Tips and Tricks for Leaving Your Dog at Home While at Work
With more pet pawrents going back to the office and school, many pooches will be left home alone… some of them for the furrst time ever! However, you shouldn’t feel guilty for leaving your dog at home while you’re at work. Somebody has to be the treatwinner.
We’re all dog lovers at Hounds Lounge, so we understand how hard it is to leave your fur babies behind. Luckily, we can offer you doggie daycare and some doggone good advice! To help ease your mind, we’ve dug up some tips to help you and your dog experience a guilt-free and stress-free workday.
Now, let’s leash up and walk through it!
How to Prepare for Leaving Your Dog at Home While at Work
Below are a few puppy steps you’ll need to take before you ever leave your pooch at home alone.
1. Create a Safe Space
Determine where your dog will stay while you’re gone, and make it as cozy as possible. Some dogs can be trusted to have free reign of the whole house, while others might need to be limited to a single room. Wherever your dog roams, make sure they have access to their comfort zone, whether it’s a kennel, bed or, in the great outdoors, a doghouse.
The comfort zone is a place for dogs to sleep and feel secure. If you have a puppy, make sure their comfort zone is far away from their puppy pads or grass pads – you don’t want to mix bedroom and bathroom.
When you’re at home, make sure your woof spends lots of time in their safe space so they will feel completely comfurrtable in it when you’re gone.
Impawtant Note: While it’s common for dogs to sleep in crates at night, we don’t recommend that you keep your dog in a crate for more than a couple hours during the day. Before you go back to the office, make sure your dog is fully potty trained so they do not have to stay in a crate at all while you’re gone.
2. Get Your Paws on the Necessities
Your doggo has to stay hydrated and fed when they’re alone! Make sure your dog has a large bowl that can be filled with a day’s worth of drinking water. Some pawrents prefer a no-spill bowl to avoid messes and thirsty pets.
When you go back to the office, you might chews to feed your dog before you head to work in the morning and serve up their dinner after you come home in the evening. If that’s not the case, it’s a good idea to get an automatic feeder so you can control when and how much Fido eats.
You might be able to leave out a bowl of food for your dog to munch on all day, but this can lead to overeating and other negative behaviors. While you’re still working from home, try out different feeding tactics to see what works best for you and your dog!
Your pup will also need entertainment throughout the workday! Some toys they might love include:
- KONG toys, which keep your dog occupied as they try to sink their teeth into a treat!
- DIY snuffle mats provide mental and physical stimulation for dogs, and they’re great for crafty and/or thrifty dog owners.
- Food-free toys, like the Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel, are a nice choice for dogs who need to watch their weight!
- A good, old-fashioned, almost-empty jar of peanut butter is a fur fan favorite – as long as it doesn’t contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
While they’re not an essential item, many pet pawrents are big fans of pet cams, which are basically fur baby monitors. You can use these cameras to see what your pup is up to while you’re away and make sure they’re doing okay without you.
Some cameras even have two-way audio and video, so your dog can see and hear you. This allows you to call them out on their bad behavior or comfort them when they’re showing stress! If you’re shifting from being with your pet all day to being separated for hours at a time, a pet cam might be a good investment.
Take a trip to the pet store as soon as pawsible, so you’ll have all the supplies you and your fur baby will need later.
3. Practice Being Lone Woofs
While your dog can eat cold turkey, they can’t be left alone cold turkey! Your fur family will have to ease into independence. Start by leaving the house for about thirty minutes every day for a week. When you come home, act normal and allow your dog to settle, then reward them with love and treats! If your dog responds well to thirty minutes of alone time, begin adding more minutes and then hours to the clock.
Along with practicing independence, you’ll also need to practice following a schedule. If you’ve been working from home, your days have probably been quite flexible. Going back into the office will change things for you and your dog!
Even while you’re still working from home, try to follow a set schedule with your dog. Make bathroom breaks, feedings and play happen at the specific times they would occur if you were working in the office. This will help prepare Fido for when you actually do go back to the office and aren’t available at his bark and call!
How to Have a Guilt-Free Workday While Your Dog is at Home
The day will inevitably arrive when you must start leaving your dog at home while you’re at work! However, if you’ve put in the preparation, it doesn’t have to be too ruff. Follow these tips the day of, and you and your pooch will both be fine on your own, even if you are better together!
1. Start with a Morning Workout
Exercise is great for you and your dog! Start the day off with a walk, jog or rigorous play. Reap the health benefits, and burn some of your dog’s excess energy so they won’t bounce off the walls while you’re at work.
2. Get Your Pooch Set Up for Success
When it’s almost time for you to head to work, take your pup to their designated area or room (their safe space), if they have one.
Leave your pup with the appropriate amount of food and water they’ll need for the day, plus entertainment. As a doting pet parent, you’ve probably got a basket full of toys for your fur child – but you should only leave a few of those toys out each day, and rotate through the lineup on a regular basis. You don’t want Fido to become bored with what he’s got and try to create a new toy out of a shoe or piece of furniture.
Along with food and toys, you can also treat your pup’s eyes and ears by leaving the TV on and opening the windows. What’s your woof’s favorite channel?
If you have a pet cam, this will be the time to turn it on. This way, you can see what Fido’s up to throughout the day!
3. Schedule a Mid-Day Visit
If you work close to home and have a solid lunch hour, you have the perfect opportunity to drop in on your doggo. This is a great window for a potty break and exercise! If you are unable to go home, ask a friend or family member if they can stop by. Everyone could use some woof time!
4. Take them to Hounds Lounge
If all of the above fail to work out, or if you simply want to mix up Fido’s weekly activities, doggie daycare is always an option!
Unlike most hooman jobs, doggie daycare doesn’t have to be your woof’s 9 to 5, five days a week. At Hounds Lounge, you can bring your pooch in for a full day or half day of daycare, as many or as few times a week as is necessary for your fur fam. It’s all about your schedule and your pup’s needs!
Impawtant Note: Doggie daycare is an especially good option if your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, which can be caused by a change such as hoomans returning to the office.
5. Greet them with Lots of Lovin’
Whether you’re picking them up from Hounds Lounge or walking through your front door to meet them, greet your dog with the pets and kisses they deserve. A whole day – and even a half day – is a long time to be apart, and you should show them how proud you are of them!
It goes without saying that you will both deserve treats after your furrst day apart!
While it won’t be easy leaving your dog at home while you’re at work, we know you can do it, and we’re here to provide support if you need it! Your pooch is always welcome at Hounds Lounge if they need a day out of the house. We have locations in Little Rock, West Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Northwest Arkansas. You can keep things furrtual and make a doggie daycare reservation online!
Good luck to you and your doggo as you embaaark on this journey, and remember the ultimate dog owner goal: you work hard so your woof can have a better life.