Securing Your Pup: Essential Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe While You're Away

If you work full-time or have to be out of the house for any extended periods of time, you are naturally going to worry about your pet. Of course, in an ideal world, we would never leave them alone, but real life just doesn’t work like that! Here are a few ways to keep your pet safe and comfortable when you are not at home.

Make sure things are out of reach and away.

One of the biggest problems with leaving your pet unsupervised for any length of time is the temptation for the animals to get into things they shouldn’t. Make sure all food items are out of reach, particularly if you have a dog, as many foodstuffs are fatal to them - including chocolate, onions, raisins and garlic. You also should make sure your trash can has a secured lid on it to stop them from getting their nose and paws into there.

You should also take steps to cover your electrical wires or create a barrier around them - the last thing you want is your dog chewing through them and damaging them, or worse, causing a fire.

If they are anxious - and many dogs can be if they are left alone - they can rip up plush items such as dog beds or soft toys and swallow the fluff. If you know that this is something they are likely to do, move them out of the way while you are not at home.

Don’t leave them outside unsupervised.

The chances of them escaping from the yard are much higher if they are not being supervised. Of course, you can reduce some of this risk by putting in a wireless invisible dog fence, but it is better not to put them in that position to begin with. If they are left outside, they may be more prone to barking (which will annoy your neighbours!) and are at risk of sunburn, heatstroke, and dehydration if it is a warm, sunny day.

Crate your dog

While crating can be a controversial choice, most dogs actually like it, especially if it has been done since they were puppies. It makes them feel safe and secure and keeps them out of trouble. If they are not used to being in a crate, don’t just suddenly put them in one for extended periods. Instead, start off small and get them used to it and create positive associations, so they see it as a safe and happy place rather than somewhere stressful.

Provide them with entertainment.

One of the main reasons for dogs to get into mischief when they are home alone is because of boredom. Make sure they have plenty of dog-safe toys to play with. These toys are designed to keep your dog physically and mentally occupied. You can also leave the TV on or the radio, with calming music or white noise. This can also mask noises from the outside and can reduce the chances of them barking and disturbing the neighbors.

Hire a dog sitter.

If you are going to be regularly leaving your dog for long periods during the day, it might be wise to look into hiring a dog sitter, or at the very least a dog walker. They can make sure that they are fed in time, have access to water, and can take them out for walks and toilet breaks.

Use technology

When it comes to pets, technology has come a long way. There are a whole host of tools that allow you to stay connected to your pet even when you are not physically there. Look at installing a pet camera with a two-way microphone, so you can use your voice to reassure them as well as keep an eye on them. You can also buy automatic treats and food dispensers to use throughout the day. There are also GPS collars and pet-safe alarms that go off if your pet tries to escape the house, and GPS allows you to see exactly where they are at all times.

Keep windows closed.

As well as the risk of them escaping or someone breaking in, open windows can also be a fall hazard for an inquisitive dog. Make sure they are closed and locked before you go out, and if you absolutely have to leave them open for ventilation, make sure they can only be opened a few centimeters so that no one can get in or out, except for fresh air!

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