It can be hard to leave your dog at home alone. Here are five practical solutions that will help you and your animal feel better while you’re away. 

People often feel guilty for leaving their beloved four-legged friends at home alone. They wonder what they’re doing without supervision, often fearing the worst. If you’re among this population of pet parents, you’ve probably thought of many different ways to make the situation less stressful. Unfortunately, quitting your job to be a stay-at-home dog sitter isn’t always in the cards. That’s why we’ve come up with five tips to ease the worry of leaving him at home.

1. Provide access to fresh water

It may seem like an obvious point, but make sure there’s enough water in your pup’s bowl before you head out. If he’s a “grazer” and doesn’t gobble up all his food at once, you can also leave something for him to nibble on throughout the day. He’ll take comfort in being well fed and watered while you’re gone, which may help lower any separation anxiety he experiences.

2. Keep him busy

Dogs are intelligent animals that require constant stimulation to keep their minds occupied. To prevent your dog from getting bored and going through the trash, try one or more of the following suggestions:

  • Play soft and relaxing classical music
  • Leave the TV on
  • Open your curtains and blinds so he can see outside
  • Place interactive toys around the house for him to play with

If you have the space, you can also consider getting another pet to keep him company. Having a second cat or dog around can make a world of difference for a dog who spends a lot of time home alone.

3. Designate a “bathroom” area

The last thing you want is to come home and find that your animal has relieved himself on your Persian rug. If you’re planning to be gone for more than a few hours, create a designated area within your home for your dog to do his business if necessary. Use items such as pee pads or grass pads. Grass pads are becoming far more popular than ever in households because they mimic the outdoors.

4. Tire him out

Make time in your schedule to exercise Fido before you leave him alone. Tiring him out will prevent him from feeling “cooped up” after your departure. Simple outdoor games like fetch are a great way to help him release energy and prevent him from getting into trouble while he’s unsupervised.

5. Use a dog monitor

Want to see what your animal is doing while you’re out? Thanks to technology, you can! Install a dog monitor that connects to your phone so you can check in periodically. This will give you peace of mind, and alert you if there’s any reason why you should go home.

These solutions will help your pup cope better on his own, and minimize the guilt and worry you feel when you have to leave him.  Have fun trying them out!