How to Successfully Leave Your Puppy at Home Alone

January 25, 2019
Two of the most important parts of making sure your puppy is healthy and happy are teaching him to be independent, and providing him the best food and level of physical activity possible so that he feels relaxed and can fall asleep. Keeping your puppy distracted with toys and teethers can also help to keep him from sinking his teeth into everything you own.

So, you adopted a puppy and took a few days off work to help him get used to his new home. But now it’s time for you to go back to your real job. That is precisely why we’ve written this article, with some great tips on how to leave your puppy at home alone.

Tips on how to leave your puppy at home alone

There are a couple of main concerns that people have when thinking about leaving their puppy at home alone. Firstly, it’s the possibility of him destroying everything in his path, and peeing in every corner of your house.

Secondly, it’s the fear that their puppy will spend countless hours crying, barking, or howling. We may also be afraid that the new addition to our home will end up depressed, or even get ill.

However, we all have to continue with our jobs and obligations away from home, regardless of how much we love our pets. Here are a few tips on how to make these changes in your pet’s life less traumatic for both of you.

1. Teach your dog to be independent

It’s common knowledge that dogs depend a lot on their owners, unlike cats, for example, who are more independent by nature. However, it’s still essential that you teach your puppy to be at home alone a few hours each day.

If you hear your dog whining and barking the minute you shut the door, it’s because he can’t stand being alone. This behavior is a clear sign that he depends on you in order to feel safe.

That’s why it is important to give your puppy space and opportunities to be self-sufficient during your time together at home. There are many ways of achieving this. One way is to start picking him up less. Another is to stop letting your puppy interrupt you simply for the sake of getting your attention.

A Golden retriever puppy with his bowl.

You should never feel guilty about the fact that you cannot be with your dog 24/7. Even canine mothers have to be away from their babies sometimes! That is why it is best that you begin teaching your dog from early on that you won’t be available all of the time. You’ll both be very glad you did.

2. Avoid scolding or frightening your dog

If you get home and everything is a total mess, a normal reaction might be to yell at your dog or scold him. If you do this, though, there is a good chance your puppy won’t understand why you’re so upset. That’s why reacting in this way is often counterproductive.

You should instead only scold your dog when you catch him “red-pawed” in the act. This is one of the only ways he can learn what he should and shouldn’t do.

Otherwise, he may just end up being scared of you.

3. Provide food and exercise prior to leaving

If you have to leave your puppy at home alone, one of the best things you can do is to help him burn off energy before you go.

As a result, your puppy won’t feel as inclined to destroy everything out of sheer boredom.

You could also take your puppy out for a walk in the park, or even around your neighborhood. If you really want to tire him out, grab his favorite toy and play with him for a few solid minutes, too.

You can also use your puppy’s feeding time as a technique to get him to sleep, just like you can with babies.

Once your puppy is done eating and exercising, he is sure to sleep for at least a few hours. Rest assured that your puppy will be too tired to miss you for a good, long while after you leave.

A Beagle walking on a wooden floor.

4. Leave safe toys out for your dog

More often than not, puppies who destroy everything in their path are just bored. You obviously can’t expect your pet to sleep the entire time you are gone. So, what could be better than leaving a few toys out for him to play with?

There are thousands of dog toys available on the market. If you choose the right ones, then they’ll be sure to keep your furry friend entertained for hours. However, if you leave your puppy at home alone, be sure to only leave out toys that are safe for your puppy to play with unsupervised.

5. Avoid making a show out of leaving the house

It will often be very hard for you to leave your puppy at home alone. However, being as low-key as you can when you leave the house is one of the most important parts of raising an independent dog. Some pet owners act dramatically and make it seem like they’re never coming back. Their pet will then perceive this as negative, dangerous, and even threatening, behavior.

Act normally, grab your stuff and just leave. You are not being a “bad owner” by going out without saying goodbye to your pet. If doing this makes you feel bad, just remember what is best for your pet’s mental and emotional health.

To successfully leave your puppy home alone, you have to put yourself in his shoes. That also means leaving out everything your puppy might need. Most of the time, a comfortable bed, a few safe toys, and a bowl of clean water are enough. Little by little, your furry friend will grow accustomed to having some old-fashioned “alone time” while you are away from home.