FOMYD: Fear Of Missing Your Dog - How I Cope With Leaving Willo at Home
As a dog parent I know how hard it is to leave your fur baby at home alone, especially when they’re puppies. I am gone at work for at least 10 hours a day during the week, and Willo is definitely dramatic about it. She literally lays on the floor howling for around 10 minutes after I leave the house, adding to the heart wrenching guilt I feel for leaving her. But I’ve found there are some things you can do, and toys you can leave, that will relieve the stress you feel for abandoning your pup and I want to share them with you.
First things first… If your dog is anything like Willo, they love treats almost more than they love you. Willo loves the mornings when she trots along beside me, treats in hand, to take her to my room where I leave her for the day. The treats create such a positive association that she forgets about the fact that I’m about to leave her.
I leave her enough treats to keep her busy while I sneak out the door, and hope that she doesn’t even realize that I’m gone.
Treats I love to use include:
I don’t like to leave any long lasting chewy treats such as Dreambones or Bully Sticks for fear of her choking on them, with those kinds of treats I recommend supervision.
Because Willo is a working dog, I love leaving her with something to do. Outward Hound makes the best interactive toys that challenge your dog’s mind and keep them busy. I love to leave a plush hide and seek squirrel toy for Willo, with treats also hidden inside.
I also love the treat puzzle toys because it rewards Willo for her hard work and they have a few different levels you can set up. Just be careful because Willo tends to chew up the pieces if it’s left with her for too long.
There are a lot of pet cameras out there that allow you to check in on your dog while you’re away. I love my Furbo Dog Camera because it lets me talk to Willo, toss her treats and make sure she’s okay at all times of the day.
My favorite thing about it though, is it’s notifications that alert me when she’s getting active, when she’s barking and when it spots a person. It’s how I found out that she howls like a baby when I leave, and lets me know if she’s doing something she shouldn’t be doing. It also alerts me when my sister takes her out of my room, and puts her back. I’m able to keep tabs on Willo at all hours of the day and it relieves my stress immensely.
It’s extremely important to provide you pup with a space that’s comfortable for them when you’re gone. Willo is typically contained in a pen that has a bowl of water, a comfy bed and a kennel she can go into when she wants. I love Amazon’s soft crate and I catch Willo hanging out in there quite a lot.
I also got her a cozy bed from Zen Den, it’s all machine washable and has a blanket in there that’s perfect for her bedding instinct.
Someone to relieve them
I feel the most comfortable leaving Willo at home when I know someone will be there to take her out. I don’t like to leave her locked up for more than 6 hours max, so I have my sister take her out around lunch time, play with her and take her on a walk.
If you don’t have someone you know who can do that, services like Wag, Rover and Fetch! Pet Care offer services for pretty cheap that are worth looking into.
Don’t worry too much
All in all, your pup will be fine alone. Try not to worry too much. I’ve been learning not to let my pets control my entire life. When I can bring Willo along, I do. But if not, she’ll be okay when I get home. Try not to be too hard on yourself.
If you have any questions or would like to see me write about another topic, let me know in the comments below!