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Why You Should Pet Your Dog Before Leaving

We’re pretty sure it’s impossible to find a person who doesn’t like petting their dog. It brings so much joy and pleasure, and even helps reduce stress. But it’s also important for our dogs, especially before being left alone. And not just to show our love and affection.

Bright Side has a soft spot for dogs. We can’t pass one by without petting them, and now we’ll definitely do it more often. And we’ll tell you why.

Saying goodbye is hard.

You surely know that leaving your dog alone doesn’t make them happy. They look for you trying to understand where you’ve gone. Moreover, scientists say they can bark and howl for half an hour after you’ve left. We can’t stay at home all day to prevent this, but we can ease their stress.

Petting works magic.

A simple pat on the head can make your puppy less anxious before separation. And it’s not just advice from us, it’s supported by science. A study was conducted to check changes that happen to dogs when their owners leave them.

Ten dogs and their owners were separated twice for 3 minutes. In the first case, the dogs were pet for one minute before separation. In the second, they were ignored before leaving. The dogs were on a leash at all times, all while being closely observed by researchers who monitored their behavior and physiology.

The results showed that, even though the level of cortisol in the dogs’ saliva didn’t change, petting them made them more relaxed for longer. The pups were able to live through the separation from the owner more calmly. Also, their heart rate was lower than when they were ignored.

Staying alone should be taught.

Despite the opportunity to calm your dog with petting, it’s important to train your dog to stay home alone.

  • Start with teaching your dog to stay in their place in your presence.
  • Then, train them to stay while you’re leaving. Begin with a short distance within the room, then the house. Increase your time away.
  • When you see that your dog feels good about your absence, go outside for a short while. Then, gradually increase the time of your absence.

Always reward your dog for their good behavior while training. And track your pup’s habits and conditions of their stay to make their alone time more comfortable.

How often do you pet your dog? Do you pet them regularly before leaving?

Preview photo credit Samson Katt / Pexels
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