As a homeowner with fur babies, pets’ safety and the well-being of your fur babies is a top priority. It can be challenging to keep an eye on them at all times, especially when you are away from home. This is when pet monitoring and home security come in handy. By investing in these tools, you can keep your pets safe and secure even when you are not around.

Pet monitoring uses technology like cameras or GPS trackers to keep an eye on your pets and monitor their behavior. This can be especially helpful if you have a pet with a medical condition that requires close monitoring or have a new puppy or kitten that needs extra supervision.

In this article, we will give you some expert tips on the importance of a pet-friendly, secure home. 

Why pet monitoring is good

Pet Monitoring provides a sense of security and peace of mind when leaving pets alone at home. When pets are at home alone, they may be at risk of accidents such as getting stuck, choking, or ingesting harmful substances. Pet owners can detect and prevent such accidents with pet monitoring, ensuring their furry friends stay safe and healthy alone.

How To Create a Safe and Healthy Environment for Dogs When They Are Left Home Alone.

“Check for hazards that they can get into while you are away, such as electrical cords, poisonous plants, dangerous food, toxic products, and suffocation or choking hazards. Puppies needing more frequent potty breaks should not be left alone for more than a few hours. Senior dogs with mobility or medical issues also need to be monitored after a few hours. Having more than one dog has its benefits since this will give them someone to play with and keep them from getting lonely. Pet cams are a nice thing to have, especially those you can talk through. They allow you to keep an eye on your pet, and your voice can comfort them.

Animal Behavior College suggests that you keep these items in mind when leaving your dog home alone –

  • Hire a dog walker if gone for long periods.
  • Don’t leave them alone for too long.
  • Give the dog a safe space.
  • Doggy daycare
  • Leave fresh food and water for them.
  • Keep curtains open for them to watch the action outside.
  • Provide mentally stimulating toys.
  • Leave them in a temperature-controlled home.
  • Leave on the TV or radio for background noise.
  • Crate train them.
  • Use dog gates where needed.
  • Exercise them before you go; this will tire them out and relax them.

Dog training can be very helpful for those who will be left alone for long periods. Training can help them learn what they are and aren’t allowed to do.

If interested in learning how to train your dog, and getting educated on training other people’s dogs, contact Animal Behavior College at”

Jeanne Wells of Animal Behavior College

What features should I look for in a pet monitoring system, such as real-time alerts or video monitoring?

“I have never left my dog home for an extended time alone ever- especially overnight. Whenever I go out to grab something out of the car or take a quick trip to the store, I either tell her I’ll be right back, or I just take her with me… albeit restaurants, vacations… the office.

During the day, my dog goes to daycare with her friends. 

Sometimes, however, she needs to be alone, and when she is, we have cameras set up throughout our city house, the lake house, and our chalet to monitor her, as well as literal monitors that we leave on to say hello from our handhelds.

For everyone else that is not as crazy, a quick trip to ideally a mom-and-pop pet supplies store should be a quick, easy, and affordable fix. The big chains such as PetSmart and PetCo should also do the trick. ProTip, if you can’t find a PetSmart, go to a Michael’s Arts and Crafts. It is equally stimulating for your dog. 

The following products can all be purchased at pet supplies stores for a good price:

  • KONG Classic Dog Toy. The KONG is a go-to for so many dog parents
  • Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball
  • OurPets Sushi Interactive Puzzle
  • Paw5 Wooly Snuffle Mat
  • Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel.”

Michael Hamilton from Peeva

What are the benefits of having a pet cam in my home?

“Leaving your dog home alone can be challenging for most pet parents.

Dogs are creatures of habit and routine who love being with their people. Most don’t like being alone.

Using a pet cam lets you stay connected with your furry friend. You can monitor your pet’s health and ensure they stay safe. Some cameras even offer options to talk to your dog and dispense treats.

Monitoring cams also let you ensure that any hired help or animal caretakers do their jobs properly, keeping both your beloved pet and belongings secure.

