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Dog advice: how to leave your dog alone

It makes sense to help your dog get used to being on its own

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Only the lonely

You can’t be with your dog 24 hours a day, so your pet needs to accept that sometimes you won’t be around. Most dogs get used to being on their own quickly, but others can get distressed or anxious when left alone. This is called separation anxiety. If you have a puppy, make sure it gets used to being alone in the house for short periods – that way, you prevent problems in the future.

Easy does it

Older dogs who already suffer from separation anxiety can be trained to accept being on their own, but be aware that it takes time and patience. Eventually though, your pet will understand that there’s no need to worry. Remember not to fuss over and excite your dog just before you leave the house.

A familiar environment

A great way to help your dog feel comforted while you’re not at home is to leave items of clothing around that smell of you. It might make the house look a little messy but your dog will be happier! Also leave the radio or TV switched on quietly, and let your dog get to its favourite chair or bed.

Don't get cross

If your dog is worried when you’re away and misbehaves in some way – perhaps going on a chewing binge or losing control of its bladder – don’t scold it when you return. Your dog won’t understand the punishment and you could even increase the anxiety and make the behaviour worse.