While most owners love sharing space with their pets, it’s important to make sure dogs have their own designated area, especially at certain times, Coval explains. Using a crate to house a dog at night or while an owner isn’t at home is key in reducing separation anxiety and preventing accidents in the house. Young dogs or those new to a home may especially benefit, Coval says. Owners can use a crate while they figure out how their new dog reacts as they prepare to leave the house or if they notice the animal chewing on furniture or other things it shouldn’t have unsupervised access to.
“It gives them a safe place to go,” Coval says.
Adult dogs who are used to being crated can usually comfortably stay in an appropriately sized enclosure for six to eight hours, she says. Younger dogs, especially puppies who are still potty training, should be allowed out every four hours or so. This schedule may be difficult to maintain for owners who work away from home. If this situation is the case, Coval recommends finding someone to come by the house and give the dog a short break outside or investing in a daycare package with a local pet care provider. More and more specialty pet services are popping up, especially in urban areas, and some groomers even offer this option.
Daycare also works to socialize dogs of all ages, Coval says, so if you’re thinking about utilizing this service, see if the provider allows even-tempered dogs to have appropriately supervised contact with one another. This option may allow your dog to move around freely during the day and also to improve its social skills.
“It’s a win-win,” Coval says.