Pet cams let you glimpse their secret lives — which can be funnier and more insightful than expected. For example, watching your dog lets you spot any triggers that upset your dog, such as mail or package deliveries or a loud vehicle that passes your home at a critical time of day.

Pet parents can watch to see if their dog eats or drinks when home alone, plays with any interactive toys or sleeps.

You can use that knowledge to improve your dog’s time at home alone and reduce any stress your pet experiences.”

What are the key features to consider when choosing a pet cam for monitoring pets at home?

“The most important feature in a home monitoring pet cam for me is the ease of setup and clear instructions. I like when they have a QR code right on the device that you can scan from the app for setup. It’s also great if the cam gives the option to set it on furniture or mount it on a wall. Two great bonus features are those pet cams that offer 360-degree monitoring and night vision.

Additional info for when you are home with your pet:

When you are back home, make the most of your time together by spending quality time bonding with your cat or your dog every single day. Time together is about more than just getting the walk done or a few pats on the head.

To fully benefit from the stress relief that the human-animal bond provides, you need to spend time playing, cuddling, patting, and talking to your pet each and every day. Then, you’ll truly be living the best life together with your pet!”

Kristen Levine from Pet Living

Can I use a camera or monitor to check on my cat while I’m away?
“Yes, you can use a camera to monitor your cat while you’re away. They do not replace a pet sitter, neighbor, or friend from visiting your cat to provide fresh food and water. Cats also need their litter box scooped and exercise through play sessions. But cams can be a great way to reduce your anxiety about leaving your pet. I don’t recommend the cams that you can also talk to your pet as that may be confusing to them. The cams I like are the motion-activated cameras, so you can see your cat as they move around. Many cams also tilt and turn so you can position the cam remotely using your phone. Today, cams are an affordable option that can put your mind at ease if you worry about how your pet is doing when you’re not at home. I think this can be particularly helpful to check on shy cats who your pet sitter may not see during their visit. Depending on the size of your home, one to two cams may be enough to cover an apartment, but you may need more in a house. Set up the cams in areas where your cat spends the most time.”
Jennifer Van de Kieft from Cat Advocate
Can I use smart home devices such as smart locks or smart cameras to monitor my pet while I’m away?

“Smart home devices such as smart locks or smart cameras are excellent complements to monitor your pet while you’re away. However, homeowners should not solely rely on these devices and should also prepare their pets with proper training or have a sitter in place. Especially when leaving pets at home for longer periods of time. 

Some of the benefits of using smart home devices to monitor your pet are:

  • Peace of mind: Knowing that you can check on your pet at any time can give you peace of mind while you’re away.
  • Convenience: These devices can make it easier to take care of your pet while you’re away. For example, you can remotely feed your pet or let them out for a walk.
  • Security: Besides keeping your pet safe, smart locks and cameras can also help to deter burglars.

If you’re considering using smart home devices to monitor your pet, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Ensure the devices are compatible with your home network.
  • Consider the features that are important to you. For example, some devices offer two-way audio, so you can talk to your pet.

Overall, smart home devices can give you peace of mind, convenience, and security.” 

Pete Wedderburn from Pete the Vet

How can pet monitoring technology assist in ensuring the safety and security of cats while they are left alone at home?

“Maggie don’t eat the plant”- that is what my daughter was saying to her phone one morning when we were traveling… She was watching her cat eat the plant in her apartment that her pet sitter had moved for better light, and her cat Maggie was eating it. Rachel was texting her pet sitter madly to get her back to return the plant to its original spot. This is the world of pet monitoring.

Pet monitoring technology can be instrumental in ensuring the safety and security of cats when they are left alone at home. Here are some ways in which this technology can assist:

  • Remote Monitoring: Pet cameras or surveillance systems allow owners to remotely monitor their cats through live video feeds.
  • Environmental Monitoring: Smart sensors can monitor the environment in which the cat is situated.
  • Motion Detection: Motion sensors can be utilized to track the cat’s movements within the house.
  • Remote Interaction: Some pet monitoring devices feature two-way audio, allowing owners to communicate with their cats. Just don’t use this too often, as the cat might become frustrated when they can’t find you.
  • Alerts and Notifications: These systems can send alerts and notifications to the owner’s smartphone if any unexpected events occur.
  • Overall, this technology provides owners with a means of staying connected with their cats.”

