Leaving Your Puppy Home Alone

To be a good neighbor, you need to keep your puppy quiet when you're away from home. No puppy enjoys being left alone — she's sociable by nature. Don't be surprised if she thinks of some activities to pass those lonely hours — digging, chewing destructively, or barking.

Don't worry. Just because you have a dog now doesn't mean that you'll be stuck at home for the next decade. You have a lot of options for when you need to leave your puppy alone. She can stay inside or outside. You can confine her in a room or let her roam around. You can tie her up or fence her in. What's best, you ask? Put yourself in your puppy's paws. Outside is okay — she'll have fresh air and sunshine — but being confined outdoors can be stressful because she needs a companion to protect her, interpret events, and help her enjoy life. Most puppies would rather stay inside with a cozy blanket and bone to chew.

Preparing for your departure has lasting benefits. Before you leave, do the following:

  • Exercise your puppy for ten minutes.
  • Follow playtime with a two-minute training session.
  • Leave a couple of chew toys and scent them by rubbing them in your palms.
  • If you leave your puppy indoors, leave her in a dimly lit, confined space with an old shirt or blanket and a radio playing soothing tunes.
  • If you leave your puppy outdoors, provide her with access to a shaded area and plenty of fresh water.

If you're expecting inclement weather, don't leave your puppy alone outside. Go with her to her potty area and bring her directly back inside after she's done.

If your puppy suffers from separation anxiety and is a gulper (which means that she eats things she shouldn't), crate or enclose her in a small space with a large bone and no bedding. You don't want to leave bedding for your pup because she may eat it when she becomes upset that you've left.

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