3 Ways To Keep Your Dog Safe & Happy While He's Home Alone

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Written by: dogintonpost 
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It’s just heart-breaking to look into our pooch’s sad eyes every time we leave for work or school. Let's face it, as much as we'd prefer staying home with our dogs instead of spending that time away, it's almost impossible to avoid leaving our furry friends home alone for at least some of the day. 

Whether Fido barks, whimpers, whines, or just stares us down as we take off, our pet surely has a knack of making us feel as if we’re the most heartless human being in the world simply for having to leave the house.  The only way to feel better about this inevitable situation is to make sure that your dog is safe and happy as he spends some alone time at home. 

Here's how to keep him happy, healthy and, most importantly, safe while he's home alone.
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1. Dog-proof your home.

Before you leave for work, school or errands, find time to put away some of the most common hazards in every room in your house. These include kitchen items like toxic foods, sharp cooking utensils and cleaning products, poisonous detergents, sharp aluminium cans, plastic bags, discarded food and bones which can pose suffocation and choking dangers, and glass or dishware that can shatter. Use  cabinet locks to prevent access to where cleaning agents are stored, keep dishes and cutlery away from Fido’s access, and that you hide the or tightly lid trash cans. 

For the family room, dining area, and bedroom, always keep an out for loose blinds, curtains, and electrical cords. In addition, check your bathroom for medications, personal care products, air fresheners, and even for an open toilet seat which can pose serious hazard for Fido as well. While your dog is young or still learning appropriate behaviour at home, you may opt to  crate him while you're away, or confine him to a small, safe area of the home through the use of baby gates or dog-safe barriers. 
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2. Provide him with safe toys.

Toys can help in making your pooch feel comfortable as well as in letting him kill boredom while you are away. You can try the following types of dog toys for his solo time at home: (1) rubberised toys that can hold for long hours of safe chewing. Never allow your dog to eat rawhide bones or chews unattended as they pose a serious choking hazard, (2) flavoured synthetic Nylabones which look like real bones, but won’t break up and splinter like actual thing, and (3) interactive treat toys which can help in engaging your dog’s mind while you’re gone for the day. Safe toys can definitely contribute in keeping your dog’s imagination active, discourage any destructive canine behaviour, promote his dental health, and even give you peace of mind. 

Just make certain that any toys within your dog’s access are adequately sized as to not pose a choking hazard are durable enough that he won’t be able to rip or chew off pieces and swallow them. 
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3. Keep him comfy and content.

Leave your pooch in a condition that is not only safe but also physically comfortable for him. Ensure that the internal climate of your place is neither too cold nor too hot. Consider installing a  pet wifi camera that can be viewed remotely from your cell phone and that sends alerts to loud sounds, excessive movement, and even measures the temperature of your home for the ultimate peace of mind while you’re away. As always, don’t forget to leave lots of fresh, cool water available. 

It helps to also keep in mind that the more physically calm your dog is, the more likely he will be content mentally. Whenever possible, allow your dog plenty of time to romp and play, make sure she goes potty, or take her for a walk before leaving the house for an extended length of time. Boredom, excess energy, or a full bladder are all potential sources of anxiety and restlessness while you’re away. 

Create a routine for your dog that teaches him that every time you leave the house, you’ll eventually return. One easy way to do this is to create a phrase, like “I’ll be right back, I love you!” and say this phrase every single time you exit the home, even if it’s just to check the mail. In the beginning, you can help your dog to learn its meaning by saying your chosen phrase, stepping outside for only a few seconds, and coming right back inside. Eventually he will learn that your phrase means that you’re leaving, but you will return. Don’t try to “sneak out” or trick your dog into going into another room as you leave the house. 
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Additionally, you can try creating a sort of “artificial company” for your dog by leaving the TV or radio on. But, find stations that play calm noises, as too much noise could over-stimulate him. The visuals and the noise will aid in keeping your pooch stimulated while you’re away. You can even play music created especially for dogs! 

Most importantly, give him lots of love and attention before leaving and when you return home, and don't leave him at home alone for longer than is appropriate for his age and size. 

What special ways do you keep your dog content while he or she is home alone? Share your own tips and advice in a comment below! 

And, don’t miss these other PAWsome Guides from The Dogington Post! 
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