Stacy LeBaron from The Community Cats Podcast

What are some best practices for using Apple AirTags with cats to ensure their safety and well-being?

“The Apple AirTag can easily be used as a tracking device for your cat to bring you some peace of mind during those times you have to leave them home alone. Because the device is not originally intended as a pet tracking device, it doesn’t come with a way to attach to a cat’s collar. You’ll need to also invest in an Apple AirTag cat collar or holder that attaches to a pre-existing collar. Whatever kind of collar you decide to go with, make sure it is a breakaway style in order to prevent any possible injuries that could be caused by your cat’s collar getting caught or hung up on something.

Before leaving your cat behind, make sure you’ve properly set up the AirTag to sync with your phone so you can easily keep tabs on your cat while you’re away. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with how to use the “Find My” app and the features that come along with it, including “Lost Mode.” Test out the device and the app beforehand so know how everything works.”

Emily from KittyCatGO

Can pet monitoring technology be used to prevent separation anxiety in pets while they are left alone at home?
“Pet monitoring technology is a great asset to have as a dog guardian! This tech absolutely can be used to prevent separation anxiety from developing or worsening since you can easily keep tabs on just how your dog is behaving while you’re away. A dog that is truly comfortable with being left home alone will rest and sleep for most of the departure; if your dog seems restless, paces a lot, pants, or begins vocalizing, you can know right away that a problem is brewing! The key to preventing severe behavior problems is to act as quickly as possible, so using pet monitoring technology allows you to intercept the first sign of separation anxiety and prevent it from escalating!
In fact, if a trainer wants to work with you on your pet’s separation or isolation anxiety and distress and they DON’T insist on you using remote pet monitoring technology so that you can get eyes on your dog when you’re gone, that means that trainer isn’t up to date on separation anxiety training best practices and you may want to look elsewhere for a trainer!”
Mary Thompson from Happy Hound University
How can pet owners combine pet monitoring technology with traditional training methods to achieve the best results for their pets while they are left alone at home?
“Pet monitoring technology can be a valuable tool for pet owners to watch their pets while away from home. These devices can provide valuable insight into a pet’s daily behavior and activity levels. However, to achieve the best results, pet owners should use the information obtained from monitoring technology to inform and enhance their training plans.For example, imagine a pet owner notices that their dog becomes anxious or destructive during a particular time of day. In that case, they can use this information to create a training plan to help alleviate this anxiety. Likewise, suppose a pet owner uses a camera to keep an eye on their pet and sees that they are exhibiting undesirable behaviors (such as jumping on furniture or chewing on shoes). In that case, they can implement positive training techniques to remedy those behaviors.Combining pet monitoring technology with traditional training methods allows pet owners to monitor their pet’s behavior and address any underlying issues or behaviors. By combining these tools, owners can achieve better results for their pets left home alone.”
Ian Stone from Simpawtico


What are some benefits of using GPS tracking devices to remotely contain and monitor pets’ activities when left alone?

GPS collars with fencing capabilities can be a great way to train your dog (and other animals; I’ve spoken with people who use them for goats!) to stay within the boundaries of your yard. They are often quite a bit more affordable than a physical fence, more customizable than wireless dog fences that don’t use GPS, and quite a bit easier to set up than in-ground fences – which can also be expensive to install if you don’t do it yourself.

And, of course, with a GPS collar, you can usually receive escape notifications should your pet leave the boundaries you’ve set, and the device will track their location so that you can find them quickly and bring them home safely.

Many of these GPS devices offer additional benefits to pet owners, such as manual training and call-back feedback, safe zones and keep-out zones to add further detail to the boundaries you set, and even activity monitoring.

Keep in mind that systems with fencing capabilities do require training for your pet to understand the logic. They are not plug-and-play solutions. That said, most pet owners are able to achieve success with their dogs over the course of roughly two weeks.

