Help your dog spend time alone. In most cases, leaving a dog alone at home is not a problem. However, it is totally normal for doubts to arise when we talk about adopted dogs or dogs that present behavioral problems. When left alone, such as destruction, howling, barking,, orces, or faeces.
What should we do in these cases? When is it time to go to a professional?
In this article we give you tips that help your dog spend alone time at home safely. We will also resolve the most common doubts that arise in the face of the appearance of certain negative behaviors.
Don’t forget that patience, affection and empathy are key factors in positively managing this situation. In some cases, it will be essential to visit a specialist, something that we will also help you to value.
Read on and solve all your doubts:
How long can a dog be home alone?
Most caregivers have daily obligations, such as studies or work, that make us have to leave home, leaving our dog alone at home. This raises the first question: how many hours can a dog go by unansed? In general, a dog should not be alone at home more than 6 or 8 hours. However, when we talk about old dogs, very quiet or especially independent, the recommended time can be extended a little more.
However, in no case will we leave a dog alone at home all day or a whole week. Remember that the dog is a tremendously affective sociable animal, which requires regular supervision and attention by its tutors.
In fact, leaving a dog alone at home for a long time favors the appearance of behavioral problems and even health problems.
Tips for leaving the dog alone at home
Before showing you the right techniques and procedure to teach your dog to stay alone at home, we want to offer you some prior tips that you should take into account if you want to guarantee the well-being and safety of your dog when you are not at home.
Remember that dogs, especially puppies, are susceptible to nibbling and exploring everything that is within their reach. So it is essential to take precautions if we want to prevent an accident in our absence.
1. Provide your dog with a safe environment
Before leaving we will determine the rooms to which the dog will have access, closing doors and windows if necessary, in this way we can prevent any type of incident. We will also collect cables, detergents or decoration objects that may be dangerous.
In the case of having puppy dogs less than four months it is advised to leave them in a dog park puppies.
2. Guarantees the 5 freedoms of animal welfare
Another key aspect is to try to ensure that our dog enjoys the 5 freedoms of animal welfare. You still don’t know what they are? Here’s some of the following, Don’t suffer hunger, thirst and malnutrition, have comfort, free from pain and illness, that can be expressed and fearless or stress-free
Sometimes it seems obvious that we are meeting these “requirements”, however, if we review them in detail, we can observe that it is not always easy to follow them.
3. Offer a quality walk
It is advisable to offer a walk to our dog before leaving home, in which he can sniff the environment. Relate to other dogs and/or people if you wish, as well as make your needs unlimited. It is advisable to include a small exercise session, such as playing to bring the ball, especially if we are talking about a very active dog that needs to burn energy.
At the end of the walk and the chosen sport, we will spend five minutes relaxing before going home, to avoid overexcitement and anxiety.
How to teach a dog to be home alone?
Teaching a dog to stay alone at home is a fundamental aspect of his education, because it will depend on our can show a balanced behavior in our absence.
Likewise, performing this procedure progressively and positively will help us prevent the occurrence of some more common behavioral problems.
Next, we will show you the techniques to leave a dog alone at home recommended. But first we want to explain what a dog feels alone at home, because only in this way can we better understand how to approach this procedure.
How do dogs feel when they’re alone?
One study conducted a modified version of the Ainsworth’s Strange Situation Test in which it was found that dogs showed a similar behavior to that of a young child with his mother when they were left alone in the presence of a stranger, revealing the similarity of a paternal-filial bond between human and dog.
In the presence of the owners, the dogs showed social, exploratory and gambling behavior, however, in their absence or in the presence of a stranger, they stopped manifesting these behaviors and increased fear and attachment, for their “safe base” had disappeared, that is, their caregiver.
Teach a dog to be alone step by step
Therefore, it helps your dog to spend time alone at home, we must perform a gradual process, in which the positive reinforcement must always be present. Only in this way can the dog associate our absence in a pleasant way and not as a negative situation or that causes fear.
Regardless of whether we are talking about a puppy dog or adult, we will start making short outings of 3 to 5 minutes. In which we can include some positive element, such as a toy or edible snack. In this respect, we will take into account the preferences of the dog.
We will make these short outings several times a day for a few days and. When we return home, we will reinforce our dog with caresses and friendly words, without getting excited.
Once we notice that our dog is quiet at home, we will increase the time of our departures, from 10 to 20 minutes, from 30 to 60 minutes and so progressively.
We can guarantee that our dog is quiet at home through a dog surveillance camera. Although it is not an indispensable element.
In the case of observing the occurrence of behavioral problems, we will reduce the time of departures and bet on increasing environmental enrichment and entertainment, something detailed below.
How to entertain my dog when I’m not home?
You’ve ever wondered… what do dogs do alone at home when we don’t see them?. The truth is that, unlike humans, dogs cannot watch TV or read a book to entertain themselves. So it is so important to pay attention to environmental enrichment and toys when we leave. Especially when we talk about leaving alone a puppy, a young dog or a very active adult.
You can leave toys at your fingertips.
And rotate them to encourage play and chewing behaviors. You can bet on balls, food dispensing toys or intelligence toys. However, it is very important that the accessories are safe and adapted to the size and age of the dog. Otherwise a choking frame may occur if you inadvertently ingest them. Search your nearest store for approved toys.
Make rotating changes to the environment.
As with toys, thus increasing the complexity of the environment. You can change the bed, place a dog tunnel or several pillows.
You can also hide prizes or think.
Of different places in the home for your dog to look for using smell. Which will significantly improve cognitive stimulation and promote well-being.
Start by leaving prizes in easily accessible locations and progressively increase the difficulty. You can also change the type of award to encourage nutritional enrichment.
Finally, you can stimulate your senses.
With soothing music, a dim light or a blanket scented with natural oils that are not aggressive to the sensitive and delicate nose of dogs.
Here are just a few examples of accessories, stimuli and games for a dog only at home. But there are many more! Gradually you will discover more about the character of your dog, its needs and preferences. Which will help you find ideal enrichment forms for him.
These were some techniques that help your dog spend time alone at home.