by Amelia Pizzi CPDT-KA
While "back to school" preparations are a little different this year, we should still be preparing our dogs just the same! Many dogs do not get much alone time in the summer months due to the kids being home, owners taking vacation time, and other factors. This year, with many of us being home since March our dogs will be in for a big change in September if we don't start to prepare them now! Here are some tips for getting your dog ready to spend some time alone:
If your dog shows signs of anxiety/stress/panic when being left alone, please talk to your vet. Many remedies like Adaptil (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) or Calming Care probiotic supplement do not require a prescription and can help your dog with the transition.
Make them a safe place to hang out where they will not be "on guard" at the window all day, and won't chew or destroy your stuff. This could be a kennel, a room with a baby gate, or a certain area of the house.
Provide mental enrichment such as food-dispensing toys (kong, kong wobbler, tricky treat ball, etc.) and appropriate chewing outlets (ex. frozen marrow bone, antler, nylabone) so they don't find other ways to entertain themselves.
If your dog is sensitive to sounds, play some calming music to help them settle and block out the noises they might bark at
Set up practice runs. Don't leave your dog alone for the first time for several hours and hope for the best! Prepare everything as you normally would, head outside or drive around the corner and watch your dog on a camera (a laptop, ipad, or Furbo works well). Only leave them for a few minutes and extend the length of time as they can handle it.
If you need help setting your dog up for success during alone time, get in touch with one of our behaviour consultants!