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Leaving a Puppy Alone at Home for the First Time: How to Prepare

If you've recently brought home a new puppy, you know how much fun they can be. On the other hand, they'll need lots of care and attention, which can make it tough if you need to leave your house. In this article, you'll learn more about leaving your puppy at home alone for the first time, including tips and information about dog boarding as an alternative. 

What should you do when you have a new puppy and need to leave the house?

A puppy is similar to a child in that they both need constant supervision and care. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult if you need to leave your home for a few hours. After all, leaving your puppy outside during the day while you are away from home isn't an option, since they could get into fights with other dogs or animals, be hit by a car if they were to escape, escape and run away, or encounter other safety issues.

The key to successfully leaving your puppy home alone is to reduce anxiety for both you and your young dog when you are first separated. This anxiety can cause your pup to cry and whimper. While it can be heartbreaking to know that your puppy cries when left alone, you can manage this reaction by properly preparing for your time away. 

Below, you'll find tips to make the first time leaving your dog alone as calm of an experience as possible. 

Can I leave my eight-week-old puppy alone?

You'll need to leave the house at some point, whether for work or errands. So, can you leave your puppy home alone?

Unfortunately, it's tricky to leave them home alone when they are this young, as puppies should not be left alone for extended periods until they are at least three months old. So, if you need to step away, this time should be very brief. Consider alternatives such as boarding or doggy daycare. 

Leaving a Puppy Alone at Home for the First Time 

Looking to make leaving your puppy at home easier for both of you? Consider these tips:

  • Housetrain your puppy – There is nothing worse than arriving home to a mess because your pooch chose to destroy things as a way to deal with their anxiety. 
  • Enjoy alone time when at home – Try not to spend all your time focusing on your puppy. Dedicating your attention to other pursuits will get your pup used to not having your attention every minute of the day. This can be as simple as closing the door when you take your shower or not acknowledging them while you are reading a book. 
  • Create a puppy-centred space – Arrange an area for your puppy where they'll have access to their own bed, food, water and toys. Having the necessities of lives within easy reach removes a lot of stress for a young dog. 
  • Puppy-proof their special area – You may want to place a baby gate around your puppy's area or keep them in one room to reduce as many safety risks as possible. 
  • Socialize your new puppy – Taking your puppy to a sitter or having someone check in on them may decrease your puppy's stress and reduce any separation anxiety if you need to leave them alone. 

Making Your Puppy's Time at Home Alone a Success

Here is some advice on how to help your puppy stay happy and comfortable if you need to leave them home alone:

  • Start small: Go out by yourself and take a walk around the neighborhood and gradually increase the length of your outings
  • Don't make leaving a big deal: If you are calm your dog has a better chance of being calm.
  • Return calmly: If you don't make a scene about coming home your dog will be more likely to be able to treat your coming and going as routine resulting in a calmer dog.
  • Leave something that smells like you: Dogs have a great sense of smell and can be comforted by familiar scents.

Other Options for Puppy Care While You Are Away

If you have a puppy that can't be left at home alone while you go out or if you are going on vacation, you can consider other options like:

Ask a Friend or Family Member

Have a friend or family member drop in to play with your pup. Your puppy is bound to enjoy some company for a while, and they will appreciate the opportunity to stretch their legs and head outside for a bathroom break.

Hire a Dog Walker

Hire a dog walker. Although you will want to be sure that your puppy is walking alone until they have all of their vaccinations, walking with a professional can be great fun for puppies. your dog will get a bathroom break while also learning new skills, and having fun.

Consider Dog Boarding

A doggy daycare or boarding facility can be a fun place for dogs of all ages to spend time. Different dog daycares have different setups but many have fun play areas that look a lot like a child's playground where the dogs can run, play and socialize. The best part is that your dog will come home tired and happy!

We know how stressful leaving your beloved furry companion can be so our team at Jackson Animal Clinic offers dog boarding in a safe and comfortable environment. Speak with us today to learn more.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet to accurately diagnose your pet's condition or boarding needs.

Do you need to board your pup while you are away? Our team can give your dog the care and attention they deserve. Contact us today to book a trial stay.

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