We understand you'd like to spend more time at home with your dog, but it's not always possible due to work, school, and errands. Wondering how long your dog can be left alone and what they do during your absence? Our Ketchum veterinarians have the answers.
How Long Can You Leave a Dog Home Alone?
Wondering how long your dog can stay home alone? It varies depending on factors like age, breed, and personality.
Young puppies under 6 months old should not be left alone for more than 2 or 3 hours because of their bladder control and risk of separation anxiety. When you do leave your young puppy alone, it's best to keep them safe in a crate or puppy-proof room where they can't break anything or get into too much trouble.
As they grow older, you can gradually increase their alone time. Adult dogs can typically handle 4-6 hours alone, but some can adapt to 8-9hours if they have enough space to move around comfortably.
What Will My Dog Do While I'm Away?
If your dog is pretty relaxed, they likely nap or lunge on the sofa while you're away. More energetic dogs might get into some mischief, like stealing treats or chewing on forbidden items. If your dog does happen to have this problem, try leaving them alone in short intervals, gradually increasing the time you are gone. Once a dog can handle being alone for 4 hours, it should be able to manage 8 hours independently.
Certain breeds like Basset Hound, French Bulldog, Chihuahua, and Pugs are some of the breeds that are best at being left alone for long periods.
What can I do with my dog while I am at work?
Although some dogs can tolerate a short time alone during the day, they generally prefer not to. Dogs are naturally social animals and thrive on the companionship of their owners for happiness and comfort. Here are some tips to make your dog feel better when you're away from home.
Get Off To a Good Start
Before you go out, make sure your puppy gets enough exercise! A tired dog usually behaves better. Your dog's daily exercise varies, so ask your vet or breeder for advice on keeping your dog fit, healthy, happy, and well-behaved.
Provide Your Pup With Entertainment
Before you leave, make sure your pup has a toy to keep them busy and occupied while you are away, such as their favorite stuffed animal or a puzzle toy to provide them with a fun challenge.
Communicate With Them Via Tech
Thanks to technology, you can stay in touch with your pup even when you are not home. Pet cameras let you talk to your canine companion so you can soothe your puppy with your calming voice or even keep an eye on their behavior so you can reward them with lots of yummy treats.
Help Them Feel Safe
Help your dog feel safe by either putting them in a cozy jacket or giving them room to move and play in their crate. Your pup might be unsure at first, but it can really help them in the future.
Doggy Day Care
If your dog doesn't like being left alone, or you are going to be away longer than 8 hours, you can bring your pup to a doggy daycare facility. Doggy daycare can provide your canine companion with the care and companionship they need when you are out of the house. They give your dog plenty of time for exercise, socialization, and fun!
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.