Have you ever come home to find that your dog had an accident inside? It’s probably the last thing you want to deal with after a stressful day at work. All dog owners have had this experience, as even the most well-trained dogs were puppies at some point. There are some things you can do to alleviate the accidents that happen while you’re away.
Below are some common doggie disasters at home and tips to avoid them.
Bathroom Accidents Inside the House
Take your dog out on scheduled walks. Take him out right before you leave and again after you return. Your dog will be trained to hold it for a certain amount of time. Routine feedings can also keep your dog on a regular schedule. Reward him when he goes outside. If you’re away for too long, hire a dog-walker and/or keep a patch of grass for indoor bathroom use.
Getting Into the Trash
To avoid this issue, lock up your trash. Keep it in a covered bin or inside a cabinet so he can’t get to it. Keep all food out of reach. Everything should remain behind a closed cabinet door or on a high counter.
Destroying Your Property
To help expend your pet’s energy, exercise your dog regularly, especially before you leave the house. He’s probably chewing things because he has too much pent-up energy that needs to be released on something -- and that something could be your favorite boots. Give your dog plenty of chew toys, and teach him to only chew on those specific toys. Finally, put your things away! If your dog chews on shoes, don’t leave the shoes lying around.
Barking, Growling, or Howling
Turn on soothing music or an audiobook while you’re away. The sounds could calm your dog, as well as minimize the noise your dog hears outside.
Keep your dog safe by leaving him in a secure space. If your dog is an escape artist who has found a way to leave the property, it’s best to lock him inside. Nobody likes confinement, but if it’s the difference between your dog being uncomfortable for a few hours or running away, then a crate or fenced space could be your solution. Keep tags on your dog and have him microchipped so that if he escapes, he can be returned home.
Exercise is the most important thing you can give your dog besides food and love. Your dog needs plenty of activity in his life so he’s not bottling it up and taking out his frustrations inside your home.
Use a system that allows you to entertain your dog while you’re away. Some of these systems have cameras, communication tools, and treat dispensers so you can still care for your pet when you’re not home. If you’re away from the house for an extended period of time, consider getting a pet-sitter.
Don’t make eye contact, touch, or talk to your dog when you enter and leave the home. If you want to fix your dog’s separation anxiety, don’t treat your departure and arrival like it’s a big deal. Nonchalantly coming and going will normalize what’s happening and keep your dog from stressing out.
All of the above tips are temporary fixes to keep your dog calm while you’re away, but these behaviors can be avoided from the get-go. A dog can be trained to not do any of these things. You can start the training by leaving your dog home alone in shorter increments and gradually increasing the time until he’s able to stay home all day without a disaster.
Most dogs don’t act up when you’re around. Your supervision keeps them from getting their noses into things, and your attention keeps them from releasing pent-up energy. If your dog is acting up in front of you, he’s probably trying to tell you something. It might be time to look into behavior modification with a trainer or a medical issue that could be causing anxiety. Once you get to the root of the issue, you and your dog can live a happier life together.
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