Leaving Your Dog Home Alone During the Holidays
You’ve packed your bags, and you’re ready to head out the door, but what about your dog?
Though, for most of us, the end of the year means seeing loved ones and sharing comforting meals, your dog might be feeling less than festive about the holiday season. The holidays mean that you'll probably be away from home--even if it’s just for the night. While that may be a nice break for you, dogs have no understanding of why you come and go at random times. What’s more, they don’t know when you’ll be back. Holidays like New Year’s Eve can add even more stress, as loud fireworks can frighten your already stressed pup.
Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam
Read on to find out how you can make the holidays just a little more happy for your pup.
- Make sure to have an indoor dog potty: Not only will you worry less, dogs can find comfort in knowing that they have a place to go even when you’re not there. A natural pee pad like Bark Potty is just the thing to help make being away from home less stressful for both of you. Tip: Begin potty training prior to your trip so you can rest assured that your dog can take care of business on their own.
- Be relaxed and confident when you’re saying goodbye: If you leave despondently after a drawn out goodbye, it doesn’t make your dog feel great about the prospect of you returning. As difficult as it may be, try to leave as you would normally leave the house so your dog doesn’t have reason to think that you won’t be coming back. You want to reassure your dog--through your actions and not your teary departure--that you’ll be returning home just as you always do.
- Make mentally stimulating toys accessible: Toys such as treat puzzles have two functions. One is to keep them company even while you’re absent. The second is that mentally stimulating toys can diminish destructive behavior, which can intensify if your dog is anxious about you being gone.
- Have someone visit your dog regularly: If you’ll be away for an extended period of time, it’s best to have a pet sitter visit regularly. They can both help make sure your dog is safe and sound as well as provide much needed affection and play time. Having a pet potty that your dog is trained to use can help you sitter spend more quality time with your dog when they’re there.
- Be a responsible paw-rent: You’ll want to make sure your pup has had plenty of exercise and has gone to the bathroom shortly before you leave. Being tired from an exciting play sesh can help prevent separation anxiety. You can also do other activities that comfort your dog. If you have the kind of dog that loves a blissful nap after a warm bath, that’s a good option too. Treats and cuddles are also encouraged!
We know it’s hard to leave your dog behind without feeling guilty, but there are concrete steps you can take to help them cope with being alone. Above all, remember that worrying excessively doesn’t do any good for either you or your dog. Hopefully, these tips can help the both of you have a smooth and stress-free holiday season!