While our dogs make great friends, we can't spend all of our waking hours with them. Eventually, we all have to leave them to run errands, attend appointments and go to work. Our Douglasville vets offer some tips to make it easier to leave your puppy at home alone for the first time.
Leaving Your Puppy at Home
At some point, you'll need to leave your pet by themselves. This is actually good for both of you, since a dog needs to learn how to function independently of their human companion and their human needs to have a life that's not based solely on caring for the desires of their four-legged friend. The challenge is not to create anxiety in either the human or the dog the first time you separate. In this post, we'll offer some tips to make the first time leaving your dog alone a calmer, more positive experience.
When Can I Leave My Puppy Alone at Home?
Most people quickly become attached to their puppies, some to the point of calling them fur babies. We are often asked, "Can I leave my 8-week-old puppy home alone?".
The answer is that we strongly recommend against leaving your 8-week-old puppy alone for an extended period. In these early days, they have just been weaned and will require regular feedings and toilet breaks. We recommend waiting until they are at least 3 months old before leaving them alone.
How to Prepare Your Puppy for Being Left Alone
Here are some things to do before leaving your puppy alone:
- House train your pooch. There's nothing worse than having your dog become anxious while you're away and coming home to a destroyed house.
- Take some time alone. Your puppy needs to get used to not having your attention all the time, so it's good to take some time away. This can be as simple as closing the door when you take your shower or not acknowledging them while you curl up to watch a movie or read a book.
- Set up a space for your puppy where they can access their water, food, bed and toys. Having the necessities of life in easy access removes a lot of stress.
- Puppy proof all spaces your dog will have access to while you are away. You might want to baby-gate them in or keep them in one room
- Have your puppy meet other people. This means if you need to take them to a sitter or have someone check in on them they are less stressed.
Leaving Them Alone for the First Time
- Start small. Go out by yourself and take a walk around the neighborhood and gradually increase the length of your outings
- Do not make a production out of leaving. Leave calmly. If you are calm your dog has a better chance of being calm.
- Return Calmly. If you don't make a scene about coming home your dog will be more likely to be able to treat your coming and going as routine resulting in a calmer dog.
- Leave some clothes you have worn so they have your scent. Dog have great sense of smell and can be comforted by familiar scents.
Dog Boarding at Douglasville Veterinary Hospital
If you need to leave your puppy while you travel, we understand how stressful this can be - especially if it's the first time you two will be apart for more than a few hours. This goes doubly so when your canine or kitty friend is ill or recovering from surgery.
At our Douglasville veterinary hospital, we want to help put your mind at ease. With our comprehensive general cat and dog boarding services for all patients and medical boarding for pets with conditions that standard boarding facilities may be unable to accommodate, we're able to meet yours and your pet's unique needs.
When you board your pet with us, they'll be supervised and receive the love and attention they need from our qualified, trained staff. Dogs are walked on a regular schedule, and cats get daily one-on-one interaction, including play, snuggles and pets, if wanted. Come visit us at our clean, secure and comfortable facilities to see for yourself what we have to offer.