8 Tips to Help Your Dog Survive Home Alone

Cute red and white corgi lays on the bed with eye maks from real cucumber chips. Head on the pillow, covered by blanket, paw up.

If you’re wondering how to help your dog cope when he’s home alone for the holidays, follow these eight steps.

They may seem like common sense.

But it can be surprising how easy it is to neglect your dog when you’re preoccupied with family and friends and parties during the holiday season.

Always remember that you are your dog’s best friend, and he will love you no matter what!

Happy holidays!

 

1) Leaving him in his bed

You may have heard that keeping your dog in his crate will help him deal with being alone.

While crating does work for some dogs, it’s not for all of them.

If you put your dog in a crate and he starts barking or whining, take him out immediately—he’s telling you something isn’t right.

It might be that he needs more exercise before bedtime; it might be that he’s feeling anxious about being left home alone.

Whatever the case, find out what works best for your pup.

So you can provide him with peace of mind during those times when you can’t be there to cuddle him up.

A lot of dogs feel most secure if they have their own soft blanket or pillow (or both) in their crates.

And these are easy enough to make at home.

Get an old T-shirt (or any fabric), and fold it over a few times.

Then tie off one end and stuff it into your dog’s crate until it is nice and fluffy.

 

2) Introducing a new item with scent while you’re gone

Be sure to expose your dog to a news item that you’ll be taking with you so they won’t become upset while you’re gone.

Introduce it before you leave, and give it a chance to get comfortable with its scent.

If your dog isn’t familiar with other items or is anxious around them.

Keep those things out of sight or at least don’t put your items in their space.

Try giving your dog something from home to smell when you’re away.

It could help distract him or her from missing you too much, and if he/she smells an item often enough.

He/she will associate it with being calm and relaxed instead of being alone.

Don’t forget to provide water for your dog.

Make sure there are no obstructions that would prevent your pet from reaching his water bowl.

Otherwise, he may try to find another source of water (like puddles).

You can also consider putting his food dish next to his water bowl.

Many dogs eat and drink together as part of their routine.

 

3) Giving him new chew toys

To help calm your dog’s separation anxiety, give him toys that he can play with and keep him busy while you’re away.

It will also help prevent him from destroying things in your house when you’re gone.

For example, giving him a new chew toy will take his mind off of being alone and help relieve some of his stress.

If you don’t have any toys for your dog already.

There are many different kinds available at pet stores that are specially designed for dogs who suffer from separation anxiety.

Some examples include stuffed animals, ropes, and rubber balls.

You should always check with your veterinarian before giving your dog any kind of toy.

Treat to make sure it’s safe for him to eat or play with.

 

4) Providing him with a hidden treat inside his regular bowl

Dogs may feel a little less alone when they have a tasty treat they don’t expect.

For example, one idea might be hiding a small piece of sausage in his normal dog food.

The surprise will help him realize that someone is still taking care of him even if he can’t see them.

Make sure he has plenty of water.

If your dog tends to drink out of boredom, make sure you leave plenty of fresh water for him at all times.

This will help keep him hydrated and give him something else to do while you’re away from home.

 

5) Playing holiday music

We love to sing along and dance around, but it’s not a great idea when your dog is home alone.

Not only can holiday music be upsetting for some pets.

But if he gets out of his crate and damages something in your home, you may be liable for his destruction.

So don’t risk it—turn off any holiday music during dog-friendly hours.

If you have trouble getting through those long days without singing along, consider giving yourself a holiday gift.

 

6) Exercising him before you leave

Make sure you give your dog enough exercise before you leave him alone.

Giving your pet a good workout will ensure he or she is tired. Making it easier for them to sleep while you’re gone.

And just like humans, regular exercise can keep dogs healthy by reducing the risk of illness and disease.

On top of that, keeping your dog busy with an entertaining activity such as food puzzles can help distract them from missing you while you’re away.

Giving them a safe place to go.

Dogs get lonely too! If you have time, consider setting up a safe spot in your home where they can go if they get anxious when left alone.

This could be something simple like moving their bed into another room so they have another space to rest comfortably in while home alone.

 

7) Leave an interactive toy or ball outside his bed

A common problem for dogs is pacing and restlessness when they’re home alone.

To alleviate your dog’s anxiety, leave an interactive toy or ball outside his bed.

When he gets bored with playing with it, he’ll be able to lie down and still have a fun item in his sight.

This will help him feel less anxious about being left at home while you’re away.

If you don’t want to buy a new toy, consider using something old like an old sock!

 

8) Leave some treats on his bed

We may think that our dog will be lonely and miserable.

But dogs have a way of making their own fun.

Leaving some treats on his bed will make your dog’s time alone a little more enjoyable.

And it might also help him burn off some excess energy.

If you don’t want to leave food out, try giving him a bone or chew toy.

He’ll likely spend some time gnawing away at it while you’re gone.

And don’t forget about toys!

Most dogs love playing with squeaky toys when they are home alone, so consider leaving one or two out for them.

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