Zach Lovatt from The Pampered Pup

How can pet monitoring be helpful for pet owners who are away from home frequently or have pets with special needs?
“We highly suggest keeping your pup in a crate while you are away from them. It will keep them and your house the safest they can be. If you create a safe and fun place while you ARE home – they will want to be there when you are not. Play games with them in the crate while you are home. We also recommend a high level of activity or play before leaving  – take them for a long walk – play fetch for a while – make them ready for a nap!  Freezing a high-protein snack in a durable toy is a great way to keep them engaged while you are out. Playing calming music for your pup at a low volume will let them relax and rest. If you are looking for a pet camera to set up for your pet – make sure that it has 2-way audio capability in order to both hear them and speak with them. If you consistently provide these comforts, they will be waiting for you with love and kisses galore when you return.”
Sabrina Lane from Paw and Order Erie

Best home security systems for pet owners

When it comes to home security systems for pet owners, there are several great options to choose from, including ADT, SimpliSafe, and Ring. These systems are designed to keep your home safe and your furry friends protected. They can be integrated with pet monitoring technology, such as cameras and sensors, to provide an added layer of security when you’re away from home.

Tips for leaving a pet alone

There are a few important tips to remember when leaving a pet home alone. First, it’s essential to properly set up the monitoring system and test it before leaving pets alone at home. Ensure that pets have enough food and toys to keep themselves busy. Set up a camera, if possible, that you can monitor from a distance. Hiring a pet sitter is also a great idea to have peace of mind and avoid any accidents.

How can pet owners determine if their pet is comfortable being alone or if they should enlist the help of someone?

“As pet owners, we’ll never truly know how our dogs feel when we leave them at home alone, but there are common signs to look out for to gain a better understanding.

Signs of anxiety in dogs left alone can vary, but common behaviors include consistently barking or crying, destruction of home goods such as pillows or shoes, relieving themselves inside, or trying to escape.

One way for dog owners to determine how their dog is doing while they are away is to observe their home prior to leaving the house to see if any damage was made. If you have neighbors, politely ask them if they hear your dog barking while you aren’t home. Another solution is to invest in a doggy camera to see your dog’s reactions while you aren’t present.

There is also a chance that your pup will go through an adjustment period. They may experience anxiety through your first few departures but gradually become used to it. If there are persistent issues, proper training techniques or even supplements like CBD chews (approved by your veterinarian) could help.”

Keystone Puppies

Are there any potential challenges or limitations to using pet monitoring technology for training and leaving dogs home alone?

As dog owners, we strive to provide our beloved furry friends with the best care, even when we can’t be by their side. Pet monitoring technology has emerged as a promising solution to keep an eye on our dogs while we’re away. Yet, it’s important to acknowledge the challenges and limitations that come with relying on such technology.

Behavioral Limitations: While pet monitoring devices allow us to observe our dogs remotely, they lack the ability to intervene or actively interact with them. Training requires hands-on guidance and the ability to provide feedback and guidance in real-time, and the dynamic reassurance of the feedback with a human.

Human Interaction: Dogs are social creatures that thrive on human companionship. Leaving them alone for extended periods, even with monitoring, is no substitute for real-time interaction. No amount of technology can substitute the warmth and comfort that human interaction provides.

Technical Limitations: Pet monitoring devices rely on stable internet connections and electricity. Power outages, internet disruptions, or technical glitches can render these devices useless, so again, think of them as partners in your pet’s care but not the starting solution to your pet’s care. It is crucial to have backup plans in place to ensure the safety and well-being of our furry companions.

While pet monitoring technology offers convenience and peace of mind, it should not replace the essential role of human care and interaction. The most important things we can provide for our dogs are opportunities for play, touch, and shared moments of connection in real-time. Training and leaving dogs home alone require an approach that combines tech with hands-on attention, time, and reciprocity of interaction. Understanding the limitations of pet monitoring technology allows us to make informed decisions, ensuring the well-being and happiness of our four-legged companions.

Leigh Siegfried from Opportunity Barks

How long is it safe to leave my pet home alone?

