Tips to remember when leaving your dog home alone

If you have no choice but to leave your dog at home alone while you’re at work, follow these guidelines to make it easier for you both.

Ask yourself this

  • Where is your pup going to be kept – inside, outside or both?
  • Will he be confined to an area or have access to the whole house?
  • Is the room/house safe: can he chew any electrical cords?
  • Is the area warm enough in winter and cool enough in summer?
  • If you’re going to keep your dog in the garage, are there potential dangers like rat poison lurking about?
  • Are there windows and enough air and light in your garage?
  • If your dog enjoys being outside, is the property secure, will he bark all day and does he have shelter?  

Before you leave

  • It’s a good idea train your dog to be at home alone by leaving him for short spurts. That way he knows when you go out, you will come back.
  • Make sure your dog has had some sort of exercise or played a game with you before you go.
  • Take him out to do his business if he is staying inside.
  • Create a comforting area for him to sleep and feel secure; a basket inside or a kennel outside.
  • Leaving bowls of food out is not ideal;  ask a neighbour or friend if they would mind popping in to feed your dog.
  • Always have more than one bowl of fresh drinking water in case one spills.
  • If you have a puppy, it can’t hold its bladder like an adult dog so you will need puppy pads or a piece of artificial grass that can be hosed down.  

While you’re gone

  • Always leave a curtain and blinds open so that your dog can see outside and what’s going on in the garden or backyard; they like having a view.
  • Put the TV on so that there is some background noise.
  • Hire a pet sitter to come and play with your dog, or get a dog walker.
  • Leave chew toys and treats – it’s good for jaw muscles, is said to be therapeutic and keeps your pup away from your shoes!  

Doggie daycare

There are pros and cons to taking your pup to a daycare facility. On the positive side, it can help dogs with separation anxiety and keep them mentally stimulated and socialised with other dogs. It also stops them barking all day.

On the other hand, doggie daycare can be overstimulating or stressful for dogs that are under socialised. There is also a risk of catching kennel cough or fleas. It’s important to do your homework on any daycare centre as some of them don’t operate as well as others.

You’ll also find ones that cater for up to 50 dogs, which limits space and attention and can cause later issues.  

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