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New puppy – How to get them used to some alone time

Lockdown is proving to be challenging for many. With a lot of unpredictability, insecurity, and even loneliness, it is no wonder you would choose to go searching for a new furry friend to help get you through the longer, quieter days.

A new puppy can bring an overwhelming amount of love to any family. The furry addition is so curious, and mischievous, and can really help to bring comfort and excitement back into your life. With plenty of time to give them snuggles and cuddles, and never-ending play time, they very soon turn into a lovable companion that relies heavily on your company.

But what about if lockdown starts to ease? What about if you’re having to return to your work office, or you’re back to doing the school run? Your young companion has absolutely no idea what life was like for you before you took them to their forever home. The only thing they know is constant cuddles and playtime. That’s why it can become incredibly hard for them to see you leave each day, unsure of what you’re doing, or where you’re going.

They may become clingy to you. They may become your shadow. They may have an increased, or decreased, appetite caused from stress from worrying when you may leave them next. However your little friend is coping, it is very important that you try and help them overcome this as soon as possible, so that they’re not anxious if and when you do return to work life.

Show your puppy that’s it’s ok to be on their own sometimes.

When you’re home, encourage your puppy to spend some time on their own. This will prove to them that they will be ok, but they will also have comfort knowing that you’re only in another room. You could also put a radio or a playlist on so there is some background noise for them. This may be a good idea to leave on if you do need to pop out too, as your home won’t be left deadly silent when you do leave. They may even start to associate the music to their alone time, helping them to stay calm every time they hear music play.

When you leave or return from somewhere, try to not fuss over them too much.

This will only create a massive thing of you leaving and they will start to notice signs of you getting ready to leave them. If you leave them and greet them calmly, then they will soon learn that you leaving is no big deal after all.

A puppy is more likely to need to go to the toilet more than an older dog.

As your puppy has likely never been left alone before, they are more likely to need to go to the toilet more frequently. Try to limit their alone time to short bursts, or arrange for someone to pop in and check up on them if you are likely to be out for a longer period of time.

Get your puppy into a new routine

It’s so easy to have lost a routine during this unusual time. Try to keep your days the same as much as possible. From the time you wake up and feed them, to their daily walks and their evening meal times. What time can they expect you to go to bed? All these things can really help your puppy pick up and learn what their new routine should be like.

As with anything in life, it will take time, and a lot of patience for your new puppy to get used to their increased alone time. But if you persist and stick to the same routine every single day, they will soon learn what to expect. If they struggle to get used to it, or they become increasingly agitated and stressed out despite all this, then you may wish to speak to your local veterinary practice. We also have plenty more advice articles for you to check out, such as how to reduce stress in cats, and tips on how to combat separation anxiety.