As pet owners, we all hate that time when we have to leave our furry friends at home for the day and set off for work.
With many of us now fully returned to work after perhaps the past year working from home, the transition from being with your furry friend each day can be difficult for you both.
Noticed behavioural changes in your dog? Well, this could be down to your pooch developing a little separation anxiety which can be easily reduced with some simple and effective changes.
Here at Soopa, we love to give our pet owners all the advice, support and guidance they need to create a long and happy life for their furry friends. So, if you are beginning to leave your pup alone for the first time, returning back to work or have a pooch with a little separation anxiety, here are our top tips to ease their stress and keep them happier and calmer for longer.
Don’t Make a Fuss
One of the main ways to reduce separation anxiety is to not overemphasise the separation from your dog. When leaving your home, simply give a healthy treat (our healthy bites are a superb low-calorie snack) and leave your home.
Avoid making a fuss at the door as your dog will realise a change is happening. When you return, greet immediately, reward and behave as normal and after time your dog will see you leaving home as a normal and stress-free experience.
Do separation in stages
For those leaving their pup for the first time, separation needs to occur in stages. Try leaving them alone for no more than 5 minutes. Return and greet immediately.
Continue this process and gradually increase the time of return. Eventually, you will be able to leave your dog for a longer period of time without any upsetting behaviours in return.
Guide to Leaving your Dog
Below 3 Months - Should not be left alone
Between 3-6 months - Consider 1 hour per month rule
As your dog reaches maturity between 6-9 months of age, they can be left at home, just like adult dogs for up to 6 hours however we only recommend this for dogs who are used to owners being absent for this amount of time.
No dog should be left for more than 6-7 hours at a time.
Do Create a Safe Space
Creating an idyllic space for your dog whilst you are away from home can help significantly reduce separation anxiety.
Whether it is a corner of the room with their favourite blanket or bed, a spot by the window or leaving the radio on to block exterior noises that can be startling, giving your dog a calm and soothing space can ensure they stay worry-free until you return
Do Tire Them Out
A tired pooch is more than likely to settle when you have left your home. Despite our busy lifestyles, it is fundamental to spend some time with your pet before departing.
Whether it is a quick stroll down the road or a few games of fetch in the garden, this moment of play can ease your furry friend and allow them to be significantly more settled and relaxed when you leave.
Leaving your dog can be a worrying and hard time for any pet owner, however, starting training early and creating minimal fuss can ensure your pooch is healthier and happier for longer