If we could, we’d all be stay-at-home dog parents. Unfortunately, this isn’t the reality for most of us, as we all need to pay the bills, which means leaving our precious pooches at home while we go to work.
Now, you might have a friend or family member who can check up on your pet. Or, you may have a professional dog walker who helps to break up their day with a fun walk. However, even with this, many of us doggy parents still feel anxiety every time we walk out that door. Being such cheeky and inquisitive animals, it’s hard not to worry that your dog might harm himself while you’re out of the house.
Many of our curious dogs naturally love to explore places that could harbour potential dangers, such as bins that may have toxic foods in, or everyday items like hangers that can cause injury. These days, the average pet insurance claim has topped £750, which should be encouragement enough to ensure you have pet insurance. If you’re not insured, you’ll need to pay the bill yourself if an accident occurs and your pooch becomes injured or ill.
For extra piece of mind, here are some tips to help protect your dog from dangers when you’re out of the house:
1: Do a quick room assessment
Before you leave the house, make time to do a quick risk assessment of your home. If you have a room with particular dangers – such as the bathroom, which may have cleaners and chemicals at easy access – then shut these rooms off from your dog.
Make sure that anything hazardous, like coat hangers and certain plants, are left well out of your dog’s reach.
2: Distract your dog from hazards
Many young dogs like to chew, particularly items like shoes or cushions, which is mainly just annoying for the household, but it can also be dangerous if they ingest some stuffing or plastic. If you can’t remove these hazards completely, you can try to distract your dog from them with various toys. A long-term solution would be to train your dog to stay away from these hazards.
3: Don’t punish your dog
If you return home to find your dog has made a mess in your absence, although you may be annoyed, try not to punish him. This could distress the dog the next time you’re out of the house, leading to more mess. Instead, try to build positive behaviours by rewarding your pet when he doesn’t destroy anything while you’re out.
4: Be careful with your bin
Our bins can be like a buffet platter of toxic foods for our dogs. It’s not their fault, as they smell food and it’s their instinct to investigate. To help to keep your pooch safe, keep foods toxic to dogs, as well as anything sharp, out of any bins accessible to your dog.
For extra safety, you might want to invest in a bin that can fit in your cupboard, so your dog will be unable to get to it.
5: Don’t make a big fuss of leaving
When you leave the house, it’s tempting to make a big fuss of your dog, as you want him to know you’ll miss him. However, this can actually make your dog more anxious as they will see you leave and may associate your behaviour with getting left alone. This anxiety can lead to chewing, which could be hazardous to health.
Instead, try to leave quietly, so that your dog doesn’t notice.