You have added a new furry member to your family and are enjoying your time with them, but the day will come when you need to head out without them. Here, our Picayune vets talk about leaving a puppy alone at home for the first time, how old they should be and what you can do to keep them safe.
What do you do when you have a puppy and need to leave the house?
There will be a time when you won't be able to bring your puppy with you when you leave the house. After all, not every place you go to is welcoming of dogs and puppies. This isn't all bad as your dog needs to learn how to function independently of their human companion and the human needs to have a life that is not solely based on catering to the desires of their canine companion. The issue is not to create anxiety in either the human or the dog when you first are separated. Below we will give you some tips to make the first time leaving your dog alone a calmer experience.
At what age can I leave my puppy at home alone?
Your puppy is a beloved member of your family and because of this, you'll want to keep them safe at all times. This means that it can be difficult to know what to do in moments when you need to leave but can't bring them with you. You may have lots of questions when it comes to leaving your dog such as 'Can I leave my 8-week-old puppy home alone?', 'Is leaving my puppy outside during the day okay?' and 'What should I do if my puppy cries when left alone?'. This is the part of their life where they have just been weaned and need regular feedings and potty breaks. You shouldn't begin leaving your puppy alone at home until they are at least three months old.
How to Safely Leave Your Puppy at Home
There are a few things you can do to help keep your dog safe while you aren't there and to make it a good experience for both of you:
- Make sure you've house-trained your new puppy. 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.
- Take some time for yourself. Make sure to take breaks from focusing on your puppy so they get used to the fact that you also have other things that require your attention. 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. Ensuring that your puppy has all of their basic needs met will keep them healthy and happy while relieving much stress for you.
- Puppy-proof the part of the house that your dog will be in. You might want to baby-gate them in or keep them in one room
- Introduce your puppy to new people and get them used to spending time with others. This means if you need to take them to a sitter or have someone check in on them they are less stressed.
Leaving Your Puppy Alone at Home For the First Time
- Ease into leaving your puppy at home. Begin with only leaving for short periods of time.
- Don't get emotional while leaving. Leave calmly and make it simple and straightforward. If you are calm your dog has a better chance of being calm.
- Be relaxed when you reenter the home. 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.
Just as you would with a child, you can send your sweet pup to a type of 'daycare'. This gives your dog a chance to socialize and means they will not be bored or destructive at home. You have the peace of mind of knowing your dog is being provided with food, water, exercise, and loving care while you're not there.
This can be especially beneficial if you have a puppy that cries when left alone and as a solution since leaving your puppy outside during the day isn't exactly safe. Our team will ensure that all of your puppy's needs are met during their stay with us.
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.