How to help your pet thrive while home alone

At Smack Pet Food, we understand that leaving your beloved pet alone at home can be a daunting task. Whether you are returning to the office after years of remote work or the kids are heading back to school after a summer of play, your pet will likely need some support as they adapt to solitude. Discover how to smooth this transition and understand the emotional cues your pet may convey during your absence.

Is Your Dog Feeling Lonely?

Your pet possesses emotional intelligence, enabling them to exhibit various signs when the absence of both you and your children affects them.

  • Uncharacteristic Behavior: If your dog engages in actions such as damaging furniture or rummaging through the garbage when left alone, it's not a sign of misbehavior. More likely, they're experiencing separation anxiety.
  • Changes in Eating Habits: A decrease in appetite or noticeable weight loss could signal depression and anxiety stemming from alterations in their routine.
  • Excessive Barking: Persistent barking and howling in your absence might indicate anxiety, usually subsiding upon your return.

We recommend not leaving your dog alone for more than 8 hours. Pay close attention to the signals your pet is sending you.

Four Tips to Prepare Your Pet for Home Alone Time:

1. Mental Stimulation is Key:

Keeping your dog mentally engaged helps them remain calm during your absence. Consider purchasing interactive games or crafting a homemade puzzle, like hiding their favorite Smack recipe in a towel for them to uncover through sniffing. Dogs live life through their noses, and sniffing actually helps calm them.

2. Create a routine!

Before school starts, gradually reintroduce your routine to acclimate your pet to the back-to-school schedule. Take them for walks and feed them at designated times, slowly leaving them alone for short periods. This aids in preventing anxiety and separation issues.

3. Play some music!

Surprisingly, background sounds can have a calming effect on your furry friend. Play soothing white noise to alleviate anxiety and create a serene environment while you and the kids are away.

4. Be calm, and they will reflect it.

Downplaying departures helps mitigate separation stress. Encourage your family to avoid dramatic farewells; instead, maintain a composed demeanor. Your pup will mirror your calmness.  

Ultimately, you know your pet best. Each dog has unique needs, so pay heed to the subtle cues they provide.

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