Whether youâ€™ve recently adopted an older dog or added a young puppy to your home, itâ€™s always difficult to leave your dog for the first time. Theyâ€™re used to not being alone and you donâ€™t know if you can trust them 100% to be loose in the house unattended yet.
One of the biggest concerns of any dog owner is what is going to happen when they do leave them alone for the first time. The dog might cope well naturally or they may suffer from a little anxiety or confusion. The trick is to prepare your dog and your home for that first time alone.
Safe and secure
What some owners may not realize is that a crate can make a dog feel secure. It is often viewed by owners as a cage, but in most cases, isnâ€™t your house one big cage too? A crate in the home is supposed to help your dog feel secure and naturally comforted.
The key here is to provide your dog with a safe and secure place within the home. Dogs are den creatures, so they like having a spot where they can hide and feel safe when they are feeling scared or anxious.
All by myself
Loneliness can be a dogâ€™s worst fear. So, keeping them active while youâ€™re away will keep them out of trouble and keep them happy as well. A playmate or companion is often a great idea. A second dog is usually a good idea if you are planning on regularly leaving your pooch alone. But in many cases, a cat or other creature in the home can keep the dogâ€™s mind from feeling alone.
This brings us to the importance of entertainment. What can you do to keep your dog active while youâ€™re away? Toys that interact? One favorite is something that makes a noise when played with. But, there are a few dangers to be aware of with an unsupervised dog. Avoid leaving things that they can choke on, such as rawhide bones or tug-a-ropes. Smaller play toys that can be chewed and eaten are also a danger. If your dog has gained fame in the destroying-the-new-toy department, itâ€™s best to find something durable for them to play with- especially if theyâ€™re alone.
Puzzles with treats are growing in appreciation. Slider puzzles can keep your dog entertained for hours while he tries to figure out how to move covers off the slots to get to the treats under. Itâ€™s best to pin these puzzles down to a surface, so they donâ€™t get tossed around or turned upside down.
Kong pet toys are renowned for durability and functionality when it comes to those more aggressive chewers. Treats can be placed in a toy, and itâ€™s up to your dog to figure out how to get to it. These are great devices for keeping a dog entertained while youâ€™re away.
Noise is another helpful tactic, whether itâ€™s music on the radio or the Discovery channel. To your dog, the sound of something that is consistent with you being around can be very comforting. Just be sure that you have them on while at home as well, so your dog wonâ€™t relate the sound to you leaving.
When it comes to preparing them for some alone time, itâ€™s best to always keep your dog exercised and regularly active. This will help reduce anxiety when alone, not to mention the fact that letting out that energy positively reduces the chances that they would use it negatively on your sofa cushions.
You must also set the scene just right. You donâ€™t have to create a magnificent performance, and basically, you donâ€™t want to make an entrance or exit. Leave calmly as though nothing were different at all. You donâ€™t want to get your dog all excited and then leave him or heâ€™ll notice that something is very different. Simply pat your dog on the head and soothingly tell him to be good and youâ€™ll be back.
If you are overwhelmingly concerned about leaving your dog alone for the first time, consider the option of having someone check on them. A friend or neighbor could stop by and take a look in to make sure they arenâ€™t doing something they arenâ€™t supposed to do.
If youâ€™re leaving your dog alone for the first time, itâ€™s important that you take measures to ensure they not only feel safe and secure, but can also keep their mind active with something to do while youâ€™re away. Be sure to prepare your dog for alone time by making them comfortable and acting like nothing has even changed. After all, youâ€™ll be back soon, and thatâ€™s what matters most to them.
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