You adore your new puppy, but at some point, you will need to leave your pup home alone. How do you prepare so that your puppy's first experience at home alone is positive? Here are a few tips from our Clackamas vets.
Leaving Your Puppy Alone
Eventually, you will have to leave your pet on its own. Both of you benefit from this. The dog should learn how to function independently of its human companion, and the human should have a life that is not solely based on catering to the desires of their canine companion. Do not create anxiety in either the human or the dog when you first separate. We will now provide you with some tips to help you have a calmer experience when leaving your dog alone for the first time.
Can I leave my 8 week old puppy home alone?
Puppies are being called. Puppies are much like children, so your fur babies are not that far off. But often you must run errands or go to work where dogs are not welcomed. So, can your puppy be left home alone? You should not leave your 8-week-old puppy alone for an extended period. They are in the part of their life where they have just been weaned and require regular feedings and potty breaks. Experts recommend waiting until they are 3 months old before leaving them alone.
What if my puppy cries when left alone?
Puppies may cry when left alone because of separation anxiety/ This is a common behavior in young dogs. They may feel scared or lonely when separated from their owners and express their loneliness by crying.
Additionally, puppies are highly social animals and rely on the presence of their pack–which includes their human family–for comfort and security.
Talking with a veterinarian or professional dog trainer who can provide guidance and support is important. They can assess the severity of anxiety and recommend training techniques. Remember, addressing separation anxiety early can greatly improve your puppy's well-being and overall behavior.
How can I prepare to leave my puppy at home for the first time?
Things you want to do before you leave your puppy alone:
- House train your dog. There is nothing worse than coming home to a mess because your dog decided to destroy things as a way to deal with their anxiety.
- Have some puppy-free time at home. Try not to spend all of your time focused on your puppy. This will allow them to get used to not having your attention every second of the day. This can be as simple as closing the door when you take your shower or not acknowledging them while you are reading 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.
How can I make my puppy's first time alone less stressful?
Following the tips below should help to make your puppy's first time home alone a little less traumatic for your and your four-legged friend.
- 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. Dogs have a great sense of smell and can be comforted by familiar scents.
What are the alternatives to leaving my puppy home alone?
If you find that leaving your puppy alone isn't working or if you need to be out of the house for extended periods of time, you could try a few options that may help make your puppy's time away from you more enjoyable.
Have a Friend Stop By
Invite a friend or family member to drop in and play with your pup. Your puppy is bound to enjoy some company for a while, and it will appreciate the opportunity to stretch its legs and head outside for a bathroom break.
Hire a Dog Walker
You should ensure that you walk your puppy alone until they have all of their vaccinations, but walking with a professional can be great fun for puppies. We will give your dog a bathroom break while also teaching them new skills and ensuring they have fun.
Send Your Puppy to Doggie Daycare
Dogs of all ages can have fun spending time at doggie daycares. Many dog daycares have different setups, but they often have fun play areas that resemble a child's playground, allowing the dogs to run, play, and socialize. Your dog will come home tired and happy, which is the best part!
What about leaving my puppy outside during the day?
Experts generally do not recommend leaving puppies unsupervised outside during the day. Owners must provide puppies with constant attention, socialization, and training. Owners and other dogs can better provide this indoors or at doggie daycare, where they can keep the dogs safe from potential dangers and bond with them. Additionally, their well-being is at risk due to extreme weather conditions.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.