As much as it can pain you to leave your dog home alone, you often have to, whether for work, errands, or the occasional outings. It’s important to know how to keep your dog safe at home, as they can get into all sorts of trouble if they’re bored and proper precautions aren’t taken. The last thing anyone wants is an emergency visit to the vet because your dog ate something they shouldn’t have or chewed up hazardous objects. You also don’t want to come home to see that your dog has wreaked havoc upon your things, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
Fortunately, there are ways you can keep your dog safe at home and prevent boredom so that you can avoid such things. By taking the proper precautions and providing your pup with entertainment and stimulation, you can help them be happier and safer when you’re not around.
What You Can Do To Keep Your Dog Safe At Home
As much as we love our furbabies, they can get into all sorts of trouble, especially when they’re home alone. Exposed electrical wires can be tempting to chew on, chocolate left in reach can seem like a delicious treat, and if your dog has a tendency for destruction, they can hurt themselves in their chaos. As such, it’s crucial to pet-proof your home and to ensure that you take appropriate measures to keep your pup from potentially hurting themselves.
#1. Clean Up Your Space
In order to avoid your pup eating or chewing on something they shouldn’t and that could be dangerous for them, make sure that you pick your place up before you leave. Cover any electrical wires, put snacks out of reach, and keep cabinets and trashcans closed and latched so that your dog can’t get into them.
If you know that your dog has a tendency to chew things, keep items stored away from them. Childproof locks and gates are a good way to keep your dog from getting into something they shouldn’t. Additionally, you should ensure that any windows are closed so that your pup doesn’t fall out of one.
#2. Exercise Them Before You Go
A tired dog is often a more well-behaved dog. Taking your pup on a walk before you head out the door or spending some time playing, either in the house or at a dog park, can burn energy and help curb destructive tendencies. Your dog will be more likely to want to rest while you’re away. The time goes so much faster for them when they nap while you’re away.
#3. Ensure That They Are Crate Trained
When your pup is crate trained, they’ll be more accustomed to spending some time alone. You want to ensure that you train your pup to associate their crate with safety and coziness so that they’ll be more content to spend time in it. If you’re going to confine your dog to a specific area of your home, leave their crate in that area, so that they have a safe space. Always leave water in an easily accessible place if you’re going to confine your dog to any area.
#4. Hire A Dog Sitter Or Dog Walker
Depending on the breed and age of your dog, they may not be able to left home alone as long as others. You can hire a dog sitter or dog walker to check in on them and take them on a walk during the day. This is especially important if you’re someone who has a schedule that changes a lot or if you work long hours, as dogs need their healthy routines in order to minimize stress.
#5. Keep Them Entertained
A dog that has entertaining activities to keep them busy is one that is less likely to get into trouble. We’ll go more into this in the section below on how to help your dog not get bored while home alone.
#6. Practice Appropriate Leaving And Coming Home Behaviors
If you make a big deal out of leaving for the day and then coming home, this is more likely to make your dog feel like you being gone is a bad thing. You don’t want them to develop separation anxiety or be upset while you’re gone. Keep your goodbyes and hellos calm and controlled, so that your pup is more likely to accept them as a normal part of the day.
These are 6 of the things you can do to keep your dog safe at home. If you want to know more about what you can do to keep your dog safe at home while alone, you can always talk with a dog trainer and/or your vet for more advice.
How To Help Your Dog Not Get Bored While Home Alone
As previously mentioned, one of the ways to keep your dog safe at home is to keep them entertained. A bored dog is one that is more likely to try to get into things that they shouldn’t and potentially hurt themselves. No one wants this. Fortunately, you can keep your pup entertained even when you’re not around with some of the following tips.
#1. Increase Physical Activity
We mentioned this above, and we’ll mention it here too. Dogs that are destructive are often only trying to burn excessive energy. By going on a walk or playing with them before you go, your dog is more likely to be better behaved while you’re away. They’ll be more likely to sleep. If you have a very active dog, you may consider hiring a dog walker to ensure that they’re getting enough exercise throughout the day.
#2. Leave Toys Around
One of the ways to both keep your dog safe at home and to keep them entertained is to give them things to do, such as some of their favorite toys. Toys that your pup needs to play with in order to get treats out can keep them busy for hours on end. There are all sorts of different toys that you can leave out for your dog, from chew toys to problem-solving toys and more. Keep their toys on rotation so that each day is something new and interesting (and so that the toys can last longer!)
If you don’t mind coming home to a bit of a mess, you may consider a busy bucket. This is when you take a bucket and layer treats, toys, and towels in it so that your dog can work their problem-solving skills and find entertainment each step of the way.
#3. Leave The TV Or Radio On
These both provide background noise that can keep your dog from barking and annoying your neighbors and can keep them entertained. Some channels are specifically designed for dogs to help them with separation anxiety by showing videos and sounds that are soothing for them.
#4. Consider A Pet Cam
This allows you both to check in on your pup throughout the day and can even allow you to communicate with them on your breaks. Many pet cams come equipped with laser pointers and 2-way audio so that you can play with your pup even when you’re not home.
#5. Doggy Daycare Can Help
If you really don’t like leaving your pup home alone, you may consider a doggy daycare. Even just one or two days a week can make a difference. Doggy daycare isn’t for every dog, so if it doesn’t work for you and/or your pup, you may consider just sticking with a dog sitter or a dog walker instead.
Keeping Your Dog Safe At Home
There’s so much more to learn about what you can do to keep your dog safe at home and to keep them entertained while you’re away. It’s important to pay attention to your pup and to work with a dog trainer or vet if you have any concerns about their well-being or behavior. Little Teton Doodles is affiliated with BAXTER & Bella, an online puppy training course, that can guide you through how to train your pup. You can use our code LITTLETETON25 for 25% off.
Little Teton Doodles is happy to help you bond with your pup and to ensure that all goes well. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!