I WANT TO HELP MY DOG WITH
STAYING HOME ALONE
How to help your dog stay alone during the day
ADAPTIL can help your dog feel more comfortable when staying home alone
- Clinically proven to reduce:
Destruction by 91%
Vocalisation by 65%
- Best results are seen with continued use of at least 1 month.
Set your dog up for success
- Have a comfortable and safe place where your dog can stay alone (especially good if they like to destroy your items!).
- Give your dog safe chew toys and other distractions to help them stay occupied (puzzles or a licky mat), this also helps keep it positive. TOP TIP: don’t only give these nice treats when you leave them alone as they will then build up a negative association. Licking is also a self soothing behaviour.
- Play Calming Music for Dogs
Departure and homecoming: discretion is a must!
- Behaviourists recommend not to make a big deal about leaving. A simple cue can be useful to let them know.
- Provide food-stuffed toys to encourage licking behaviour (this is self-soothing).
- Consider a doggy camera so you can monitor them while you are out.
- When you return, wait until your dog is calm before interacting with them. Do not ignore them if they are distressed. If persistent then try a simple cue followed by a treat to help reduce the excitement.
See how ADAPTIL helped these Dogs:
Further Advice to help your dog stay home alone
Your dog is, as are all dogs, a highly social animal, feeling better and more confident when you are around.
However, you can’t take them with you everywhere. For example, you may be leaving your dog home alone while at work or popping to the supermarket.
How can you tell if your dog is having issues when home alone?
Since you are not there, how can you know what happens?
Sometimes it's obvious, destruction in the house, toileting or a neighbour complaint.
To check, why not ask your neighbours, they might hear some whining or barking. It could be that your dog barks all day while you are at work. Some dogs even howl when left home alone.
Check your door frames for scratch marks. Also your dog might leave some very obvious signs, like destroying your shoes, furniture, or soiling the house.
Get a camera: there are many “doggy CCTV” kits that you could buy and you can then watch them while you are out.
So what can you do when leaving your dog home alone?
- Dog trainers and behaviourists recommend to prepare your absence by giving your dog plenty of exercise before, and plenty of distraction during your time away.
- Avoid making a big deal about leaving and remain calm when you return.
- Reward your dog when they settle down and are back to their calm self.
How long can you leave a dog alone ?
This all can depend on what your dog is used too/ comfortable with, what age they are (can they hold their toileting?) etc. You need to judge this on your dog, there is no set rule for all.
- If you are leaving a dog home alone just a few hours (less than 4 to be precise), we recommend that you use ThunderShirt.
- In a survey, 77% of dog parents found ThunderShirt effective for their dog home alone.
- If you must be away for a longer time, like part of a day, we recommend to plug in ADAPTIL Calm Diffuser to release “appeasing messages” that will help your dog stay calm when leaving dog home alone.
- Using ADAPTIL Calm Diffuser will help your dog feel calm and relaxed when you are away.
- ADAPTIL Calm Diffuser is clinically proven to reduce the signs of separation-related problems after just one month (when combined with advice from a behaviourist):
- 91% less destruction to furniture and belongings,
- 75% less house soiling,
- 65% less barking.
How to train a dog to be comfortable being left alone?
Practice when you are home! Spend short periods away from your dog while you are still in the house, e.g. when you pop upstairs, leave them downstairs.
Reward your dog for remaining calm during the time they were alone and gradually build up the time they are alone. This is the ideal time to try a super tasty licky mat and help build up a positive association.
Our trainer's tip: from time to time, "simulate" your departure (put on your coat, take your keys and leave home), then come back after a few minutes. A good way to train your dog not to associate these actions to the feeling of loneliness!
Your dog’s self confidence can also grow with some basic training, such as cues they know (e.g. sit, paw, stay) or new tricks, rewarding them all the way.
- Never punish your dog for any destruction, barking or mess in your absence. This would simply increase their worries and make it more likely to happen again. Just clean it up and act calm.
- Every dog is different and for difficult cases of separation anxiety, we recommend speaking to an accredited dog trainer or behaviourist.
How to stop dog barking when left alone?
Barking is the way your dog has decided to communicate they are not happy being left home alone. Training your dog gradually to be comfortable when home alone should naturally reduce/stop the barking.
HOW TO HELP YOUR DOG STAY ALONE FOR A FEW HOURS?
Exercise your dog before you leave
- A tired dog may find it easier to settle when you are gone.
- Wrap up your exercise session at least 30 minutes before you leave so they have time to calm down.
Try to take the emotion out of leaving and arriving
- Dogs emulate your feelings, so if you make a big deal about leaving, they also think it is a big deal.
- If your dog jumps on you when you get home, that’s not right!
- Ideally, try to ignore them by turning your back. Once they have calmed down, greet them calmly.
- Or train your dog to do something different, e.g. sit somewhere specific near the door. And of course reward your dog when they do so.
Give your dog something to do before you leave
- Behaviourists recommend to try an activity feeder, or chew toy.
- This can help to keep them occupied, and not as aware that you aren’t there.
Time to try the Calming ThunderShirt!
- ThunderShirt is a calming wrap, helping your dog to feel more settled while you are gone.
- ThunderShirt’s patented design provides a calming effect by applying a gentle, constant pressure.
- 1,000,000+ dogs have already been helped – yours could be next!
See how ThunderShirt helped these Dogs: