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Should you leave your dog at home?

When leaving your pup at home, you want them to feel comfy and secure ‒ not anxious and tearing up the place.

Here are some tips for making their stay at home comfy and productive, without any damage to your home or their emotions.

So, you need to leave your pup at home. But how long is too long?

Experts advise you don’t leave your pup home alone for longer than eight hours a day.

When she’s left alone too long, and with no stimulation, your pooch might develop separation anxiety. Symptoms include incessant barking, digging, urinating and defecating, running sway and even self-harm.

No one wants this for their pooch.

Adopting a sibling for your dog won’t automatically get rid of her separation anxiety. It’s more likely she’ll pass her separation anxiety on to the new dog, who’ll start acting in a similar manner.

Once your pup is trained to stay home, though, a canine or feline friend can be a wonderful companion. Or why not have a friend’s dog over for a playdate? You can take turns having each other’s dogs come over and keep each other company.

If it’s not possible for your pooch to have a playmate over, don’t worry: the important thing is keeping her mind stimulated during the hours you’re away.

You’re your pooch’s main form of entertainment, so when you’re not home, she’s likely to get bored and miss you. You can keep her occupied by leaving a kong puzzle for her to solve.

To make the puzzle more complicated and increase her time solving it, try filling your kong with a mixture of wet and dry ingredients, then freezing it. You can find some great ideas for kong recipes here.

You could also leave on some soothing classical or instrumental music for your pooch to enjoy. Talk radio is another good idea, but make sure it’s a calming channel - you don’t want your pup to listen to aggressive people all day.

Your pup won’t know how to stay all by herself at first. So start small ‒ one or two minutes and first ‒ and gradually increase the time she’s on her own.

If your pooch is yelping as soon as you leave the room, wait until she’s calmed down before you come back. Speak to her in a calm voice and don’t reward her with a treat ‒ you want to let her know that being alone is a perfectly safe, norma state of affairs.

Many people find training their pup with the help of a dog crate or separate dog room at first. Once you’re confident she’s well-behaved in the crate or dog room, she can have the run of the house when you’re away.

If your pup often has to stay home alone, you’ll want to ensure she also gets plenty of socialisation time too. The dog park is a great place for her to play with doggie friends.

Once your pup is used to staying home by herself and has plenty to keep her mind occupied while you’re gone, leaving her alone for stretches of time will be easier for both of you.

Do you have any other questions about dog breeds? Feel free to call us on: 09 448 2227.