“There is no “right” answer. Some dogs can do well for longer periods than others. It depends on many factors, such as

  • Breed
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Medical status
  • Personality/temperament
  • Behavior disorders
  • Training levels
  • Energy needs
  • Potty breaks
  • Enrichment
  • Feeding

There is also a difference between “Safe” and healthy and/or optimal.

How a Certified Dog Trainer and Behaviorist describes these terms is also important.

If a parent is concerned it might be too long to leave a dog home alone, hire a walker, sitter, or trainer to care for them while you’re gone. Or send your dog to boot camp or a training center if you are leaving for a vacation.

However, a general rule of thumb to play it safe is I would not leave a healthy dog home alone for longer than 8 hours.

However, that is an arbitrary number and can vary greatly between a pet and family.”

Russell Hartstein, Certified Dog Behaviorist and Trainer and founder of Fun Paw Care.

What are the consequences of leaving cats home alone for too long?

“The stereotype that cats are solitary and fine on their own is completely false,” says Modern Cat Magazine. Cats struggle with change, experience separation anxiety, and require regular care. Most vets agree that cats should be left alone for no more than 24 hours.

If you leave your cat alone for longer than 24 hours, there are significant safety issues. Cats left alone could: 

  • Become shut or locked in a room without access to their food and water
  • Get hurt or sick from falls, ingesting something they shouldn’t
  • Become trapped in small spaces
  • Spill their water and have nothing to drink

“You’ll need to have someone check in on your cat at least once a day while you’re away to make sure they are okay and can receive veterinary care if needed. Cats also need company.”

If you have been away, look for these signs of separation anxiety in your cat:

  • Destructive behaviour
  • Excessive hiding, grooming, and/or vocalization
  • “Accidents” (eliminating outside of the litter box)
  • Refusal to eat or drink

Bottom line: If you are going to be away longer than 24 hours, have a neighbour check in on your cat daily or hire a cat sitter. Most cats prefer to stay in their own home, but if this isn’t possible, cat boarding is also an option.

Modern Cat

How can I slowly accustom my pet to longer periods of being home alone?

“Many people believe that cats are solitary animals, but out in nature, they live together in groups called Clowders. Indoor cats consider us to be part of their Clowder, which is why it can be hard on our cats to be left home alone. If we teach our cats to understand our actions by putting words to them, it will be less stressful for them to watch you leave the house.

Let’s desensitize your kitty to watching you leave the house, whether it’s to run short errands or go to work for the day. Come up with a routine that you can repeat each time you leave the house. Do the same actions, the same way, using the same words each time you prepare to go out the door. Before walking out, you could say, “I’ll be back.” Walk out the door and stay outside for a few minutes before coming back inside. Then next time, try leaving for a bit longer before coming back inside. Each time you repeat the routine, it will help your cat understand what is about to happen and that you are coming back.

Next, when a home is silent, little noises can be scary for our cats. It’s a good idea to leave some calming music on when you leave the house. If you will be going away for a long period of time, try leaving some cat videos playing, and give kitty some toys to keep him occupied while he is alone.

We can help our cats adjust to scary things, like our absence. With a little planning and some desensitization of our daily actions, that cool kitty will be just fine while he awaits your return.”

Rita Reimers and Linda Hall from Cat Behavior Alliance


Are there any recommended tools or resources that pet owners can utilize to ease the transition for their pets when left alone?

There can be multiple reasons a dog develops problematic behaviors when separated from family members (including often overlooked underlying medical causes).  One study found that upon introduction to a new home, managing interactions between owners and dogs, providing sufficient enrichment, and not abruptly leaving patients alone for long periods of time, decreased the likelihood that the dogs would develop separation-related behavior problems.

