We understand that you would love to stay home and snuggle with your pooch all day, but it's just not feasible to be home all of the time. You have work, school, and other responsibilities to take care of. So, how long can you leave your dog alone, and what activities will they engage in while you are away? Our Monterey Park vets explain.
How Long Can You Leave a Dog Home Alone?
You have a busy life filled with responsibilities and things that need to be done, so as much as you love your pup, you cannot always be home with them. For how long can you leave a dog at home alone?
It depends on your dog's age, breed, and personality, there's no one size fits all answer. Puppies under 6 months old should not be left alone for more than 2 or 3 hours because of their bladder control and the risk of separation anxiety. When leaving your young puppy alone, keeping them in a crate or puppy-proof room where they can't break anything or get into too much trouble is best.
As your puppy grows older, the total amount of time you leave them alone will increase. Adult dogs tend to be fine on their own for 4-6 hours a day. However, many dogs are good at adapting to being alone for 8-9 hours while you are at work if they are provided with enough space to move around comfortably.
What Will My Dog Do While I'm Away?
Your dog will take a long and restful nap while you're gone if you have a laid-back personality or take your absence as an opportunity to sneak up on the off-limits sofa.
Dogs who are less relaxed may be more mischievous, jumping up on the counter to steal a treat or chew on an item they normally aren't allowed to.
Your dog may channel their anxious energy into destructive behavior, ruining furniture or breaking precious valuables if they suffer from separation anxiety.
If your pooch does experience this problem, try leaving them alone for short periods of time, gradually increasing the time you are gone. Once a dog can handle being alone for 8 hours, they should be able to manage being alone for 4 hours.
The Basset Hound, French Bulldog, Chihuahua, and Pug are some breeds best suited for long periods of time.
What Can I Do With My Dog While I am at Work?
While some dogs are okay with being alone for a little bit during the day, they don't necessarily like it. Dogs are packed animals and need companionship from their owners to be happy and comfortable. Here are some things you can do to help your dog when you are not home:
Get Off To a Good Start
Before leaving the house, ensure your pup has plenty of exercises! A tired dog is typically a well-behaved dog. The amount of exercise dogs need each day varies widely so be sure to ask your vet or breeder for advice on getting your dog the right amount of exercise to keep them fit, healthy, happy and out of mischief.
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 pooch 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
Offer your dog a sense of security or safety by swaddling them in a jacket or keeping them in their crate with enough space to move around and play. Your pup might be hesitant at first but it can be a lifesaver in the long run.
Doggy Day Care
You can bring your dog to a doggy daycare facility if you are going to be away longer than 8 hours or if your dog doesn't like being left alone. Doggy daycare can give your dog the care and attention 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. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.