NOTE: I keep having people read my article and then email me asking how they can leave their puppy home
safely for 8-9 or more hours while they are at work or school. I know this sounds harsh to people but it will NEVER
be safe OR OK to leave a puppy or even a dog in my opinion alone for endless hours while you are at school or at work.
If you are that busy, please, for the sake of the dog or puppy, wait until a time when your schedule will allow you more time
for a dog before you get one.
Some people are lucky and can take their dogs with them everywhere they go. Others are not. We as breeders
understand that there are times you have to go and leave your precious puppy or dog at home alone. Before leaving pets alone
here are a few things to think about.
Leaving a puppy at home alone free to roam the house is a TERRIBLE idea. There are way too many things for a curious
puppy to get into. If there is trouble to be found a puppy will find it. Same thing goes for an adult dog. Dogs and puppies
are naturally curious and what they find goes right into their mouth. It would be a shame for puppy or doggy to be home alone
and find a stray electrical cord hanging down and chew on it and electrocute themselves. Or for them to find a way into a
cupboard and get into household poisons, dangerous chemicals, or medications. I have even heard of dogs learning how to open
the fridge and pilfer items or to open the stove door to jump up on to get onto tables or counters and get into things. Let
alone all the wonderful things a puppy can get into in the bathroom such as toilet paper. Your house will look like its snowed
in now time with a nice full roll. Puppy or doggy could even start chewing on furniture, phones, carpets, flooring, wallpaper,
etc. Many of these items can contain lethal chemicals themselves. Anywhere you look you can find danger for your baby.
The best place to leave your puppy or dog is in a crate. Be sure that puppy has plenty of room to stand sit and turn
around. If you are going to be for a period of time I would recommend a large crate so that puppy has a place to go potty.
You will find that putting a wee-wee pad down in the back of the crate in case of emergency is a great idea. Easy to clean
up. You will want to make sure the crate is large enough that puppy has room to lay down and play without getting into the
potty area of the crate. Even if your puppy or dog does end up getting into his own leavings its much better to have to wash
a dog than having to come home to a dead or dying dog from getting into something he should not have.
If you are going to be gone longer than 1 hour I would recommend having water available for your baby. Some breeds drink
a lot of water to keep up their health, so its important that they have access to it. If you are afraid puppy will make a
mess with a water dish you will find that one of the licky water bottles that you can attach to the side of the crate is awesome.
If you get one with the ball and spring in it , it will help to keep the water from leaking out. Even if your dog has never
used one of these licky bottles they will catch on very quickly.
I would also highly recommend that you have several SAFE toys that you can leave with your baby. This way the dog is
not bored. Those KONG toys are very nice to leave with dogs as they can be filled with treats or creamy treat filling and
take the dog a while to work at thus keeping the dog busy for quite a while.
I would also suggest that when leaving your puppy in a crate that you remove his collar so that he does not become entangled
and hurt himself.
Leaving a puppy or dog in a play pen that has no top is not a good idea. The dog could climb the pen and get his back
legs caught over the edge and hang themselves or get their collar or any long hair entangled and hang themselves.
You may think about leaving your puppy outside while you are gone. This again is not a good idea. Puppy could find a
way out of the yard and get hit by a car, or find his way into some weed chemicals that you forgot to put away, or even into
chemicals left out to kill rodents. The weather could also turn extreme before you can return home leaving puppy in danger.
When leaving puppy in his crate I would suggest that you keep the crate on a smooth level surface. Tile or linoleum is
best. If you have to leave the crate on carpet I would put down a plastic sheet or something of that nature to keep leaks
or stains from happening. I would also make sure that the crate is well away from walls or anything else that puppy or doggy
should not be into. Remember some crates will allow a dog to reach out and grab something with their mouth or paws. So keep
that in mind when placing the crate.
If you find that your dog suffers from separation anxiety and makes a lot of noise when being left you may find that
a sheet or towel placed over the crate will help him relax or make him think its bed time. It also helps to make the crate
look more like a den. Dogs love dens and it makes them feel safe and comfortable. This stems back to wolf behavior.
Some dogs or puppies that suffer from extreme separation anxiety may need a bit more. Sometimes having a stuffed animal
in with them really helps. Setting a ticking clock by the crate may also help as to the puppy it simulates the mother heartbeat.
There are recordings on CD also that are great for pets with anxiety. There are some over the counter medications and herbal
remedies for this too that you can find at local pet stores. If you have to find something better than these I would be sure
to talk to you vet about it. Also when doing prescription medications for this please be sure to find out how your dog reacts
to this medication before leaving the dog alone. It could save your dogs life.
For very young puppies I would not leave them alone (even crated) for longer than a couple hours. If you work and have
to leave the puppy for longer than that see if you cant make arrangements to come home at lunch and check on puppy and let
them out. If that wont work for you find a neighbor or friend or pet sitter that will come in and check on the dog and take
them for a walk. If that still wont work for you then I would suggest that you wait on getting a puppy or dog until you have
a more relaxed job and more time to spend with your pet. Dogs and puppies take work and just leaving them to sit at home alone
for hours on end every day is not fair to your baby. After all, would you want to be locked up in a crate everyday?
Article by Keisha C. of Arpeggio Poodles.