The findings from that study provide some guidelines that may be effective to decrease the chance that pets will demonstrate problematic behaviors when left alone.  Owners should only initiate social interactions when pets are relaxed and stop if they become anxious or exhibit other undesirable behaviors. Avoiding punishment is universally recommended due to the association with worsening fear and anxiety in the pet population. Ideally, absences should be avoided at first until a pet can be desensitized through a program of gradual steps that work up to longer departures to help prevent a dog from becoming anxious the first time it is left. If this is unavoidable, owners can create a different environment (including a different location and different audio and visual cues) to reduce the chance that the typical environmental cues will trigger panic in the future. When owners do start leaving their pets, they should ensure that their enrichment needs are met. This would include providing adequate exercise before departing and mental stimulation (i.e. toys and treats if safe and appropriate for the pet) while owners were gone.

Dr. Amanda Modes from Behavior Vets

What security measures should I take to protect my pet while they are home alone?

“It depends: Are we dealing with a trained or an untrained dog? Is the dog housebroken? Is the dog past the chewing phase? Does the dog have separation anxiety? Is the dog being left indoors, outdoors, or with access to both? 

If your dog is mature, trained, and trustworthy, you don’t need much in the way of security measures. Probably just a quick check for hazards or temptations such as food on the counter, exposed garbage bins, children’s toys, loose boards in the fence, unlatched gates, etc. Just enough to keep an honest dog honest, if you know what I mean. 

If you have an untrained dog that is not housebroken, chews, digs, or jumps fences, you will need to keep the dog somewhere that is inescapable and indestructible or somewhere that you don’t mind getting dirty or damaged. The most common solution is a crate or kennel, but that can be overly restrictive for long durations. Other options might be the garage or laundry room or a dog run on the side of the house with extra high, extra secure fencing. If the dog is being left outdoors, there should be plenty of shade and some sort of shelter to protect the dog from extreme heat, cold, wind, and rain. 

It should go without saying that there should be access to fresh drinking water. 

There are also options for monitoring devices. The Furbo is really cool because it also spits out treats.”

Chad from Thriving Canine

Are there any special precautions I should take to ensure my cat’s safety while I’m away, such as locking certain rooms or keeping harmful items out of reach?

“It’s a good idea to keep anything potentially dangerous for your cat out of reach all the time and not just when you’re gone. For example, your cat may not always try to chew on a toxic plant, but if they’re bored, it may become more tempting regardless of whether you’re home or not. Keeping certain rooms as strict as no cat zones is a great idea. Just double check these rooms are closed before you leave!

Other things like cleaning supplies, food, or toiletries may come out while you’re home but should be secured while you’re not there. Closing the door to bathrooms, closets, or the laundry room will help keep a curious cat away. If your cat still manages to get into cabinets or can open doors, using baby-proofing supplies usually is enough to make it so they aren’t able to access places you don’t want them to be.

Another approach addresses a common reason cats get their cute little faces into things we don’t want: boredom. Make sure your cat has plenty of entertainment while you’re away. This could be cat grass to munch on, a bird feeder outside a window (making sure the window is closed and locked tight!), or a puzzle feeder to occupy their mind can help prevent the need to find less safe forms of amusement.”

Joey Lusvardi from Class Act Cats

Are there any precautions or measures pet owners should take to pet-proof their homes before leaving their pets alone?

When you move through your home, you don’t see it the same way as your pet does. From your dog or cat’s perspective, your home is a playground of things for them to chew on, ingest, or completely ruin. To keep your fur babies safe when they are home alone, it’s important to pet-proof your home. Here are some things to keep in mind:


Make sure that all cleaning products, medications, and human food (chocolate, raisins, etc.) are secured in a cupboard that they cannot access. Get some child-proof latches so cupboards cannot easily be opened.


Be sure all electrical cords are organized and out of reach from pets who could chew on them or become tangled.

Remove Small Objects

Pick up any small objects off of the floor that your pet could easily ingest or choke on. This means crayons, toys, hair bands, socks, and anything else that might be lying around.

By taking a little bit of time to go through your home and pet-proof it, you will have peace of mind knowing when you are not home, and your pets are 100% safe. And because Murphy’s Law exists and things still happen even with the best of intentions, having a pet insurance plan will give you extra peace of mind knowing any emergency vet bills are covered.

Jenna Bruce from Pet Insurance Review

Can leaving the radio or TV on while I’m away help my pet feel less anxious?

