How to Leave a Puppy Alone for 4 Hoursby Kimberly Caines
Although it's essential to consistently supervise your puppy during the house-training process, there's bound to be a time when you must leave him home alone for four hours. Allowing him the run of the house can have disastrous results -- you might come home to find wet or smelly surprises on the floor, your sofa might get mistaken for a chew toy and you put Fido's safety at risk. To avoid this and to have peace of mind, learn how to confine your pup so he's safe, entertained and happy while you're away.
Walk your puppy about one hour before leaving him alone. Take him outside so he can go potty and play a game of fetch so he can run and have fun. A good exercise session can help keep him calm while you're away. It might tire him out so he decides to take a nap.
Block off a small, puppy-proof room of the house with a baby gate and put your puppy in the room. The area should have flooring that's easy to clean and should be large enough so your puppy has room to play, sleep and go potty -- the kitchen or bathroom are usually good options.
Place your pet companion's water bowl and bed or crate on one end of the confined area, and spread a stack of old newspapers or a puppy pad on the floor at the other end of the room. Keep his potty area separated from his sleeping area, because dogs dislike relieving themselves near their lounging area.
Keep your puppy entertained with toys while you're away. Provide safe chew toys and a food-stuffed dog toy for him to play with, and leave the television or radio on for some distraction.
Give your puppy minimal attention about half an hour before leaving the house. Skip saying goodbye and just walk out of the door. If you don't make a big deal out of leaving, neither will your pet companion, and he'll be less likely to suffer from separation anxiety.
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- Baby gate
- Dog bed or crate
- Newspapers or puppy pad
- Chew toys
- Food-stuffed dog toys
- Radio or television
- If you want to confine your puppy to a crate, keep in mind that puppies under 6 months of age might not be able to control their bowels and bladders for four hours. If you can't do it yourself, have a trustworthy friend or neighbor stop by to walk your puppy so he can do his business.
- When using a crate to confine your puppy, don't use one that's too big, otherwise your pet companion might eliminate on one end and sleep on the other. The crate should be large enough so your pup can sleep, stand upright and turn around.
- Go by your puppy's age in months to determine how long he can hold his bladder -- a 2-month-old puppy can hold his bladder for two hours.