Just like we humans have adapted to the changing lifestyles around us – longer workdays, smaller outdoor spaces – our furry friends also have had to adjust to the modern life. Gone are the days, where we could just leave our dogs outdoors to run in the fields, as most of us live in smaller apartments in the city.
Unfortunately, dogs can get anxious spending all of their day indoors alone. The good news is you can help your dog feel just a little less anxious at home with the below tips.
A trained dog feels more comfortable
Most dog owners are responsible for training dogs to do all sorts of tricks and behave well, but when it comes to training the dog to be alone, we aren’t always so good. It’s important to ensure your dog never has to adjust to a new situation unexpectedly, but has more time to get used to the situation.
This means you should slowly start training your dog to stay home alone. Dog training books often provide great tips on how to achieve this. The main thing to remember is to advance slowly and to reward good behaviour.
In addition, if your dog has ended up destroying furniture or leaving a mess while you were out, don’t punish the dog. To your dog, the punishment would relate to the thing they are doing at the time you punish them – a dog won’t understand you are punishing him for chewing your dogs four hours ago.
A tired dog is a sleepy dog
You’ve all been resting for the night, the alarm goes off and you rush through your morning routine, while your dog eats his breakfast. You are running a bit late and so the morning walk is just a minute-long brisk visit to outside.
Sounds familiar? It should also sound awfully boring, as your dog will be left at home, full of energy while you go to work. Energetic dogs in an empty home with not much to do equal certain chaos.
It’s essential you get your dog as tired as possible in the morning, to ensure they are happy to stay home alone with only a few things to occupy them. Depending on your dog’s breed and size, a long walk is a fantastic idea for the mornings.
A selection of things to do
If you had to sit in a relatively empty room for eight hours every day, you’d most likely end up going crazy. So, you shouldn’t be surprised if your dog entertains himself by chewing the sofa while you are away.
Provide your dog with something fun to do, such as food-dispending toys, or other chewy toys. Dogs love foraging, so you can hide pieces of dry food around the home for the dog to search and find. There’s a wealth of great dog toys available at various pet stores like MedicAnimal, Zooplus, Pet Supermarket, and more at VoucherBin UK.
You could also experiment with things such as radio or TV. Most modern models can be timed to go on and off at a specific time and the dog might find these sounds soothing during a long day.
A friendly face to keep company
Finally, your dog isn’t required to spend the whole day on its own. You got a range of options available from a full doggie day care to a doggie walker to add a small change to the dog’s daily routine. The Good Dog Guide has a list of options around the UK for both day care and daily walks.
A sign of deeper trouble
Most dogs can present some naughty behaviour and signs of boredom after long days alone. But if your dog is extremely restless and whiny, as you begin to leave and you are constantly met with gnawed doors and items, the dog might be suffering from genuine separation anxiety.
If you suspect this is the case, it might be a good idea to film your dog a bit while he is home alone. If the dog behaves anxiously, talk to your vet about the issues. Separation anxiety can be treated with behavioural training and in some instances with medication.