Guide To Leaving Your Dog Home Alone.

The Guilt-Free Guide To Leaving A Dog Home Alone

Aug 4, 2022

Follow these 7 simple steps when leaving a dog home alone, and for added protection, furnish your home with the 3 key scratch protection products detailed in this post to help protect your doors, window sills, furniture and other items from any anxiety-inspired mauling, scratching and chewing.

We all know what happens to little boys when they are accidentally left behind at Christmas time from that iconic comedy, Home Alone, of two decades ago, but when the protagonist in a real life story is not Macauley Culkin, but rather a medium or high energy dog that is left home alone, the repercussions may be different, but can be equally expensive and painful.

Dog Separation Anxiety and Scratching.

Then there is the guilt, which has many forms, and it can and does raise its heavy and depressing head many times during the course of our busy lives.

According to the late Emma Bombeck, “guilt is the gift that keeps on giving.”

So whether it occurs at that moment when your mother-in-law tells you she’s okay “standing out in the rain” or your dog looks at you with those puppy dog eyes that are brimming with hurt, betrayal and abandonment, there is no escape and only a glimmer of hope that somewhere, somehow there can be some sort of resolution.

A Few Relevant Statistics On Guilt And Our Pups

A 2016 survey conducted by the New York Daily News and involving some 2,000 dog owners indicated that 80% of participants felt guilty about leaving their dogs alone at home too much and compensated for guilt over lost time spent with lavish treats and toys.

The poll, which was conducted by the pet sitting service, DogVAcay, also discovered that many pet parents made up for their absence in their pets’ lives by serving special foods, like steak dinner, in some instances. 

But it doesn’t matter what you promise or gift to your beloved fur ball. A dog can’t be told that you will return soon, although you are free to try.

Once you reach for those keys, coat or handbag instead of the leash, the whimpering is likely to begin. It doesn’t matter if you will be gone for just a few minutes or a few hours.

To your doggy, it is goodbye, so long, ciao, ta-ta, shalom and sayonara baby. No more walks, hugs, food or playtime forever.

Of course this bleak picture is never the case, but explanations are beyond canine understanding and that cloud of guilt that is taking hold in your caretaker mind isn’t likely to go away until the minute you turn that key into the lock and return home.

God only knows that which has occurred during your absence.

The trouble dogs get into when home alone.

We dog caretakers have to learn to see things from the perspective of our pets. Only the current moment lives in the minds of our beloved dogs.

In a way, this is a blessing, as there are never any regrets, do overs, divorces and reconciliations, apologies, second, third or even fourth chances to get it right, and best of all, NO GUILT.

But we humans who are experts at looking back and dwelling on past mistakes and always look forward to making new ones, sometimes in the process forget that a dog cannot do this.

So what to do? Even if you are running a necessary errand like buying dog food, the guilt is there, like a big gray cloud. If you are going someplace where you might enjoy yourself, boy is it ever there, and even heavier and deeper.

Calling home to say you care won’t help either. Hearing your voice on the answering machine might even make things worse for your lovesick doggie who lives only for you and can hear you but not lick and smother you with warm kisses.

Dog kisses and companionship.

Have you run out of ideas? Are you finished? Well, maybe you would be if it weren’t for the following wonderful suggestions and scratch deterrent product solutions.

7 Helpful Tips When Leaving Your Dog Home Alone

If you are loving pet parents like we are ;) aim to follow these simple tips each time you head out the door.

Don’t Make A Fuss When You Leave

Gently and quietly is the way to go because if you make a big deal out of it, so will your pet. You are the center of their universe and they feel what you feel.

Act as normal as your personality will allow, both when you leave and when you return. You can give a cuddle or kiss to your welcoming pet when you return, but not so much as the animal will notice any alteration in pattern.

Spend some special play time after you come home even if only for a few minutes. Your dog will appreciate it.

Don’t Leave Your Dog Home Alone For Too Long

How long you can leave your animal alone is subjective because every animal is different. It is known that most dogs are okay for a few hours.

Too many-hours away can depend upon your dog’s bladder control and emotional needs. If you plan to be away for longer, hire a pet walker and/or dog sitter.

Leave Desired Chewables Within Reach

The key word here is “desired.” Having familiar blankets and toys nearby can comfort a dog that is home alone.

A favorite toy retains a known and soothing scent, as unfortunately, do your shoes and other items, including the trash. You must remember to put away whatever you don’t want Fido to munch on before you leave.

