Sandy the Human: How can I help my dog feel less lonely when I leave the house?

              Where are you going without me?

Dear Paws to Talk,

I have a question for you on behalf of my lovely boy Kane, a Malamute/Keeshond cross (He is a hopeless typist and speller). I don’t work regular hours, so it is difficult for us to have a routine, although we still walk for at least an hour every day and usually have time for a free run at the beach with his friends most days.

The problem is, I know Kane is broken-hearted every time I go to work. The neighbours tell me that he howls every day for 20 minutes after I go to work and then doesn’t move from the gate until I come home, unless it is raining. He has lots of toys and a comfy bed and a wonderful garden to play in. I’m not sure what I can do to make his time without me less sad. Any ideas?

-Sandy the Human

Howl Sandy,

We can definitely sympathize with Kane. When our humans leave we cry too. No matter what fun we had earlier in the day we still feel sad when they depart. Thankfully we have each other to lean on and blogging has helped us pass the time.

Maybe Kane needs a job of his own? Does he have any projects he can work on while you are gone?

Otherwise, we suggest the following things:

Find a Human Companion

Hire a dog walker or companion to keep Kane company while you are gone. If you don’t have the bones to hire someone than see if a neighbor will volunteer. They are already aware of Kane’s loneliness and might be willing to cheer him up. In return, offer to do something for them.

Turn the TV On

The humans do this for us when they leave the house. Maybe he can become engrossed in reality TV or a pet show? Our new favorite show is Dogs in the City. We also, watch The Bachelor. Sometimes we get so into the shows we forget we are without humans.

Get a Furry Friend

This suggestion comes with a warning. Only do this if you and your family are prepared to welcome another pet into your home. Although, having a sibling may greatly help Kane.

Deal With It

This one is for him and you. Unfortunately, most humans at some point have to leave the house without their pets. It is a shame but nonetheless reality. Kane needs to learn that it is okay when you leave because you will always come back. You need to not feel so guilty. Perhaps a session with a dog trainer can help with this? Or pick up a book on the topic.

We hope Kane can feel more comfortable in your absence.


Bella and DiDi

















© Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

21 thoughts on “Sandy the Human: How can I help my dog feel less lonely when I leave the house?

  1. I leave the TV on for Henry every morning when I go to work. I have him watch the Today Show, so he can tell me all about it when I return. I love hearing what Kathy Lee and Hoda had to say!

  2. We think you have given good advice sweet Bella and sweet DiDi and we hope something works to help sweet Kane not be so lonely. Chancy plays with the neighbor dog through the fence when we are gone and he is outside. They rub noses and run the fence line together.

    • Thank you Chancy and Mumsy! That is wonderful that Chancy has a friend just through the fence. We have two Bouvier neighbors that we bark with. It helps the loneliness subside.

  3. I wonder how old Kane is. Usually, they get used to the routine of owner leaving and returning. My Litchi dog used to howl for hours on end but is now quite happy with me leaving, as she has realised I will always return. When I realised her separation anxiety, I would walk out the door, close it and come back in within seconds. Then moved on to walking away for a few minutes. Finally, I’d pop into the shops and leave her for 10minutes or so. I grew the timing slowly but it only took a couple of days for her to realise I would return.

  4. I don’t like being left alone either. Mummy hides treats round the house, makes sure I have plenty of toys about, leaves the radio on and even phones home and leaves messages on occasion so I can hear her voice. She walks me before she goes out in the hope I’ll be tired and sleep through the morning till daddy comes home, but I don’t always and have been known to cry on occasion. I am starting to get used to it, but it doesn’t mean I like it.

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