If there is one good thing about confinement periods, it is that they allow us to spend more time with our dogs. Sometimes the whole day. Now, it is easy to feel guilty when you have to leave your dog home alone after the mobility restrictions are over. In this post we give you some tips to help you, and of course to help your dog.
Let’s start at the beginning: dogs are social animals and, therefore, loneliness can affect them negatively, especially when it becomes a frequent and prolonged situation over time.
From the point of view of canine ethology (the science that studies canine behavior), it is considered natural that some dogs do not tolerate being left alone well. In this sense, any effective help that we can provide is welcome.
Reflections to leave your dog alone at home without feeling guilty
Many of the people who used to work outside the home now telework or combine telework days with other face-to-face days.
How do we make our dogs understand that?
There are ways to get a dog used to being home alone and keeping it calm. Even when our work schedules are changeable.
But before going into explaining the guidelines that can help your dog, take a look at these others. Because if you feel guilty about having to be absent during your workday, here are some thoughts that can help you:
- Quality is better than quantity: make the most of the moments in which you can be with your dog to enjoy and give him everything he needs. If you dedicate quality time to him, and focus on helping him be happy, you will surely feel better and he will also face moments of loneliness better.
- Remember that your dog can live without you: sometimes we think that our dogs depend so much on us that we do not realize that it is we ourselves who are promoting hyper-addiction or hyper-dependence. Being aware of this is the best way to ensure that when you leave your dog alone at home, it does not suffer from your absence.
- Look for Small Opportunities: On a day-to-day basis (even during confinement) there are many small opportunities to get your dog used to being alone and independent. Take advantage of them all.
Tips to leave your dog alone at home and help him to be calm
We are going to distinguish between two large groups of indications or guidelines that you can follow:
What you can always do
- Encourage self-reliance: Let your dog discover the world for himself, don’t overprotect him. In the face of any problem or difficulty, give him room to find a solution before coming to you.
- Avoid hyperactivity: do not continually seek contact with your dog, teach him to enjoy his space and independence. And if he is the one who looks for you continuously, do not always give in to his claims.
- Teach him to rest in a different room: while you telework, leave your dog in another room. If he cries or gets very nervous, do it very gradually. Put him his bed, a teether to entertain or a stuffed food toy and leave him a short time. Then increase the separation time.
- Avoid dependence on a single caregiver: if you are several people in the family, make sure that it is not just one who is in charge of walking, feeding and playing with the dog.
- Make your home a 100% pleasant place: in order to leave your dog alone at home without suffering, you have to know that your home is a totally safe and comfortable environment. Seek that your dog always has a comfortable area to sleep in, a quiet place where it will not be disturbed and uses pheromones in diffuser format to create a safe and relaxed environment. Adapted Calm Diffuser is a very good option.
- Give him physical and mental stimulation: it is necessary to keep his anxiety levels in check. Make sure that your dog can do physical and mental exercise in sufficient doses. For the physique, walks or any well-run dog sport are ideal. If walking is not allowed, you can always use playtime (even at home) to stimulate him physically. As for mental exercise, you can train different skills, do smell games, buy interactive toys, etc.
What you can do WHEN YOU HAVE TO GO OUT and leave your dog alone at home
- Get your dog tired before you leave him alone: If your dog has released energy in a walk or a good play session, it will be easier for him to understand that staying alone is an opportunity to rest and be relaxed. Now, make sure that, before leaving your dog alone at home, he has had some time to reduce the energy of the walk or the play session. That is, do not come back from the street and immediately leave him alone and locked up.
- Use a booster at specific moments: Adaptil Express Tablets can be a good one-off reinforcement, for the days when you know that you are going to be away from home more time or are going to change the usual routine. It is a unique combination of amino acids and vitamins that produces a fast and long-lasting relaxing effect to keep dogs calm but not sedated. It is a natural and non-pharmacological aid, so it has no contraindications.
- Use stuffed food toys – they can be entertaining during lonely hours.
- Don’t cheat on your dog when it comes to leaving the house: Some scientific studies have shown that if a dog can predict when he will be left alone, anticipatory anxiety is reduced. So don’t fool him and distract him with something as you walk out the door.
Pheromones, a natural aid and without contraindications
Canine pheromones are chemicals that dogs secrete that help them communicate with each other. Some of the messages they can convey are messages of reassurance or appeasement. Adaptil pheromones are based on this principle and help to create a feeling of calm in the environment. That is the reason why they can be considered a good help when leaving your dog alone at home. Adaptil Calm Diffuser constantly promotes a feeling of natural comfort and tranquility at home. On the other hand, Adaptil Express Tablets can help you in the following situations:
- Days when you know that you are going to spend more time outside than usual and, therefore, you are going to leave your dog alone at home for more hours.
- Days when you know there is going to be a change in the usual routine.
- Days or seasons during which you know that something can happen that causes fear or stress to your dog.
Adaptil Express Tablets is ideal in all these cases since it can be considered a punctual reinforcement that acts quickly (in less than 2 hours) and its relaxing effect lasts up to 6 hours. Be that as it may, remember that: regardless of the type of Adaptil you choose, pheromones are always natural and non-pharmacological aids, so they have no contraindications.
We hope you find these guidelines helpful. In any case, if when you leave your dog alone at home, you notice that his anxiety level is really very high, please follow our advice but consult a canine ethologist. An expert professional will be able to assess the case personally and mark an individual treatment.