Is your dog home alone a lot? They might be missing you!
Dog separation anxiety is very common, and it's all too understandable for your pup to feel down when you leave for the day, because they’re alone and have no clue when you’ll return.
Loneliness can cause disruptive behaviour
In fact, when it comes to dog separation anxiety, our pups are prone to exhibiting destructive behaviour. When they miss us, they get confused and often ‘act out’ by chewing, digging, or even trying to escape (they might be looking for you)!
If your pup exhibits such behaviours, try to go easy on them – these are common symptoms of separation distress.
We can’t always be with our pups, but we can make them feel less lonely
Leaving your dog home alone when you’re off making a living is a normal part of life – without our jobs we couldn’t put food in their tummies, right?
And because we can’t always be around, it's up to us to do the best we can to make our pups feel happy when we’re away. Being a lonely dog is just as hard as being a lonely human, let’s ensure your furry friend has their tail wagging as much as possible!
How to help a lonely dog who's missing you
Keep them busy with toys
A great way to minimise dog separation anxiety, and to ensure your pup isn’t feeling too lonely while you’re away, is to keep them occupied!
Setting up an obstacle course in the backyard, getting your pup familiar with his own space (e.g. a dog kennel or mat) or giving them extra treats or toys are clever ways to keep your pup busy.
There are many dog toys out there that you can actually fill with treats, that keep dogs busy all day! Same goes for dog bones.
When you’re planning on leaving your dog home alone, be sure to do these sorts of things each time you leave so that they associate your leaving with something positive! This will help your lonely dog feel a little happier while they miss you during the day.
Minimise silence by playing music
A clever way to make your pup feel less lonely while you’re at work all day is to set up some background sounds, such as music – or even the television.
If your furry pal is an outside dog then perhaps try setting up a radio in the garage or closeby to an open window. Background music will help your lonely dog feel more accompanied because they can hear activity closeby.
If you choose to play music, ensure to pick something soothing – such as classical tunes, or dog-specific music that includes tracks of people chattering.
If your pup is an inside dog, this trick also works with the television. The human voice is very comforting to lonely dogs, as it helps them stay calm when they’re suffering from separation anxiety.
Walk your dog before work
A common issue that our pups have when they’re left alone all day is having too much energy – all they want to do is run around and play with us! This can often lead to disruptive behaviour such as digging up the garden.
So it’s a good idea to take your pup for a walk, or do their regular exercise in the mornings (when you can of course)!
If you’re an early riser, and you don’t have time to walk before work, try spending five minutes playing a game of tug of war to use up some of your dog's energy.
If you’re leaving your dog home alone for the day, a simple game or short walk before you go is the perfect way to remind them that you love them. Lonely dogs need this attention, so ensure you give it a go!