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Tips for Leaving Your Pets Home Alone

Leaving your pet home alone can lead to anxiety for both you and your furry friend. However, most families have no choice but to head off to work and school every day, leaving pets to their own devices. If you are worried about your pet when you are out, there are tips that can help them manage better while also keeping safe. Here are our Shackleford Road Veterinary Clinic tips to help ease anxiety and keep your pet happy and safe during their alone time.

Fresh Food and Water 

A fresh full bowl of water should always be left when you leave the home. Some pets might also appreciate a little snack they can access when they feel peckish. However, if your pet tends to gobble down any food left out right away, then it’s probably not wise to leave food out.  

Avoid Boredom

While cats tend to be happy to sleep all day, bored dogs are more likely to get into trouble when no one is home. They need to keep occupied so they don’t start doing things like gnawing the furniture or getting into things they shouldn’t which can be destructive or dangerous. Some good ways to help avoid boredom include:  

  • Leave relaxing music or their favorite show on the TV on for some company
  • Keep curtains open so they can watch the action in the neighborhood. A stray squirrel or watching neighbors coming and going can provide ample mental stimulation. 
  • Provide lots of toys to keep them busy

Your vet at SRVC can often offer further advice.

Provide a Friend

What’s the saying? “Every dog needs a dog”. If you have the space and budget, providing a second dog or cat can offer companionship for your pet. This makes it less difficult for pets who tend to be home alone often. You can also consider hiring a pet sitter or dog walker to pop in mid-day to provide some loving attention or exercise. 

Provide Training

 Many pet owners worry about bathroom accidents when they aren’t home. To reduce the risk for messes, train your pet to know where they can safely use the bathroom in a pinch. While cats have their litter box, dogs can be trained to use a designated bathroom area as well. Laundry rooms, tiled areas, pee pads or grass pads are all good options. However, training should also include being left alone. Ease your pet into alone time by spending longer and longer times away so they get used to it, reducing the risk of shock when a long alone stint comes up. 

Provide Exercise 

If your schedule allows, a good workout for your pet before you go is an excellent way for them to release pent up energy. A game of catch, a good run, a brisk walk, or some intense playtime are all excellent ways to tire out your pet, so they spend time resting while you are out.

Pet Cams

Technology offers improved security to monitor your pet from anywhere. If you have the budget, consider installing cameras so you can check in on your pet now and then. Often these systems include alarms that will warn you of issues at home, so it is worth the investment. There are also systems that allow you to chat with your pet or even distribute treats via a webcam system. How fun!

Bonus tip: Be sure and have your pet Microchipped so in the unlikely case they get out, you have help in finding them and getting your furry friends returned!

Boarding

For longer periods away, boarding is often your best option. Your pet receives proper care and regular interaction, so they avoid feeling resentment or loneliness. Many Little Rock animal hospitals like SRVC  offer boarding services in a safe, friendly environment.

Little Rock Animal Hospital and Pet Health Experts

These tips can help reduce separation anxiety for you and your pet, while also keeping your companion safe and occupied.

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