Everyone loves a little alone time but we are social animals at heart and don’t like being on our own for too long – and you may have noticed this is exactly the same with your paw friend. You can tell they aren’t happy when you leave the house and how madly excited they are on your return. So we’ve put together some top tips for spotting if your pooch is uneasy being left alone and how to help them cope when you leave the house.
1. Don’t Leave Me This Way!
By their nature your dog is a pack animal, it loves family and guess what…you’re their family! That’s why they come running up to you with such enthusiasm whenever you’re around. When your dog is just a puppy they learn things very quickly, and if they had an unpleasant experience being alone as a puppy this will carry on into their adult life.
Similar to people, often our fears come from something that happened when we were very young and hence we didn’t understand. So if your dog was left alone as a puppy and they didn’t have access to a comforting place, they will worry this is going to happen again. There’s also worry they won’t know where their next meal will be coming from – it’s why you might find little treats like bones, hidden in strange places around the house.
2. Body Talks
Barking, whining and howling are the strongest indicators that your dog can’t bear to see you leave them alone! Similarly, being that little bit naughty such as scratching at the doors and attempting to escape, are your dog’s way of communicating their anxiety towards being left alone. We’re all naturally skilled at knowing how to pull on our loved one’s heart strings and your canine companion is no different; acting ‘upset’ by hiding and giving the cold shoulder is one of the ways your dog is trying to stop you from leaving.
3. How can I help my dog stay home alone?
There is no better feeling than returning to a safe space when life gets a bit too much. Our canine companions have the same needs; it could be a dog crate, a certain room in the house or their dog bed. Imagine a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign around this safe space for whenever your dog is spending time in their comfort zone. ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser is the perfect helping hand, making your dog’s safe place that bit more relaxing. Plugging the diffuser into this room gives off ‘comforting messages’ in your absence, making them feel even more secure in their environment when home alone.
4. Tips to Help My Dog Keep Calm
Like the super nanny of dogs, one of the most well known tricks is to avoid making a fuss about your departure.This goes hand in hand with tiring your fluffy friend to before leaving because what could be more perfect than leaving your dog in the mood for an afternoon nap whilst you’re away!
No one likes to be left with nothing to do, so for times when your dog just wants to keep playing be sure to leave them with fun toys or food puzzles to keep their mind occupied.
Crucial to this is also not to make a big deal when you return. Your pooch will naturally be over the moon to see you, but try not to make it into a big deal. By playing it cool upon your return your dog will begin to realise that time alone is part of the normal way of life. So give it a few minutes, let yourself settle in, your dog will no doubt be demanding attention, and then once they’ve calmed down a little bit you can shower them with love.
So there you have it, some top tips on how to help your dog stay home alone. Remember – the best thing about being away from your pooch is you get all the love in the world when you return ! Just, you know, play it cool 🙂
For any serious behavioural issues please feel free to book a behavioural consult with one of our vets (Ph: 02 9797 2555 E: firstname.lastname@example.org)