Otherwise, unless you rely on some of our CLAWGUARD anti-scratching products recommended below, you will return home to more trash that you ever could have imagined or even hoped for.

Give Your Dog A Safe Space To Be

A crate can be a safe space for some dogs, while for others being able to have the run of the house works better.

A home owner must ensure that either way, no hazards are inadvertently left available for easy access. These include; places where a collar can get caught, electrical cords and dangerous foods that can make an animal sick.

Convince Your Dog That Being Home Alone Isn’t So Bad

This requires due diligence, training and patience, but it is worth it in the end. Work with the dog on any issues concerning separation anxiety by leaving first for shorter periods and then longer ones.

Bring a reward each time you return either as a treat or a toy. After some time, the dog will understand that even though you are leaving, you will be coming back.

How long this will take is hard to say as each animal is different, but in the end, patience will win out.

Leave Water And Maintain A Temperature-Controlled Room

Make sure the temperature levels are always comfortable for your animal. Remember too, that if you leave your dog in a crate, there must be some cool breezes in the summer, as the animal cannot move to another spot where there might be one.

As a general rule, keep the heat on in the winter and the air conditioning (or at least a strong fan) in the summer.

Be generous with water as well. It’s better to leave too much rather than not enough, and if your dog drinks a lot of water generally, ask a friend, neighbor or hire a pet sitter to walk the animal.

Leave On Some Background Noise

Background noise, like television or radio, can keep your dog company while you are gone.

There are many apps and some television stations, like DOGTV, that feature programming designed explicitly to relax dogs. There are none, however, to relax you, the pet owner.

Be aware of all you can do, accept the fact that that you are doing you best and maybe your guilt will subside. (If not, remember that there are always sedatives; not for the dog, but for you.)

3 Ways To Protect Your Home When Leaving Your Dog Alone

There's nothing worse than coming home only to find your doors, window sills and furniture scratched to pieces and your furry little (or big) friend hiding his or her's eyes in disgrace.

Bad Dog When Left Home Hiding Eyes.

Thankfully, our products allow pet parents to to protect your furniture and beloved belongings from the onslaught of separation anxiety, which commonly occurs in dogs, while also aiding in training this common destructive behavior.

We offer three workable solutions to one of the biggest problems associated with separation anxiety in the form of some tried and true products that can prevent your dog from scratching your beloved furniture

They are our: heavy duty door shields, window sill protectors and protection tape. More on each is featured below.

Our Heavy Duty Door Shields

When dogs are upset about being left alone they often take their anxiety out on innocent, inanimate bystanders that just happen to be within reach. These include: their own paws, which can become irritated, doors, door frames and walls.

Damage can be very unattractive and can range from scratch and chew marks to drywall damage, and the need for door replacements, which can be costly.

Our heavy duty CLAWGUARD door shields are both cost-effective, and offer supreme protection from pet scratching. They promise twice the strength of the Original Door Shield and cover a much broader space. Both pet paws and furniture will remain safe and beautiful with the help of these heavy duty door shields!

Durable Anti-Scratch Window Sill Protectors

These high quality, sturdy barriers are guaranteed for windows of all sizes and they provide genuine hope for homeowners who love their pets but not the damage they can do.

They offer solid protection to windows from scratching, clawing and chewing damage that can occur from the largest or smallest of dogs, cats and other pets (Okay, maybe not fish, but still).

The high tech plastic is clear and unobtrusive and will not detract from any decor. There are 6 different sizes to choose from.

Our Clear Adhesive Protection Tape

This clear, single-sided adhesive impedes dogs from scratching and damaging window sills, couches, weather stripping, furniture and baseboards, just to mention a few vulnerable spots.

Proudly made in the USA, this tape provides a highly effective obstacle that has been tested against the strength of both cat and dog claws, and each roll is 4 inch by 10 inches and comes packaged in a dispenser.

Go Dear Pet Parent, And Go Guilt-Free!

Guilt is free floating and may follow us everywhere, no matter what we do.

However, when it comes to leaving our dog home alone, the best we can hope for is some sort of makeshift tranquility in knowing we have left them and our furniture with everything they need in order to survive your next trip to wherever you choose to go.

Equip your home with the very best in scratch deterrent and protection products, and be prepared, like a dutiful boy scout, for your next departure into the unknown. 

Final thought from one dog: If chewing things is wrong, I don’t want to be right. ~Danny Gordan for Stupell Industries

 Photo Credits: Pixabay, Shutterstock and Clawguard

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