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Leaving A Scared Dog at Home

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Dogs don’t own a watch. If they could tell time, they would know the difference between “I’ll be right back”, and “See you tonight.” There’s nothing to tell them it’s okay. I now have a dog who’s afraid of everything. Sophie is 3 years old, and by the time she’s 13, she’ll be great, but it makes it even harder to leave her now.

What We've Heard, We've Tried, & What Works

I have friends that call their dogs, talking endlessly into their land line phone, assuring them that “Mommy will be home shortly. I love you… kiss kiss!”. My dog stresses even with me by her side, so a phone call doesn’t cut it.

I have tried tons of things with many dogs over the years, but this is what gets Sophie and me through our day:

The Right Harness

Make certain your dog has a collar or a harness on with ID…just in case. Sophie has her  Ruffwear Front Range Harness that won’t come off, which has a special pocket for her tags and ID, so there’s no chance of her getting lost without identification, and the leash attachment is sturdy and just doesn’t come apart. Period.

A Special Place

Create a “den”, or special place that is small, cozy and feels like home within a home. Use an  Ultra Paws My Blankie, and a dog bed or Ruffwear Highlands Bed to make it cozy, warm and secure. Put one of your worn, not fresh from the dryer, sweatshirts or t-shirts there too, so it smells like you. It will reassure your dog that you really haven’t left her forever, as silly as that may sound.

The Right Products

All natural calming spray works well for scared dogs.  At Peace Calming Spray or patches are new and better than anything I’ve ever used for Sophie, or any of the dogs I have been blessed with over the years. At Peace is made with lavender and chamomile essential oils and really take the edge off for Sophie when she’s on the ledge ready to jump into total anxiety. The patches just stick on her harness or collar, so wherever she goes, she always has lavender around her. It also works well when you have to go to the vet! Doctor visits can be scary for you, and the same thing is true for your dog. A lavender patch on the collar can really help.

...Or Just Treats

Give a long-lasting treat 10 minutes or so before you leave.  Bubba Chews are newer, and all-natural water buffalo; they're thick and have the texture of horse or cow hooves (no smell though, which makes them perfect!). They are a good long chew, and your dog will be so happy with you that the sound of the door closing isn’t quite as bad. I only use all-natural, USA treats and NEVER EVER rawhide, so no dog gets sick on my watch.(Been there, done that… never again). Toys can work too, but Sophie just wants to play then, which means I can’t leave.

In addition to all of the above, you could also consider leaving the TV or radio on. Background sound is reassuring to you, and the same thing is true with your dog.This is especially true for thunderstorms, July 4 th and anything new.

Stay With It

Above all, never give up on your dog.Your dog counts on you every day to be their pack leader. To many dogs end up injured or in shelters because they are scared or neurotic from time alone, without you. Try these simple methods to help you and your dog succeed.

Do you have things that work for you? Let us know!


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