How long can I leave my puppies alone?

It’s a very overwhelming time for a puppy to join a new family, new smells and new things to play with round every corner! Eventually you will be able to train your puppy to entertain themselves in a safe and engaging way whilst you are absent, but how do owners get to that point?

Before they are completely house and toilet trained, it is best for both your puppy and yourself for them to have constant supervision. Between 4 and 6 months of age puppies begin teething and their chewing steps up a gear. If they are not closely monitored it could cost you a few shoes or pieces of furniture.

All dogs love routines and setting up a routine for your growing pup will be a huge benefit, by setting fixed mealtimes and scheduling outside time first thing in the morning and after mealtimes your pup will learn when to expect certain things.

It is recommended that settle times are equally as importantly scheduled as well as play times, when a puppy is taught to settle in their crate or designated area they are able to entertain themselves without needing constant supervision from you.

Whilst your pup is growing it will sleep a lot, which allows you to train it into being by themselves, as they can get overly attached and become demanding for attention later on. It is good for your puppy to fall asleep but wake up with no company. By awaking on their own they will learn that they can be alone without any disasters occurring. This will build their confidence in themselves and they will be less anxious when they are alone.

Begin by teaching your puppy how to entertain themselves with a chewable toy and which will engage their attention and occupy them building the confidence to be alone and without needing constant reassurance.

Once they are able to be in another room with you in the house, try 10-15 minutes trips out of the house and when you return engage in something else before praising your pup. An excitable pup that gets attention as soon as you walk through the door will become over-excited when anyone arrives into your home.

The following table comes from David Chamberlain, Veterinary Consultant to PetSafe®

Age of Dog
(maturity varies between small, medium, large, and giant breeds)
Maximum period that a dog should be left for during the day
(ideal scenario)
Mature dogs over 18 months of age Up to 4 hours at a time during the day
Adolescent dogs 5 – 18 months Gradually build up to 4 hours at a time during the day
Young puppies up to 5 months of age Should not be left alone for long periods during the day

 

If owners must be absent from the home for a long time with puppies alternative arrangements must be made, such as a dog-sitter that can keep up with toilet training routines and give your dog some company, or a dog crèche, however this could cause issues as interactions with other dogs can teach your easily influenced pup their less than ideal behaviours. It is advisable as a younger pup that they are given one on one attention to reinforce their training.

So if you are planning on expanding your family with a new four legged friend, remember it is easier to teach a puppy too many rules to begin with than try and enforce them at a later date.

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Keeping Cats & Dogs Safe Around BBQs

As the summer nights are growing longer and more inviting, there’s opportunity for family, friends and a few four-legged fluffballs to get together for a sizzling BBQ.

And as it’s National Barbecue Week, it’s perfect timing for us to share our tips to help you make sure everyone enjoys the occasion safely. Follow these tip for keeping your pets safe around a barbecue…

Fire – Charcoal/Gas/Electric/Wood

gas charcoal bbq types

The most obvious hazard of a barbecue is the heat from the fire and the risk of burns.

Cats may jump on to the hot grills in an attempt to scavenge scraps and large dogs often lean into the bowl or ash catcher of a barbecue singeing their fur – or worse.

  • Ensure your barbecue is on level and stable ground
  • Don’t leave it unaccompanied if you’ve got pets around
  • Once food is prepared, cool off the coals and embers as soon as possible

Food – Meat/Bones/Skewers

bbq meat bones skewers pet safety

Pets love to eat whatever they can get their paws on, including things that aren’t healthy for them or stumble on utensils that could pose a risk of injury.

Raw meat and the bones are very common around a barbecue, and can prove serious hazards to our furry friends. Kebab skewers and sticks can be particularly nasty, as are maize cob prongs.

Keep plates out of reach and quickly get rid of any rubbish to remove the temptation.

Drinks – Alcohol/Glasses

bbq alcohol glass safety

Alcoholic drinks are dangerous for our pets as alcohol is toxic for both cats and dogs.

Their bodies are sensitive to even the smallest sip of beer or wine, so keep your drinks out-of-reach on a table where they can be enjoyed by the of-age humans only!

Also, consider plastic cups instead of glasses to reduce any breakages, as broken glass is much more difficult to clear from grass and patios.

Sun Protection – Dogs/Cats/Hydration

sunscreen protection for cats and dogs

Sun protection for our pets is as important for them as it is for us. Pet friendly sun cream is available in some pet stores and is important when spending extended periods in the sun. Read our post on Sunscreen for Cats & Dogs to find out more.

Make sure there is also access to shade and plenty of fresh water to reduce risks of dehydration and heatstroke.

Do you have a summer BBQ story to share with us? Let us know below.

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Time for Walkies for National Walking Month

The month of May brings National Walking month to the UK, and Living Streets is challenging the nation to #Try20 encouraging everyone to try and fit 20 minutes walking into their day.

Tip: Just 20 minutes of walking every day helps you to feel fitter, brighter, and increases metabolism.

Walking your dog is a great way to spend time outside and it’s easy to get 20 minutes in without thinking about it. But are you being a responsible dog owner whilst out walking, and are you mindful of other dogs, walkers and your surroundings?

Dog laws are put in place to ensure responsible pet ownership and safety for those who interact with them. Here’s quick guide to help you find out more…

Laws for controlling dogs

Your dog is ‘under control’ if it is being held on a lead by someone who is able to use equal force to restrain the dog if it tries to pull away.

It’s against the law to let a dog be ‘dangerously out of control’ anywhere, such as:

  • in a public place
  • in a private place, eg a neighbour’s house or garden
  • in the owner’s home

And a dog is considered to be ‘dangerously out of control’ if it:

  • injures someone
  • makes someone worried that it might injure them

A court could also decide that your dog is ‘dangerously out of control’ if either:

  • it attacks someone’s animal
  • the owner of an animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal

The penalties for a dangerously out of control dog are an unlimited fine or a prison sentence of up to 6 months (or both) and if you let your dog injure someone you can be sent to prison for up to 5 years or fined (or both).

Fixed Penalties

There are certain incidents which will call for a fixed penalty as an alternative to prosecution. These offences include:

  • straying
  • keeping a dog without a licence
  • failing to display identification information on a collar/tag
  • failing to keep a dog under control on certain roads where livestock is present
  • failing to notify the council of the transfer of a dog whose licence is subject to a control condition
  • contravention of any control condition
  • and from the 6th of April 2016 in the UK… failing to have your dog microchipped and its ownership details recorded on a database

The default level for a fixed penalty is £75, although a council may set its own level from £50 to £80.

Dog Fouling

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 means that a dog owner found not clearing up after their dog can receive a penalty up to £1,000.

Barking and Dagenham are running a pioneering programme of dog DNA tests to catch owners who do not clear up after their pets’ fouling.

Being aware of the laws that affect you and your dog allow a more responsible dog owner and encourages others to do the same.

PetSafe® are dedicated to promoting safe and healthy pets and owners.

Have something to share? Let us know in the comments below.

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