“Leaving the radio or TV on can indeed help some pets, particularly dogs like French Bulldogs, feel less anxious when they are home alone. The ambient noise can provide comfort and familiarity, as it mimics the sounds they would typically hear when their owner is at home. This can create a more relaxed environment for the pet, helping to alleviate feelings of loneliness and anxiety.

However, it is essential to choose the right type of content to play for your pet. Soothing music or talk radio stations are generally better options than loud, action-packed TV shows or movies. Additionally, ensure that the volume is set to a moderate level to avoid causing stress or overstimulation.

It’s important to remember that every pet is unique, and their needs may vary. Some pets might not benefit from the radio or TV being left on and may require alternative methods to cope with being alone. As a pet owner, it is crucial to observe your pet’s behavior and preferences to determine the most effective solution for reducing their anxiety while you’re away.”

Geri Kiss from TomKings 

“Absolutely it can! But we have to be mindful that our dogs all need different things, so whilst it may work for some, it may not work for others. Music and TV work nicely to drown out some of the environmental noise – for example, if you have noisy neighbors, or it can help the pup tune out the world sometimes, and it can help the pup be able to settle in more loud environments and not necessarily startle at noises. 

Music can be better for that because there are fewer dog barks, whistles, and doorbells on the radio than on the TV – but it’s also a good note that reggae music has been found to be the most effective sort of music at calming dogs.

Something you can also do is condition music to be also calming. For example, if you train your dog to be calm while classical music is on, then when you leave and you play that music, it’s a calming experience. It’s very interesting.

The time it doesn’t work is when there is too much anxiety already in place, i.e., it’s not a miracle cure. A stressed dog will never calm down from music alone, and it will not cure things like separation anxiety.”

Ali Smith from Rebarkable

How can I keep my pet entertained while I’m away?

“When you need to head out the door for work, you can take measures to ensure your home-alone pet is content and occupied – and not bored and destructive.

Here are some tips to provide enrichment to your pets when you need to be away from home:

  • Turn on the TV. Select a channel that airs people talking in a normal conversation, like a home improvement show on HGTV. Or treat your dog to DogTV, a dedicated channel for home-alone canines that contains enriching and even relaxing content. The sound can also block out stress-causing noises outside, like construction or honking horns.
  • Lead by the nose. Dogs and cats benefit by inhaling calming senses that help them feel less stressed or anxious. Plug in an Adaptil diffuser for your dog or a Feliway one for your cat. Both mimic calming pheromones. Talk to your veterinarian about using other calming supplements, such as chamomile, lemon balm, and CBD.
  • Say hi from a distance. Consider installing a smart pet device that allows you to see, speak and even remotely deliver treats to your pet while you are away. Popular brands include Eufy, Furbo, PetChat, and Petcube.
  • Work your pet’s noodle. Provide your pet with a food puzzle containing treats or kibble to figure out how to get to these yummies while you are gone. Or sprinkle a handful of kibble on a snuffle mat. Nose work games build confidence and offer mental and physical stimulation.”

Arden Moore, America’s Pet Health and Safety Coach

Are there any training techniques or strategies that can be employed to help dogs cope with being left alone?

When separation anxiety has formed, it is one of the hardest behaviors to improve, even with professional help. Untrained owners are not likely to be able to solve the case without help from a trainer who specializes in this particular area. The best thing owners can do alone is to try to prevent it in the first place, so it is recommended to proactively research prevention before bringing home any puppy, just in case it’s needed. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Generally, crate training and then pen training successfully should be a focus. In most, but not all, cases, they are our best tools for this. I like to say my personal strategy is not to let a dog cry it out but instead to teach them to “lie it out.” Meaning that I teach them to get comfortable enough to lay down while waiting for the release on an area like their bed and then progressively move the learned behavior into crate training and isolation. Remember, if your dog can’t do it without a barrier, like a crate door, they’re likely to get frustrated when you use a barrier to isolate.

David Levin from Citizen Hound

Can crate training help my pet feel more secure and reduce the risk of destructive behavior while I’m away?

