brown white dog standing up and looking through a window

Leaving your dog alone at home

You may be, like many people, little available during the day for your dog. Your days may be full! But not your dog’s! And yes, Jack is waiting for you all day! Maybe he even makes you some nonsense to keep busy. What if you could change that? What if your dog’s day ends up fuller? Do you want any clues? Read this article!

1 Teach him to be alone

Of course, your dog must learn to be alone. It is not natural for him to be alone, since it is a source of stress, boredom, even danger. An extra canine companion, is not always a solution, since they can get bored with two. So here are the main steps to teach your dog to stay alone.

-Don’t ritualize your departures. So change the obvious signs of your departures and trivialize them. Also, make a “false start.” Grab your car keys, put on your coat and sit on your couch to watch TV. Or without warning, without putting on your shoes, get out of your house! The goal is to trivialize his rituals, break them so that they no longer cause stress for your dog. You can also ignore your dog before you leave, but also when you get home. Ignore means not looking at him, not touching him (neither to grow back nor for a caress) and not to talk to him. If the dog is excited when you return, once calmed down, you can call him back to give him attention.

dog brown French bulldog lying on the floor

-Fill his needs for release every day! Even if you have a garden. Indeed, a dog needs to go out a minimum of half an hour a day, every day, in order to satisfy as much as possible its need for exploration, sniffing, communication. That’s what makes him tired and well in his paws. A dog well in its paws does not stress at the departure of its owner.

-Give him something to look after all day long! Toys with different textures (stuffed, tug, hard toy), occupancy toys (such as toys where you can stuff food/candy, like the Kong brand). Its toys should not be available to your dog when you are present, so that they take on greater importance when you are away. So it’s a good place to leave when you leave, and pick it up when you come back.

-Reduce his space, so that he does not spend his time looking for you in the house. Reducing your space must be done in a positive way (see the previous step to do absolutely). You can also teach him to love one space more than another. Some teach their dog to love the cage (like a transport cage or a mundane cage), which can stay open, but offer a confined and reassuring space for the dog.

2 Ideal time

Now the ethical question arises. How long can we leave our dogs alone at home?

First, I think that this time can already vary according to so many criteria, that it is actually difficult to define a time. Indeed, its criteria may vary depending on the age, whether it is a puppy, an adult, or an old dog. But it will also change depending on the emotional state of your dog. Depending on where he comes from, is he used to being alone, or is he used to the environment in which you will leave him (when you’re on vacation in an unknown place, for example). Hence the importance, to teach your dog to be alone, and above all to generalize this learning as much as possible.

Despite all this, I think a dog should not be left longer than a range between 4am and 6am. You should think that during all this time, your dog will not be able to do his needs as he wishes. He will have to take care of himself, fill his day. Imagine yourself locked in a house doing nothing for a whole day, without the possibility of being able to go and relieve yourself, without being able to take care of yourself and that throughout your life. This is what most of our domestic dogs go through until they die. Nevertheless, there are alternatives.

pug puppy lying on the floor

3 Call a Dog-sitter

To avoid letting your dog bored alone at home, there are solutions like a dog sitter or pet sitting. A dog-sitter is someone who can come and take care of your dog during your absences, whether it’s during the day or even several days. This person comes to play with your dog and especially the ride. Depending on the length of your absence, this person can also feed the dog, care for him, in short take care of him as if it were his own dog. So the principle is really simple to put in place.

A dog sitter can be found in your entourage, if not, there are professional companies specialized to find a good pet sitter.

4 Benefits of using a Dog Sitter

The benefits are many especially for your dog, but also for you. Let’s list these benefits together to get a clearer picture:

-Your dog won’t get bored during the day

-A dog that does not get bored does not destroy, bark, and does not do its needs in the house

-This makes it possible to tire him in the best way (games, walks)

-You offer him social contact with other humans and sometimes even other dogs.

-If your dog is hyper-attached, he will learn that it is not stressful to see you go, since during the day he will have company.

-If your dog is well in his paws, you will be relieved for him. Your relationship will be even more peaceful and stronger.

5 How do I know if it’s a good Dog Sitter?

I see you coming up with your questions! How can you trust a stranger when it comes to keeping your dog? Well, there are some telltale clues. Here they are:

-Even if each person is different, and your own feelings will be different, know that a good dog sitter is a person who above all loves the company of dogs.

It goes without saying that a person who does this work out of obligation, without passion, will not have the same feeling as an enthusiast and will not necessarily take care of your dog with pleasure.

-The dog sitter must not be a negligent person. A careless person with your dog can put him or her in danger or care for himself, which can have behavioural consequences.

-Do a day of testing to make sure the current passes as much with you as with your dog. Is your dog happy to go back? Is he running away from his dog sitter? So many clues revealing the well-being of your dog, can put the flea in your ear!

-Ask for news and photos during the day. Without harassing the dog sitter you hire, you can still demand news of your dog and photos to reassure you.

6 Where to find a Dog Sitter?

You can find a dog sitter in your entourage (family, friend, neighbor). That’s the simplest thing.

But, if you don’t have a charitable soul that can look after your dog with confidence around you, you can look for that person from professionals.

Conclusion: Your dog can learn to be alone as soon as you are a puppy. But it’s a learning process to start, not something you have to impose overnight. So we have to put the learning process in place to make it work as well as possible. The best thing is not to impose loneliness on your dog, to avoid any problems of undesirable behavior.

Posted in Dog care, Training and education.

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