With many of us returning to work, our pandemic puppies might be a bit out of sorts. They are sad and wondering why you are now leaving them alone during the day. This will be a big adjustment period for many animals, but don’t worry all you need is to help them establish a new routine. Here we discuss how to keep a dog entertained while home alone:
How Long Can I Leave My Dog Alone?
We all live hectic lives, but this should not put you off from adopting an animal! A lot of dog owners stress whenever they have to leave their furry friends. And while they might miss you while you’re out, there are loads of ways in which you can prepare them for some alone time.
Keep in mind the age of your dog when deciding how long you are able to leave them on their own.
Puppies (2 hours): For the first year your dog is in the puppy stage requiring lots of training and attention. Since they are not used to being alone, leaving them for too long can cause separation anxiety. Slowly increase your time out of the house as they age.
For tips about preparing for a puppy check out this previous blog post: 5 Things To Note Before Getting Your First Puppy.
Adult Dogs (4-6 hours): Once your dog is 18 months to two years old you can begin leaving them for longer periods of time. Go to the hockey or football game, head out for a night with friends, etc. By now your dog should be crate trained or comfortable being left alone.
If you’re looking for crate training advice check out this previous blog post: How To Crate Train Your Dog.
Elderly Dogs (2-6 hours: For elderly dogs, it is more of a judgment call for how long you should be leaving them alone. Is the dog experiencing any health issues? Are they needing to pee more frequently? As they age you might need to begin considering leaving them alone less often.
For more tips on aging dogs check out this previous blog post: Top Tips To Keep Your Aging Dog Healthy.
Prepare Your Dog For Alone Time
It’s important to ensure your dog never feels like you leaving them alone is a form of punishment. This is why a dog feeling positive about their crate, or other safe space is important. Your dog should look at a time alone as a relaxing time or enjoyable time. Here are some tips to prepare your dog and how to keep a dog entertained while home alone:
- Tire them out on a walk so they sleep while you’re out.
- Offer them a food-dispensing toy they can work on while you’re out. For example, peanut butter in a Kong toy.
- Give them a treat such as their favorite bone.
- Only leave them for short periods of time.
- Take them out for a bathroom break before you go.
- Get a dog walker to walk them and give them company.
- Get another dog so they are never truly alone.
- Set up a cozy seat in front of the window for them to watch the world.
- Ask a neighbor or family member to stop by and play with them.
How to keep a dog entertained while home alone depends on the dog. You will learn their favorite toys and activities as they grow up which can help you set them up for success when alone. Watch for signs of stress such as peeing in the house, chewing on furniture, or excessive barking.
Take The Dogs Breed Into Consideration
If you know that you will have to leave your dog alone for a certain amount of time every day while you work, etc, then this should influence the breed you adopt. Some breeds are a lot more okay with alone time than others.
Working dogs like Australian Shepherds, American Pit Bull Terriers, and Border Collie’s hate being alone. When left alone for too long they could become destructive trying to get rid of all their pent-up energy.
However, dogs like Chihuahuas, French Bulldogs, Greyhounds, and Basset Hounds are great dogs to have if you leave the house for longer periods of time. These dogs require less physical activity and are more naturally independent.
Try to never leave a dog home alone for too long as this could cause them to develop anxiety. It is also dangerous as no one is keeping an eye on them. And as dog parents, we know they can get into mischief, especially puppies. With Wagmo’s dog insurance and dog wellness plans you can ensure you are covered in case of an emergency illness or injury.
Dog health insurance will come in handy if you arrive home to a sick animal but have no idea what happened. They could have taken a bite from a toxic plant, got into some old Halloween candy, ate a candle… etc the list is endless. Mistakes happen, so it’s important to ensure your dog has access to proper medical care. Dog health insurance can cover the emergency vet visits, diagnostics, and exams needed to determine the illness, as well as any necessary surgery or medications.
Fore about your dog health insurance and dog wellness plans, or to receive a quote, follow the links below!