What can I do to help calm my dog while I’m at work?

asked 2018-12-01 18:23:40 -0500


I’ve been having my furbaby Sara for 7 years now. We lived with my parents in a house until recently. I recently got married and got an apartment with my husband and after putting a lot of thought into it I decided to bring her with me. My parents are also very close to her and our apartment is much smaller and instead of looking out into the street now her only view is the parking lot. I’ve her with me in the apartment for about two weeks now. I recently purchased a Furbo to see how she did on her own and I tried it out for the first time yesterday. It was not good. She was detected barking over 70 times and she even howled! I have never heard her do that. I was at work almost crying cause I thought she was doing fine! I leave her the TV on and I’ll leave the blinds half way up. I’m not really sure what else to do. Any suggestions on what I can do? I really want her with me. We’re both very attached to each other but if I have to leave her with my parents then I might have to do that. Someone is ALWAYS home there so she won’t be alone. We’ve thought about adopting another dog so she won’t be lonely but I’m not sure if it’ll make worse.

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Take her to work with you. Get a little green jacket for her to wear so people will assume she's a service dog.

Don B.'s profile imageDon B. ( 2018-12-07 21:14:55 -0500 )edit

That is so dishonest - BOO

Walt G.'s profile imageWalt G. ( 2018-12-08 12:37:11 -0500 )edit

Sorry, Walt, I wouldn't do that myself, but I figured if she is leaving a dog all by itself in a tiny apartment instead of in a large house with people and then considering adding another dog to the tiny apartment, that we weren't dealing with the ethical side of the fence.

Don B.'s profile imageDon B. ( 2018-12-19 16:31:25 -0500 )edit

Try leaving some of your sweatshirts or clothing you recently wore (your scent) by her bed or crate. (?) Your scent might calm her. Make her some treat puzzles before you leave. If you can get her a good walk in before you leave. might tire her out a bit. Hire a Rover Sitter for afternoon visits

Nadine N.'s profile imageNadine N. ( 2019-01-28 05:39:56 -0500 )edit

4 Answers

answered 2018-12-17 16:12:32 -0500

The dog's best interest should come first. So, 1. Leave it with you parents, where the DOG can be happy 2. Do not get another dog in your present circumstances,that only adds more problems.

You'll survive, and when your circumstances change you can get her back.

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I agree 100%. My other suggestion is to keep her and start crating her while you're gone. Teach her it's a good place & like a den. Many dogs prefer their crate to any bed. It might take some time since she's not used to it, but she'll be happy & calm in no time. Make sure it's big enough as well.

Laurie P.'s profile imageLaurie P. ( 2018-12-18 02:25:10 -0500 )edit
answered 2018-12-19 05:54:52 -0500

When dealing with a dog with separation anxiety the biggest clue is to teach the dog that it is okay to be alone and that you will in fact return. However, it's easier said than done. Keep in mind that moving to a new environment can be very stressful for some dogs. She may need weeks or even longer to acclimate to being in a new environment, and being alone in a new environment.

Doggie daycare may be an option while you're working on this issue, or maybe your parents or a friend is available to take care of her while you're at work.

I suggest starting by leaving her for an amount of time that you know she will tolerate without barking. Do this often, even multiple times a day if she only tolerates a few minutes alone. Gradually increase the time you're away.

Prior to leaving her alone make sure she's well exercised and tired. Give her something to keep her occupied such as a Kong filled with frozen treats or a treat-dispensing toy. It must be something you know she values.

When you leave and also when you return, don't make a big deal of it. Ignore her for a few minutes before you leave and as you leave. Give her the chosen distraction (e.g. Kong or toy) several minutes prior to your departure.

In the beginning, if possible, it can be useful to keep her in an area of the apartment where she cannot see or hear you leave. You can also try playing "Relax My Dog" music on YouTube for her for a calming effect.

Working through separation anxiety can be challenging for everyone involved, but I think it's beneficial for every dog to be able to stay home alone without experiencing anxiety.

Good luck!

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answered 2018-12-26 20:22:41 -0500

Enrichment!!! On days we go to work, we only feed Chester right before we leave. We’ve gotten rid of his food bowl and replaced it with puzzle feeders. This has been a game changer for my separation anxiety prone dog. We change it up every day. Sometimes we hide kibble around the apartment. We freeze wet food (or peanut butter / meat broth) in a kong for Chester to work on. And we have several toys (like balls and wheels) that we fill with small amounts of kibble in each so Chester has several puzzles to work on. He also has a bone always. I’ve found this calms him and he isn’t so anxious when we leave because he knows us leaving = food to find. Good luck!

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answered 2019-04-03 12:00:29 -0500

Before you leave the house, take your dog for a walk. ... No touch, no talk, no eye contact. ... Say goodbye to your dog long before you leave. ... Stay calm and assertive! ... Start out small by leaving your dog alone for just five minutes. ... Leave your dog with a good audiobook.

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