No one likes that feeling when you gather your things to go out for the day and you look into the eyes of your pooch, who stares back at you with raised eyebrows and a hint of sadness in their eyes. No one enjoys having to say goodbye for the day until the moment you return. Ideally, we could take our dogs with us everywhere we go, but unfortunately that’s not a possibility. The guilt we feel when we have to leave our dogs at home alone is very common and there are ways to prevent and avoid it.
1. Introduce alone time to your dog at a young age (Independence Training)
During the socialisation phase, like a child, it is important to not always smother them with attention. You need to teach them to have their alone time. Your dog needs to understand that you won’t always be around and they can’t always expect your attention. Training your dog to behave well also involves training them to appreciate time by themselves, which will significantly assist (to) their happiness in the future.
There’s no need to skip a night away from after-work drinks or the gym to come home to your dog. Regularly coming home at the same time and teaching your dog to have an expectation of when they will be fed or walked can actually cause them to become anxious and stressed when they expect you because they will begin to anticipate something and become uncomfortable when they wait.
So don’t feel guilty about leaving them alone – it’s actually good for them!
2. Provide chew toys or treats
Keeping your dog occupied is the best way to keep them happy and prevents them from becoming bored or lonely. Buy chew toys or bones that your dog can chew on throughout the day. This is also really great for their teeth. Try hiding treats around the backyard for your dog so they remain entertained. Beware of your dog digging up the garden though!
3. Take them outside for exercise
A tired dog is a contented one, so try to walk them in the morning before work or your outing if you can. When a dog has the exercise he or she needs for the day, they will feel more comfortable and they tend to behave much better. This is not only great for your dog but it’s the perfect way for you to get a workout in and feel relaxed throughout the day!
4. Bring them to Doggie Day Care
The best way to avoid the guilt of leaving your dog at home alone is by leaving them at doggie day care. They can learn new skills, tricks and behaviours, enjoy the company of other people and make new doggie friends. You will feel guilt-free, knowing that they are being looked after all day while you’re gone. You don’t have to take them every day that you’re away, and this can be a way of giving your beloved pooch the attention that they deserve.