Super Bowl Party – Not So Super for Dog?

Like many people, the other week I went to a friend’s house to watch the Super Bowl. Going to this friend’s house for the Super Bowl is an annual affair. It is generally a low-keyed affair, and sadly much more low keyed since all the kids (which used to number around 10) left for college. This year promised to be the same until I got to the door and saw a dog!

Now, me seeing a dog is not that unusual (it is kind of what I do for a living) but this family having a dog AND getting a dog without speaking with either Virginia or myself first – that would have been highly unusual. Turns out this dog wasn’t their dog, it was the dog of another guest at the “party.” My first statement to the host was something like, had I known this was a dog friendly event I would have brought Tali. My second sentence was a question: who is this dog and why is it here?

Why leaving your dog alone sometimes might be beneficial.

Whose dog it is doesn’t really matter and you probably don’t know them, but what you need to know is that in the nine (that’s 9) months since this couple had gotten the dog, they had not left the dog alone, NOT ONCE! This is not a dog who a veterinarian or behaviorist has diagnosed with separation anxiety; this is not a dog who has displayed anxiousness when being left alone – this is a just dog that for nine months has simply never been left alone.

There are some human and dog reasons why this might not be in the dog’s long term best interest.  From the human perspective, there are times and activities that are just not suited to having a dog with you.  Yes, some of these activities this couple could decide to separate to accomplish, but one would think that as a couple there are some things that they would want to do together that are not dog appropriate. Being able to separate from their dog might enhance their relationship.  From the dog perspective, being a healthy dog and well adjusted dog means that you can be left alone for a certain period of time and it is best to have this ability BEFORE the dog really needs to be left alone and being left alone does become an issue.    

What type of dog parent are you?

The couple whose dog was at the gathering was having nothing of this. They simply were not going to leave their dog alone for any length of time. When it was suggested that they start with a “forced separation” for even a few minutes (they could simply sit outside their front door and have a cup of coffee) – this was summarily rejected. Finally, when asked if they would consider crate training their dog and then just leaving the room for a moment – yup, also rejected.

I get that spending a lot of time with your dog is great. Tali is with me from about 4:00 am when we start our day until 7:00 pm when we leave work, but there are times at night when I do leave her alone and shockingly there are some weekend plans that are simply not dog friendly and we need to go our separate ways for a few hours. Plus, there is the old adage that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and which pet parent hasn’t benefited from the amazing welcome offered by their dog after being away for any length of time, no matter how great or small?

So where do you come out on this issue?
Thanks for reading.

Pet Camp has been providing San Francisco’s best dog and cat care since 1997.  When the time comes for you to be away from your pet and you need doggie day care or overnight care for your dog or cat, give us a call and learn all that Pet Camp has to offer.