How to Make the ‘Home Alone’ Experience Great for Your Pup
Ideally, every dog owner out there would want to go everywhere with their beloved pet. While flirting with this idea is possible, it is never really practical to go everywhere with your dog.
You need to get to work, travel out of town, go to school or make a quick dash to the grocery store. Sure, you can have your pup tag along to some of these places, but not every place you go to will be safe or convenient.
What to do?
One of the most obvious choices is a doggie day care, but that does not come cheap. Another option you have is to hire a babysitter to take care of the pet from your home, but that is another costly affair.
You can simply leave your dog at home for a specific number of hours each day, but you have to know how to get there first.
Starting out leaving puppy home alone
You can’t decide on leaving your puppy home alone without first preparing her for it. You have to look at her age first.
What is the right age for your puppy to start hanging out at home by herself?
A lot of people out there will tell you that 7-9 months is about right, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
You see, pups at this age are too young to understand the nuances of day-to-day life. They chew at your shoes, they bite at your furniture and will most certainly leave ‘accidents’ all over.
Most dogs start getting the hang of being alone between the ages of 18 and 24 months.
In some cases, some dogs will actually be comfortable alone after 3 or more years of age, but that is a distinct minority.
Prepare your puppy to be home alone
Dogs love being around people, so they won’t really grow into the idea of being alone at home in a matter of days.
Start by allowing the pet a particular amount of ‘me time’. You don’t really have to leave the house during these training sessions. Simply be in a different part of the house for some time.
For example, you could lock yourself in the kitchen or bedroom as you go about your daily chores. Keep tabs of how long it takes before your friend starts whining and scratching your door.
Even when she does, don’t let her in right away. You are essentially training her to learn to be alone because when you at last decide to leave them, there won’t be anyone opening doors.
Over time, you will see your pet getting more comfortable with being alone. She will grow into it and require less and less supervision. You will notice this when she whines less and doesn’t hang around your closed door all the time.
This is a strong hint that she is ready to be alone for some time. You can start out at a maximum of two hours and widen the time intervals as the pet becomes used to the new arrangement.
Well-trained dogs are able to stay alone for between 5 and 8 hours
Additional read: Tips on How to Crate Train Your Pup
Where in the house do you leave her?
You could decide to leave her inside the house or outdoors but within a gated compound. You could also choose to have them occupy an outdoor structure, like a garage. The compound is a good bet. There is a lot of space to run around and they can breathe in the fresh tones of the day without confines.
The problem here is that they are exposed to the elements. Inside the house is also a good idea, but since pets are pets, you could seal off the more sensitive areas of the home.
For example, you could allow the dog access to two or three rooms where they can play, use the litter box and feed. The garage is not really that great of a choice because most home garages are pretty stuffed.
How do you make it work?
Give her a quick morning run
Dogs are energetic beings. Since yours is going to be more or less stationary all day, start by tiring her out.
Take her with you for the morning jog. That way, she gets to use up some of her energy and doesn’t expend it tearing down your beloved furniture when you leave!
Be creative with food choices
You could scatter food around the compound/house so that your dog has fun running around, looking for a quick bite.
A good idea would be to place food-dispensing toys strategically around the home (strategically because binge eating is not a good idea either).
This way, you are setting up exciting challenges where the reward is some food for your pet to chomp on. Have water handy as well, and keep the litter box close.
Leave plenty of toys around
Fake baby squirrels, artificial wishbones, orbee balls and dragons are the kinds of things your dog loves to slay all day.
Leave these different types of toys hanging around and your pet will be more than happy to play with them. Choose toys that keep them interested and occupied for the longest time possible.
Watch over, and play with her remotely
There are dog cameras out there that give you all the visual and audio you need, allowing you to bond remotely with your pet.
The Furbo Dog Camera, for instance, has plenty of upsides to it. The camera maxes at 1080p, giving you very clear images. It’s also loaded with night vision and two-way audio.
It is Wi-Fi enabled, so you can download an iOs or Android app and do all your monitoring remotely.
Through the app, you can dispense over 100 different types of treats to the pet in a fun and playful way. All these treats are pre-stored in a compartment in the Furbo ensemble.
Leaving your dog home alone is a difficult choice, but you can make it fun and engaging. With the right kind of training, your pet will be just fine. Boost that with a nice dog camera and you will find the whole experience fun for both of you!