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Having to Leave Your Pet Home-Alone Often? A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Must Know

by Petoska IN 14 Oct 2023
Having to Leave Your Pet Home-Alone Often? A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Must Know

Many of us have to leave our lovely furry babies behind at home due to demanding work commitments and travel schedules. While the love and attachment we feel for these little ones are unwavering, our modern life obligations often lead the pets into brief periods of staying alone.  With the need for a stable income, meeting professional responsibilities coupled with the occasional work tour, leave us with no alternative but to entrust our pets with a safe and comfortable home environment. Many pet parents like us strive to strike a balance between their work and pet care duties, seeking ways to ensure their pets receive the attention, care, and affection they most deserve.

Here are some facts you must know about leaving your pets back home-

Considering their age

One of the most crucial factors to consider is your pet's age. Talk to any animal behaviourist or therapist and they will tell you that the age of your pet plays a significant role in determining how long they can be left alone.

  • Little pups, around two months old may have high emotional needs. It is important to understand that leaving them alone for more than an hour may not be ideal. The smaller puppies have smaller bladders thus, they may need to relieve themselves often. Also this is a tender age when they need care and companionship from you to be able to trust you well.
  • By three to four months, you may double the alone time to about two hours. Any longer duration of leaving them back alone will perhaps put you in the risk of coming home to several unexpected puddles that you would have to clean up.
  • By four to five months of age, your paw buddy may typically be able to handle me-time as much as their age – four to five hours. Of course they would need to be trained for toilet breaks and behaviour pattern. However, one must keep in mind that individual puppies may have changing needs and tolerances when it comes to being alone.

Considering their breed

Breed may also largely impact your paw baby’s ability to handle being alone. Some breeds are more prone to separation anxiety than others. Understanding your pet's breed characteristics is crucial in determining their tolerance for the alone-time.

Here are 5 general illustrations that may help you grasp the concept better. What you may see or feel for a specific breed is not always true.

  • Chihuahuas, despite their intelligence and having the largest brains as compared to their size among other dog breeds, may be more susceptible to separation anxiety.
  • Chow chows typically display reserved and independent behaviours although they look fluffy and huggable.
  • Dachshunds are known for their independence and while it may so seem that they don't require much attention, they can in fact struggle with separation anxiety.
  • Greyhounds are the masters. They love lounging on the sofa during the day and may even relish the peace and quietness away from you.
  • Beagles are friendly and always eager to please their masters however, they may not instinctively know what to do when left alone. Training this breed can have a huge impact in keeping them calm.

Ensuring that these hours do not lead to loneliness and anxiety, it is imperative to understand the unique nature, needs of your dog and the dog’s breed.

7 ways to recognize separation anxiety -

  1. Be aware of them exhibiting any behavioural changes.
  2. Checking if your puppy is happy like before.
  3. Checking for destructive actions like chewing furniture or walls, excessive barking or meowing.
  4. Checking for physical symptoms like vomiting or diarrhoea.
  5. If your pets becomes clingy, move nervously, whine or drool excessively.
  6. Do they excessively lick or gnaw on their paws or skin?
  7. Remember that anxiety can be caused by different reasons too like routine or environment change, new home, owner's new work schedule, new addition in family

6 tips on managing separation anxiety as you leave your pets behind -

  1. Watch your pets closely

Increase play time ‘together’ & make time for grooming them. Seek professional advice from a veterinarian or animal behaviourist. If your spot anxiety, consider treatments that may involve behaviour modification techniques.

  1. Safe & Comfortable Environment

Ensure you remove any threatening items that can be chewed & cause harm. Provide access to fresh water, neat bedding, and toys like Gearbuff rope toys or natural rubber toys; and make sure they have an easy access to food if they are being left for an extended period.

  1. Make them willing to rest up

This means having directed their energies well before you leave them alone. Engaging in physical exercises and mental stimulation by means of slow feeder, puzzle games & playtime may work in all cases. A tired pet is more likely to rest while you're away so ensure you exercise or walk them enough right as the day starts. Secure them with Gearbuff collar, harness and leash when outdoors for safety.

  1. A Consistent Routine

Pets love routine. They will appreciate your initiatives of establishing a consistent schedule for feeding, toilet breaks, and playtime. Certainty & predictability can help reduce anxiety and provide a sense of security to your pet. Also, remember to start early training for pups to be comfortable alone later.

  1. Provide Entertainment

Leave your pet with sturdy & non-toxic toys, interactive puzzles or healthy dog chew treats like Himalayan Dog chew, that can keep them occupied for longer than ususal. Toys like puzzle feeders or treat-dispensing toys can be a great way to keep their minds engaged too. Some pets also enjoy soothing background music or a TV show playing to keep them company.

  1. Consider a Pet Sitter or Doggy Day-care

If your absence is prolonged, consider hiring a pet sitter or enrolling your dog in a doggy day-care. Having someone check in on your pet or providing them with social interaction during the day can greatly reduce anxiety and loneliness.

Remember, every pet is unique, so it's important to tailor your approach to their specific needs and personality. Additionally, if your pet experiences severe separation anxiety or other behavioural issues when left alone, consult with a veterinarian or a professional animal behaviourist for guidance and support.

 

Disclaimer - The information contained in this blog is for informational purposes only and the readers may use or apply the same at their will. We believe in the uniqueness of every pet and its parent. Therefore not every piece of information and idea presented here may be suited to all.

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