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Tips For Leaving Your Puppy Alone For The First Time

Posted Nov 30th, 2023

Tips For Leaving Your Puppy Alone For The First Time

You adore your new puppy, but at some point you will need to leave your pup home alone. How do you prepare so that your puppy's first experience at home alone is positive? Here are a few tips from our Bellevue vets.

Leaving Your Puppy Alone

Eventually, you will need to leave your pet on their own. This is good for both of you. A dog needs to learn how to function independently of their human companion and the human needs to have a life that is not solely based on catering to the desires of their canine companion. The issue is not to create anxiety in either the human or the dog when you first are separated. Below we will give you some tips to make the first time leaving your dog alone a calmer experience.

Can I leave my 8 week old puppy home alone?

Calling puppies your fur babies is not that far off since puppies are much like children. But often you have to run errands or go to work where dogs are not welcomed. So, can you leave your puppy home alone? The answer is you should not be leaving your 8-week-old puppy alone for an extended period. This is the part of their life where they have just been weaned and need regular feedings and potty breaks. It is recommended to wait at least until they are 3 months old before they are being left alone.

What if puppy cries when left alone?

Puppies often cry when they are left alone because they experience separation anxiety, a common condition in young dogs. When dogs are separated from their owners, they may also experience feelings of fear or stress. This is because dogs are social animals and have a natural desire for companionship and attention. 

In addition, the puppy's crying may be a way for them to seek comfort and reassurance. This is because they are still getting used to their new surroundings and may feel insecure when they are alone.

How can I prepare to leave my puppy alone at home for the first time?

Things you want to do before you leave your puppy alone:

  • House train your dog. There is nothing worse than coming home to a mess because your dog decided to destroy things as a way to deal with their anxiety.
  • Have some puppy-free time at home. Try not to spend all of your time focused on your puppy. This will allow them to get used to not having your attention every second of the day. This can be as simple as closing the door when you take your shower or not acknowledging them while you are reading a book.
  • Set up a space for your puppy where they can access their water, food, bed and toys. Having the necessities of life in easy access removes a lot of stress.
  • Puppy proof all spaces your dog will have access to while you are away. You might want to baby-gate them in or keep them in one room
  • Have your puppy meet other people. This means if you need to take them to a sitter or have someone check in on them they are less stressed.

How can I make my puppy's first time alone less stressful?

Following the tips below should help to make your puppy's first time home alone a little less traumatic for your and your four-legged friend.

  • Start small. Go out by yourself and take a walk around the neighborhood and gradually increase the length of your outings
  • Do not make a production out of leaving. Leave calmly. If you are calm your dog has a better chance of being calm.
  • Return Calmly. If you don't make a scene about coming home your dog will be more likely to be able to treat your coming and going as routine resulting in a calmer dog.
  • Leave some clothes you have worn so they have your scent. Dogs have a great sense of smell and can be comforted by familiar scents.

How about leaving a puppy outside during the day?

Leaving a puppy outside during the day can pose risks due to their vulnerability to extreme weather conditions, predators, and accidents. It is advisable to create a safe and secure indoor environment for puppies, particularly while they are still in the process of being trained and not yet capable of responsibly handling outdoor situations. 

What are the alternatives to leaving my puppy home alone?

If leaving your puppy alone isn't working, or if you need to be out of the house for extended periods of time there are a few options you could try, that may help to make your puppy's time away from you more enjoyable:

Have a Friend Stop By

Have a friend or family member drop in to play with your pup. Your puppy is bound to enjoy some company for a while, and they will appreciate the opportunity to stretch their legs and head outside for a bathroom break.

Hire a Dog Walker

Hire a dog walker. Although you will want to be sure that your puppy is walked alone until they have all of their vaccinations, walking with a professional can be great fun for puppies. your dog will get a bathroom break while also learning new skills, and having fun.

Send Your Puppy to Doggie Daycare

Doggie daycares are fun places for dogs of all ages to spend time. Different dog daycares have different setups but many have fun play areas that look alot like a child's playground where the dogs can run, play and socialize. The best part is that your dog will come home tired and happy!

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Looking for clean, welcoming dog boarding in Bellevue? Our team would love to care for your puppy! Contact Sawtooth Animal Center today to learn more about our pet boarding services.

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Sawtooth Animal Center Bellevue is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Bellevue companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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