Thursday, August 18, 2011

Managing Multiple Dogs ~ Leaving your Dogs at Home

Many of us simply can not be at home all day without having to go to work, run errands or go to school. Returning home to destroyed furniture or knocked over trash cans pale to the possibility of an injured pet. One of the biggest issues we have found from owners of multiple dogs is that their dogs get into scuffles or destroy things when left by themselves so we have decided that this would be our next topic in "Managing Multiple Dogs"

A crate should be a place your dog feels safe in. *Never Leave Two Dogs in a Crate Though :) *
Please keep in mind that most of our articles are designed to address concerns and tips in managing homes with Bully Breed Dogs, however these tips are handy for any breed and any combination of animals or dogs.

Leaving your dogs at home:
  • Always Have one Crate or Kennel per Dog
If you have a safe place for each dog to be confined when you leave, there will never be the need to worry about something happening in your absence. Always make sure that you have one crate or kennel per dog and use them! All of my dogs are crated when I leave except for the one dog I trust to behave himself to be loose in the house.
  • Never Leave a Puppy free to Roam your Home
Puppies are cute and oh so cuddly however leaving them to roam around will mean pet messes and chewed up things. That is just the reality of it. Leaving your puppy loose in the house with another dog may also mean the possibility of a scuffle and that is not the experiences that your puppy or adult dog need to look forward to whenever you leave. Talk about anxiety.
  • Make Sure All Animals are Safe Before you Leave.
If you crate most of your dogs but one, and perhaps have a cat or cages with little fluffy animals, make sure that the cat is confined to a secure location like a bedroom or a bathroom *wherever the cat box is* and that any doors to rooms that hold cages are secured. When you are Managing Multiple Dogs *Or Animals* Safety is the number one priority. We want to make sure that no animal is at risk for injury.

  • Only One Dog Loose at a Time.
So you have a wonderful adult dog who just curls up and sleeps the entire time you are gone without making a mess or destroying your things. Awesome! I have one of those as well and he always gets the house when I leave. I would never leave another dog out with him however. No matter how good some of my dogs are together when I am home, I make sure that only one dog is loose when I leave and all others are safe and happy in their crates. Why? Because for the safety of all my dogs, and my peace of mind, I would never put any of my dogs in a situation that might not work. If there was an argument between two of my dogs while I was gone, it could not only create further problems in the future, it could be a situation where one of my dogs could get hurt.

Just because your dogs love each other when you are home and supervising them, does not mean that those same dogs will be just as harmonious when you are not there. Better Safe then Sorry.

A handy checklist that we use when we leave is this:
  1. Make sure Crate Bedding is Clean and Comfortable
  2. Let Dogs out to Potty and Drink Some Water
  3. Put Dogs in Their Crates
  4. Make sure there is Nothing they can Pull into Their Crate *cords near crates should be moved so that bored dogs can not chew on them*
  5. Gather Kongs, Fill and stuff them with Peanut Butter and Treats, Hand them out to crated dogs and one for the uncrated dog should you have one.
  6. Make sure the Cat is in the Bathroom with fresh food and the door is closed. 
  7. Make sure there is nothing on the counter or table that uncrated dog may try and eat
Sure it takes a bit more time, however making sure that all dogs are safe means less anxiety for your dogs, a harmonious home with happy healthy and safe pets. It means not worrying when you need to leave and not being frustrated and scared of the idea of Managing Multiple Dogs. It also means you will never need to call a rescue because your dogs got into a fight when you were not able to supervise them.
Stay Safe, Stay Happy and Stay Responsible. 

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