If we asked all the dogs we know, they’d tell us how much they’ve loved having their humans WFH (not sure about cats.) But now with many pet parents heading back to work, what about our favorite companions?
Dogs are pack animals. Isolation is not in their genes. It is unnatural.
However, to live with us humans, they have to learn to cope. And it is for us to teach them.
No dog should EVER be left alone for 2-3 hours. Especially if they haven’t had any previous exercise. Expecting a dog that has already spent the night asleep to then just settle down and sleep some more because you haven’t had time to take them for a walk first – it’s not going to happen. They will be bursting with energy. A bored dog will be a destructive and noisy one and it is not their fault.
You wouldn’t leave a 3-yr old human toddler shut into a crate or room on their own for hours on end? But that is what we do to a young dog. And expect them not to be distressed.
There are many videos online you can watch with ideas to help settle a dog down and get them used to being left in a room.
Kongs, hiding treats, dog TV are some of the ideas. I don’t recommend leaving them with a chew alone – in case they choke swallowing it down without its being properly chewed.
If you have to leave them alone for more than a couple of hours, employ a dog walker to come and take them out. For at least an hour. There are dog walkers who will shove the dog back into their home after just 20 minutes. It can be useful to have a webcam set up.
A puppy parent has invested their money and spent much time with their pet who will give them wonderful companionship for many years. But getting that first year right is critically important for you and for them.
They’re depending on you.