“When a dog is properly crate trained, and the crate is used humanly, it becomes a safe haven for most dogs. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Owners with dogs who struggle in the crate should contact a certified dog trainer for help.

For the average dog, crate time becomes therapeutic. It shields dogs from active children playing nearby and overzealous guests who may repeatedly invade a dog’s personal space. Since crates can move around the house, you can use them when guests arrive, while cooking, or throughout the work day. Crates prevent dogs from being underfoot and, at the same time, save them from being locked away in another room.

A crate also prevents bad habits, such as soiling indoors, destruction, barking at passersby from the front window, and becoming a nuisance to other animals in your home. In addition, using a crate regularly provides a comfortable and safe place for the dog to relax when vacationing with their human family.

It is difficult to establish a normal routine for a dog when the family is not home to supervise. Using a crate helps you manage the dog’s daily activity in your absence. For families who work full-time, consider hiring a dog walker who will exercise your dog and provide bathroom breaks on days when your family is absent for long stretches.

We suggest you stick to the normal routine even on days you are home. Dogs are pack animals. We do not want them to associate the crate with the human pack leaving. On days you are home, especially in the summer months, place your dog in the crate for naps and when the family is tending to other things. This practice not only keeps the dog in a routine but also lowers the risk of the dog bolting from the home or injuring itself when the family is unable to supervise.

Katie McKnight, Certified Canine Behavioral Practitioner and Bite Prevention Educator, ISCDT

What are some signs that my pet is experiencing separation anxiety?

“Are you and your dog suffering from separation anxiety? Common indicators of this panic disorder include: 

  • Destruction of home – rugs, furniture, doors/windows, molding around exit points
  • Potty accidents when your dog is normally housebroken
  • Constant howling, barking, or crying, often resulting in neighbors complaining
  • Self-injury, often from chewing or digging
  • Refusal to eat
  • Pacing, drooling, and/or inability to settle

If a dog is doing any of these things, owners often assume it is separation anxiety, but sometimes it’s not. It can be confusing for dog guardians to know the difference but separation anxiety, or isolation distress, is a diagnosed panic disorder. It’s much more than fear of missing out (FOMO), following you around the house, or not liking their crate.

It’s incredibly important we don’t just let dogs just “cry it out,” as this can have grave consequences for the dog’s emotional well-being and your relationship with your dog. 

It’s best to work with a qualified separation anxiety trainer to confirm separation anxiety and provide you with an incremental training plan, support, tracking data, and, in the process, teach your dog that absences aren’t anything to be afraid of.

As a certified separation anxiety trainer (CSAT), I work with clients all over the world, and many of them started with other trainers who just told them to crate train, which usually makes things worse. They’re surprised (and relieved!) when they come to me and explain that’s inappropriate for most separation anxiety dogs.”

Kate from Rescued by Training

Is crate training a good option for preventing separation anxiety when leaving pets home alone, and why?

“While crate training can contribute toward preventing separation anxiety for your dog by providing a safe, secure, familiar space, it shouldn’t be considered a sole strategy. Dogs are complex with individual needs and personalities, and the prevention or cause of separation anxiety can be equally complex. What might be a fine crate schedule or arrangement for one dog may cause anxiety for another. 

It is always good to approach your pup as an individual to discern what is best for them. Some form of remote monitoring could be necessary to gauge how your dog is responding to your absence and how easily and quickly it adjusts to your stepping out the door. As a dog parent, a good question is: “Is my dog’s benefit or my benefit being prioritized?” If, as an owner, you find yourself needing to crate your dog alone for increasingly extended periods, the dog’s emotional health may be in jeopardy. This is especially true for breeds such as Golden Retrievers, who thrive on an active, social lifestyle–enjoying time outdoors and being with the people they love.”

Galen from My Golden Retriever Puppies



Pet monitoring and home security are a great addition for homeowners who want to provide a secure home for their pets. Following the tips for pet monitoring and selecting the best home security system for their needs, pet owners can ensure that their pets are happy, healthy, and protected, even when they’re not home.