Dogs, just like humans, are extremely social animals. Plus, man is their best friend because they have evolved alongside humans for thousands of years. Hence, it’s definite that being alone is not natural for most of them.
Although dogs should not be left alone for long periods, if they are left alone for short durations when young, they may develop a relaxed and comfortable feeling even left on their own for some hours of the day.
Here are a few useful tips that will help you feel more relaxed while leaving your dog alone at home.
How to Know Your Dog Has Separation Anxiety?
Following symptoms will show you if your dog is suffering from separation anxiety.
- Your dog gets distressed just after you leave. Especially the 1st 15 minutes are the worst for him in which all signs of fear may be seen, i.e. increased heart rate and breathing, salivating, panting, and sometimes, an urge to go to the toilet.
- Your dog may attempt to follow you, scratch doors and carpets, chew door frames or jump up to windowsills to find a way out. Alternatively, he may howl, whine or bark to persuade you to return.
- After these worst 15 minutes, your pet may settle down and chew an item that you have lately handled and carried your scent. Dogs will usually chew scented things down into small pieces and roll into the debris so as to create a ‘barricade’ of your scent around them to feel secure.
- Your dog will be particularly elated when you are home.
- He may be wet, either due to salivating or excessive drinking because of stress.
- While you are at home, your pooch will try to follow you all the time and may show anxious behaviour like pacing, panting etc if you start preparing to leave the home.
How to Make Your Dog Habituated to Be Alone?
Contact a good and licensed Pymble vet to get an advice about your dog’s separation anxiety. You have to leave your dog at some point of time alone at home when he should be able to feel relaxed. If he’s not so, he will feel very distressed.
It’s actually very essential to teach him to remain alone. It’s, in fact, a time to feel comfortable and relaxed. The idea behind this is to let them know that being alone or without you is not at all scary.
Where will You Like to Leave the Pet?
Decide this first. Some people consider leaving the pet in the utility room so as to be able clean the room easily if there is any mess. This is not a bad idea. However, you should take care not to put the pet in this area only when you are leaving him because then he will associate this place with isolation and being away from you.
Prepare an Area
Stair gates are wonderful things for helping dogs staying alone because they are not as frightening as a closed door because the pet can still see, hear and smell you. An important thing is that you should be able to make your dog habituated to live without you while you are still at home.
Stair gates are the best to install on the door of the room you have planned to leave your dog in. Equip the room with a comfortable bed, water and chew items should your pet need them (as chewing brings comfort).
Placing a radio in the room is also a good idea as it works as a little background noise and ‘company’, and also masking any frightening sounds from the outside. Another good idea is to leave a piece of your clothing in his bed to increase his feeling of security.
In any serious situations, you can always visit a licensed North Ryde vet like Gordon Vet, for example.
All these tips can make your dog slowly adapt to your absence when you will have to leave him for work. Follow them and make your dog as well as yourself free from stress.