Anyone interested in raising a Morkie puppy should know from the start that this is an affectionate companion dog. They crave company and affection and reciprocate with full hearts. But, this can have its drawbacks for dog owners that work 9-5 jobs or that live alone. How will your Morkie feel when you leave the house and they are stuck at home?
So can Morkies be left alone?
The short answer here is a yes, but with a big “however” behind it. You can train your Morkies to be left alone for short periods. Under the right conditions, they can get through an afternoon without too much stress. However, they are highly social animals with deep connections to their pack. So, they would much rather be with you. Separation anxiety can be a big deal here.
With this in mind, there are four key areas that we need to consider when figuring out the best schedule for our Morkies.
1) The highly affectionate nature and close bond between you and your Morkie.
2) The risk of separation anxiety and the impact this has on your dog – and your home.
3) How to keep Morkies happy when left alone at home.
4) Alternative options for social interactions so Morkies aren’t completely on their own.
Once you get to grips with these issues and figure out some creative solutions, you should find that you can leave your dog alone with fewer concerns.
The social side of these companion dogs has its pros and cons for any busy owner
It can be easier to raise Morkies in a home where one “parent” works from home(that’s me!) or has alternative hours outside the home. But, that doesn’t mean that “single-parent” households can’t work as well.
Your Morkie will become very attached to you and deeply loyal. That adoration comes through in a desire to be next to you, to gain your praise, and, quite often, to lick your face. Making it very hard to sit at a table and get work done. With that in mind, you can check out my article on why Morkies lick so much if this is another concern that you have.
When you have an animal that is this devoted and attached to the hip of their owners, it can make it even more difficult to leave them alone. You might even find that they don’t like being left in another room for too long while you cook, clean, or take care of other important business. But, you do need to be able to set those boundaries. Those that don’t will have the biggest issues with the next factor.
Separation anxiety in Morkie and the risks involved
Separation anxiety is a condition dog owners see in a lot of breeds. Our Morkies aren’t exceptional in this regard. But, they can suffer quite badly. The person they rely on for love, support, and care is now missing, and they want them back. They have no idea when you will return.
This anxiety can lead to side effects like pacing, drooling, shaking, and excessive vocalization – all things you don’t see for yourself. More obvious signs are the physical damage and urination accidents you find on your return. For such tiny dogs, the damage they can cause is surprising.
There are different approaches that you can take to improve your Morkie’s experience and reduce separation anxiety. Below you will find tips on improving their environment. In addition to this, you could also make sure to give them their exercise before you leave. This activity will tire them out and allow them to nap for a while.
Also, you can leave during this nap, so your departure isn’t a big deal. Making a fuss of dogs when you leave the house can actually make things worse.
How to improve the situation when Morkies are home alone
If you have to leave your dog on its own, try and find a way to provide a safe space with everything they need to stay comfortable. One way to do this is to have a crate that doubles up as a secure den. This can be their cozy space to retreat to. They can sleep in their bed, play with some toys, and maybe enjoy a comfort item with your scent on it. Cover the top with a blanket so it feels more enclosed and safe.
You can also put up a gate and let your dog have a little more freedom in one specific room. Make sure it is a dog-friendly room where they can’t get into too much trouble. Believe me, they will find trouble given the opportunity so do a thorough sweep.
This gives them more space to move around, a corner where you can set up a pee pad, and plenty of room to play. You might also want to set up an automatic food dispenser for controlled portions of food.
Alternative options for social interaction
A better solution for those that can arrange it is to bring in additional help. If your Morkie can’t spend time with you, a trusted relative or pet sitter is the next best thing. You might also consider keeping the TV or radio on for a voice in the room.
Going back to those clever automatic pet food dispensers, did you know you can get somewhere you record a message to call your pet to the dinner table? Cute, right! It is an interesting way to make them feel like you are still around.
Also, you might want to think about getting a second dog, perhaps even a second Morkie. That desire for social interaction and strong pack bonds will extend between animals. They will be there for each other and have great fun in your absence – as long as they still have all the right tools mentioned before. Take your time when making this decision. Two Morkies could make things easier on you, but that is a second mouth to feed.
Should you leave your Morkie home alone?
In short, we should do our best at all times to ensure that our little Morkies aren’t stressed out at home alone. If you have no choice but to leave them alone for some time, try and keep those periods short and find ways to ease their anxiety. Where possible, provide social interaction via other animals, relatives, or pet sitters. Remember that this is the price we pay for choosing a pet that loves us this much.