What Your Dog Does At Home Alone: The Secret Life of Pets, a 2016 animated movie, highlighted the question we’ve always wondered: what do our pets do when home alone? Fortunately, we now have accessible technology that can tell us just that.
If you’re wondering what your dog gets up to when he or she is alone, and how to connect while you’re gone, keep reading.
Training dogs to be alone is a valuable life skill for your pooch. This is an especially important consideration in modern times, as many people are finding themselves working from home. Some rescue shelters saw an increase in adoption applications of 515% from January to March 2020 in a phenomenon called the “pandemic puppy” trend.
But what happens when their humans go back to work and school?
Now, more than ever, dogs need to learn how to be alone to reduce separation anxiety and build self-sufficiency and confidence.
One of the best ways to get insights into what your dog is doing while home alone is to train them for the experience. Here are some helpful tips to guide the process.
Leave your pet alone for brief bursts of time to create a sense of object permanence. Consider this the dog version of peek-a-boo. Start by leaving for twenty minutes, then scale it up to an hour, and so forth. Give your pooch time to adapt to being alone before increasing the duration.
There are positives to being left alone— it’s up to you to create those associations with your pet. Create a routine that gives your dog something to look forward to when alone. Maybe before you leave for the day, you give your dog a Kong with peanut butter. Maybe you have a variety of toys that go away while you’re home and come back when you leave. Get creative and make this a special experience for your pet.
While it’s good to have some alone time, your dog will benefit from some stimulation. Consider having a dog walker come in and take your pet for a stroll or send Fido out to doggy daycare once per week.
Dogs like to feel that they have company. Leaving on a radio or television can provide a distraction and some comforting background noise.
If you really want to know what your dog is doing, consider buying a dog camera. With this tool, you’ll be able to check in with Rex throughout the day and even interact.
Dog cameras come in various shapes and sizes. Here are a few features to keep in mind while shopping around.
Motion detection is perfect for if your dog tends to stay in one area throughout the day. This will be activated every time your pet gets up and moves around. Bark detection is another feature to look for, only activating the camera if your dog is upset.
Some cameras have treat throwing capabilities. This is a great way to connect with your pet throughout the day and reward them for good behavior.
Having a way to communicate with your pet is a must when buying a dog camera. You can get either a two-way camera that works like Facetime or a camera with audio capabilities that allows you to interact with your dog. Using this feature, you can talk to your pet, praise them for positive behavior, and reprimand them for negative behavior.
Training your dog to be alone and investing in a dog camera can help you transition to a new schedule with your pet. While you may think you’re training your pet to be alone, you might, in fact, be training yourself on how to be away from your dog.