Leaving a dog alone at home can lead to various problems as in many cases, without no entertainment or contact with humans dogs get bored or develop anxiety. The problem is that dogs have plenty of free time after domestication. They need not care about food or other necessities unlike the past they had to live in the wild.
As mentioned, dogs get bored when they are left alone. In the case of proper training, a dog can be left alone for about 3-4 hours a day. However, much is dependent on the breed, the environment a dog stays in and the things we provide for them.
Signs That Your Dog is Bored Include:
- Barking and sometimes non-stop barking which can easily annoy your neighbours.
- Destructive chewing – you may find your favorite sofa with multiple bites when you return home. Your dog was bored, and he needed something to focus on to spend a “good time.”
- General mischief – when you see your apartment is the full of with mess and the things are scattered around.
- Special greeting – if your dog acts in a wrong way when he sees you, jumps up on you or ignore your demands, it may be a signal he was bored.
- Escaping – boredom encourages dogs to seek fun, and in such situations, they may emerge out of the home.
- Whining – is another sign of boredom in dogs.
How to Relieve Boredom In Dogs?
- It is essential to keep a dog both mentally and physically exercised. Interactive games are no less important than physical activities in dogs, leaving tiny room for boredom.
- Offer puzzle and food toys to your dog. You can rotate the toys to keep them fresh.
- If you have a puppy who is teething you will have to provide safe chews; you can select them through the consultation with a vet.
- Take your dog to a sniff walk – an opportunity to explore the environment with a nose is fun for dogs.
- Give ice cubes or other safe frozen things to your pet to keep busy longer.
- Make a sand pit for digging.
- Create different types of bedding as many dogs love to lie or even dig their “nests.”
- Switch on some music or a radio.
- Contact with your dog via special cameras when absent.
- Introduce your dog to different environments and people.
- Walk and play with your dog before leaving them alone.
- Train your dog to leave him alone for several hours.
Separation anxiety is a more severe problem for many of the dogs left alone. The anxiety is triggered when dogs become upset as their owner, or the people they love, are absent, intend to go or prepare to walk out temporarily.
Symptoms of Separation Anxiety Include
- Urination and defecation
- Howling and barking
- Destructive behaviour, chewing or digging
Change of a family or a guardian, as well as changes in schedule and residence, may trigger the separation anxiety in dogs.
How to Treat Anxiety In Dogs?
- It is vital to prevent the separation anxiety from the very beginning when we have a puppy. In most cases when a puppy worries about something we go and take him, so we reward him for “crying.” You need to teach the puppy to be quiet and settle down for longer periods of time. We need to teach patience and calmness and reward that instead.
- Teach the puppy to accept the crate. Allow him to explore under the supervision and to learn the limits of his dwelling.
- Crate and discipline training work against the separation anxiety.
- Anxiety has its forms. If a dog suffers from a mild form counterconditioning may settle the problem. Counterconditioning associates being alone with positive and good things like a very delicious food. To use the method you need to give the delicious food to your dog every time you leave the house.
- Moderate or severe cases of anxiety require more comprehensive approach, with more complex counterconditioning and desensitization program. In the situations, it is crucial to get your dog accustomed to leaving alone gradually, from shorter to longer periods of time. You will need professional help in the case.
- As we mentioned, some dog’s anxiety is related to leaving of their guardians. Dogs “know” that when their favourite person takes keys he will leave and that moment or soon the pet becomes anxious. You can show your dog that taking a key, the action he associates with leaving, does not mean that you go. You can take your key and sit on the sofa to watch TV. Changing your habits can lead to the modified reactions in dogs.
- During treatment for separation anxiety, a dog cannot be left alone except during desensitization sessions.
If you have a little time to care about your dog, consider day-care centers, a dog sitter or a walker, when you are absent.