In many places across the country, stay-at-home orders are ending. That means lots of us are headed back to work outside of our homes. Ask yourself, is my dog lonely?
Why Home Alone is for the Dogs
Dogs are social creatures. Our furry friends rely on us to give them attention and friendship. They’ve gotten used to being with us all day…
Staying home alone is a major change in their routine. Some dogs will feel bored. Others may be stressed and lonely. It’s not uncommon for canines to develop anxiety. And even the best-behaved pet can wind up on the naughty list!
Check out the Doggy Hall of Shame:
Sure, your dog may do a few of these things from time to time. But is it happening often? It may be a case of separation anxiety.
Some signs of separation anxiety and loneliness may include:
- Chewing on shoes, furniture or your favourite Star Wars figurine…
- Using the bathroom in the house
- Shredding toilet paper (so don’t try to hoard it)
- Barking and howling while you’re gone (your neighbours will let you know)
So how can you help your furry friend adjust to being home alone again?
Our 5 Tips to stop your dog getting lonely
1. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
Here’s our TOP TIP for your pup when you head back to the office:
Give him a lot of exercise!
- Get rid of excess energy
- Help prevent boredom
- Bring destructive behavior under control, e.g. chewing
Dogs can’t be stressed and asleep at the same time!
So would you rather your dog uses up all that energy outside?
2. The Keys to the Kingdom
Freedom may reign…
But when it comes to leaving your dog home alone?
It’s a recipe for disaster!
Do you have a puppy who is getting anxious or bored?
He can find a lot of things to get into! Especially with no supervision. So don’t let your dog roam the house freely.
Why not try…
- Keeping them in one room with toys
- A water bowl
- Their cosy bed
- Away from your favorite pair of new shoes!
Interactive dog toys
How about Kong for some old fashioned fun?
Kong is an indestructible rubber toy. The center is hollow, perfect for peanut butter.
Yum! (For the dog, not you)…
Our Kong Safety Tip:
Kongs are great boredom relievers.
But DO be careful. You need a size with an opening narrower than your canine’s mouth.
If the opening is too big, it can become stuck on the lower jaw.
Gadgets and Gizmos
How about a chewable robot?
These are designed for pups who love a good chase.
Every so often, it drops dry treats.
Does your dog have separation anxiety?
He may use the bathroom in the house when nobody is home.
You can use a crate to train dogs for short periods. But this isn’t a great solution for eight-hour workdays.
You can find larger pens to give them more space.
Or try potty pads.
Does your workday last over six to eight hours?
Doggy daycare may be a lot more fun for you both.
3. All the World’s a Stage
Shakespeare probably wasn’t thinking of security cameras.
Pet cams are cheap and easy to find. You can see what mischief your dog is up to while you’re away. It might even give you a laugh. Or go viral.
Many cams will let YOU talk through a built-in speaker.
“Hello, this is your conscience…”
Want to get fancy?
You can get pet cams with treat dispensers. Some will even alert you if your dog is barking.
Your neighbours will love you.
4. Wellness, All the Time
Need to balance your pup’s mood? Try:
- Foods with added B vitamins and amino acids
- Herbal supplements, such as valerian root and chamomile
- Aromatherapy for managing anxiety
- Premixed formulas specifically for dogs
The Sound of Music
And what if that’s not enough relaxation?
Try a music app.
This is a free 15 hour track. It’s designed for those pups who hate to be left alone.
5. Netflix and Chill
Entertainment is the key word here.
A distracted dog is a happy dog!
So why not let him try some shameless Netflix bingeing? Even if it’s just for that initial time of adjustment.
Will your dog watch?
How do you find shows your furry friend might like?
There are TV shows just for dogs.
DogTV offers unique content tailored to canines.
The Tail End
So, lucky you.
While you head off to work, your pup will cheerfully wag you goodbye.
It’s a dog’s life.
By Heather CVPM for pouncingpup.com.
Author Bio: Heather CVPM is a qualified veterinarian and writer for Pouncing Pup. With 27 years in the industry, Heather earned her certification as a Veterinary Practice Manager from St. Petersburg College in Florida. She has two children, one human and the other an outgoing mixed-breed dog named Caramel.