When you’re home your pooch has everything she needs – interaction, attention, companionship. But when you go out and leave her to an empty house, keeping your dog occupied can help prevent boredom from leading to bad habits like chewing or other destructive behaviors. Some dogs get anxious and have what is known as “separation anxiety” when they’re left alone in the home. So if your pup can’t stand to be solo, rest assured there are many things you can do to help her and ways you can teach her to be okay being alone.
One tip is to give high-value chew-proof food-stuffed toys and dog-proof bones (big strong marrow bones that will not splinter) only when you leave the house. The very last thing you should do before you walk out the door is give your dog the toy stuffed with treats (such as the Pet Gear Bonus Ball) that she loves so much. This will give your furry friend something to do when you’re gone, kinda like a project to work on, if you will! Also, because stuffed chew toys are so tasty for her, it will give her a positive association with no one else being home. The best way for this to work well is to make sure not to give these special food-stuffed toys when you are home – they remain valuable only if you give them to her just when you leave, soon resulting in her getting excited for you to get outta the house! Those food toys will start to serve like canine crossword puzzles and help keep her stimulated mentally when she’s home alone. At the same time, they’ll be providing a positive association with your absence.
Soon enough your pooch will be more focused on that project she hasn’t seen since the last time you left the house, and she’ll be ready to get working on it as you shut the door behind you. If you’ve got more than one dog at home, make sure you first physically separate them in separate rooms with closed doors or crate them when giving them high value chew toys so as to avoid potential fights. And remember, when you return home, any left over goodies get taken up and put away! She’ll get them again when you go and she’ll thank you for it.