill.
The right prep can ensure you, your neighbors, and especially your sweet girl will be happy and chill.