To leave or not to leave… your dog home alone? That is the question.
Most pet parents wrestle with a similar dilemma: What to do when you’ve got to leave the house but taking your pup along for the ride is not ideal.
We’ve all seen humorous (who, me?) videos of canine chaos when dogs are left at home without supervision. We’re talking trashcan disasters, chewed up shoes, sofas covered in fur and sometimes worse.
But if you’re like most pet parents who want to give their pup the freedom to roam while you’re not home, traditional solutions like gates and crates simply won’t cut it.
They feel a bit too much like puppy prison, right?
If you are planning on leaving your dog at home alone, keeping her comfortable and safe are key.
Below we’ll offer some tips and ideas on how to do just that, as well as how to train your dog to stay at home alone using the latest in today’s pet tech.
Setting Up a ‘Dog-Safe Zone’
“Leaving your dog home alone is hard on both of you,” but it’s fairly easy to set up a “dog-safe zone” to keep them comfortable and entertained, according to Rover.com.
Tips for doing so (from PETA, Rover and other sources) include:
- Pick your space: “Almost any spare space in your home can double as a dog room: a laundry room, spare bedroom, or even a large walk-in closet,” says Rover, which notes that the zone need not be large. “In fact, many dogs prefer smaller spaces. In addition, limiting your dog’s access to the rest of the house may prevent unwanted behaviors like chewing, barking and potty accidents.”
- Safeguard your dog zone: Monitor the room for any possible safety hazards such as loose electrical cords, cleaning materials, dangling blinds or drapes, potentially toxic plants such as lilies, aloe vera, ivy, etc.
- Secure your belongings: You’ll also want to tidy up the space to ensure that there are no shoes, non-dog toys, electronic devices or valuables laying around.
- Make the bed: Ideally, Fido will pass at least some of the time relaxing and getting some shuteye, so Rover advises pet owners to “make a soft, relaxing bed the focal point of your doggy zone.” Depending on your house rules, a comfy couch or even a human bed can serve this purpose.
- Provide some entertainment: “No dog zone is complete without stuff to keep your dog busy,” says Rover, which recommends providing items like favorite toys, puzzle or treat ball toys, or that worldwide canine favorite, a Kong toy filled with something yummy. And don’t forget to leave out some fresh drinking water; just like humans, dogs need H20.
But in addition to some of the tried-and-true strategies above, there’s also some new advancements in pet tech that may help you as well.
High-Tech Helpers to Train Your Dog to Stay Home Alone
Technology is changing the game when it comes to the shared human-canine experience. It’s also creating some major peace of mind for pet parents who can’t be with their pups every second of the day.
When it comes to leaving your dog at home, our revolutionary “smart collar” — the Wagz® Freedom Smart Dog Collar™ — provides options for canine containment not only in your yard, but also inside your home.
In addition to using GPS data to create virtual “geofences” outside your home or anywhere you go, the collar also works with the Wagz Tagz inside your home to help create Keep Out Zones inside your home.
With Tagz, the days of seeing dog hair and dirt all over your couch or bed or finding a mess next to your tipped-over trash are pretty much over.
All you have to do is slide one of the Tagz under a couch cushion, beneath a bed, or place it anywhere you want to limit your dog's access. And with some basic training — no more dirt on the couch or tipped over trash cans.
Want to learn more about Wagz Tagz? Click here.
Still not sure whether to leave your pup home alone quite yet? You might try easing your best bud into it — leaving for extended periods of time until she gets the hang of the rules and the boundaries you’ve created.
And remember, training takes time. But focusing on comfort and safety will go a long way to ensure your pup is good while you go out.