You adore your new puppy, but at some point, you will need to leave your them 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 Rock Springs vets.
Leaving Your Puppy Alone
You will eventually have to leave your pet alone. This is beneficial to both of you. A dog must learn to function independently of their human companion, and the human must live a life that is not solely focused on satisfying the desires of their canine companion. The goal is not to cause anxiety in either the human or the dog when you first separate. We'll give you some pointers on how to make the first time you leave your dog alone a less stressful experience.
Can I leave my 8 week old puppy home alone?
You should not leave your 8-week-old puppy alone for an extended period of time. They have just been weaned and require regular feedings and potty breaks at this point in their lives. It is recommended that they be left alone at least until they are three months old. Puppies will likely cry if let home alone that young. Leaving a puppy outside during the day is also a no-no.
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 leaving your puppy alone isn't working, or if you need to leave the house for an extended period of time, there are a few alternatives you could try to make your puppy's time away from you more enjoyable:
Have a Friend Stop By
Invite a friend or family member over to play with your dog. Your puppy will undoubtedly enjoy some company for a while, and they will appreciate the chance to stretch their legs and go outside for a bathroom break.
Hire a Dog Walker
Employ a dog walker. Although you should keep your puppy on their own until they have received all of their vaccinations, walking with a professional can be a lot of fun for puppies. Your dog will be able to relieve himself while also learning new skills and having fun.
Send Your Puppy to Doggie Daycare
Doggie daycares are fun places for dogs of all ages to spend time. Different dog daycares have different setups but many have fun play areas that look alot like a child's playground where the dogs can run, play and socialize. The best part is that your dog will come home tired and happy!
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.