Simple Ways To Keep Your Dog Safe When Home Alone
You have probably heard the saying that “curiosity killed the cat,” but dogs can be just as mischievous as cats, especially when they are left home alone. Your dog doesn’t understand that certain things in your house might be dangerous for him, he only knows that they look like fun to play with. And of course, he’ll find them when he’s got some time on his paws… alone. Before you leave the house, make sure that you’ve made the environment not only safe for him, but be confident that you’ll come back to an intact home.
Dog-Proofing Your Home
Your home doesn’t suddenly become more dangerous just because you are gone – there are all kinds of things that your dog could get into when you are home and not supervising him. For your dog’s safety it is recommended that you “dog-proof” your home. Follow the tips below to dog-proof your home:
- Keep all food in closed containers, stored in a cupboard or pantry where your dog can’t get into it – this is especially important for foods that are toxic to dogs.
- Make sure your trash is kept in a lidded container, ideally under the sink or in a closet where your dog can’t get into dangerous things like chicken bones.
- Cover all of your outlets with plastic covers and keep electrical cords out of your dog’s reach.
- Avoid leaving small objects (like your child’s toys) on the floor where your dog could chew on them and potentially choke.
- Always keep doors to the outside closed so your dog doesn’t wander off without you knowing.
- Check to make sure that none of the houseplants you keep are toxic to dogs – you should also make sure the plants outside on your property are safe as well.
- Keep all cleaning products and medications out of your dog’s reach.
Other Tips for Keeping Dogs Safe
In addition to dog-proofing your home, there are a few other simple things you can do to make sure that your dog is safe when you are not around. You will find additional dog safety tips below:
- To make sure that your dog doesn’t have the energy to get into trouble when you’re not around, engage in some active playtime before you go. Try to tire your dog out with a game of fetch, or go for a long walk or run.
- Give your dog an interactive toy to play with while you’re gone so he doesn’t get into things that aren’t toys. Kong toys and puzzle toys are great options – plus, they give your dog some mental stimulation which is especially important for high-intelligence breeds.
- Consider hiring a dog walker or taking your dog to a doggie daycare service if you worry that he isn’t getting enough exercise or attention. Having a dog walker come by in the middle of the day to take your dog out for a half hour or so can make a big difference.
- If you can’t trust your dog not to get into trouble when you aren’t home (for short periods of time ONLY), consider keeping him in a crate. If you don’t like the idea of a crate, make a play area for your dog in one room of the house with plenty of toys to keep him busy without giving him free reign of the house.
Additionally, you should learn never to leave your dog outside when you are not home. Even if your fence is high enough and secure enough that your dog can’t escape, you never know when inclement weather might hit and a dog left alone in a yard is still vulnerable to intruders from the outside.
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
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