How Long Can You Leave a Dog Alone?

As much as you would love to stay home with your adorable pup all day, it isn't always feasible because of work, school, and errands. Dog owners constantly wonder what their dogs do all day while they're not home. Today, our Rochester veterinarians discuss how long you can leave your dog home alone.

How Long Can You Leave a Dog Home Alone?

Dogs are loving companions who enjoy being with their humans as much as we enjoy being with them! But we all have responsibilities. Many dog owners wonder how long they should be leaving their pup at home and if they are satisfied and happy without you.

There is no universal answer to this question. Breed, age, and personality can all affect how well your dog copes on their own. Young 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 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 your puppy gets older you can gradually increase the amount of time you leave them alone. Adult dogs are generally okay on their own for 4-6 hours a day. But, 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 comfortably move around.

When you are gone your pooch may take a long and restful nap, or even sneak up on the off-limits sofa to relax if they are a calm dog. Sneaky dogs that are a bit more mischievous may try to jump up on the counter to steal a treat or chew on an item they normally aren't allowed to.

However, if your dog has separation anxiety they may use their anxious energy and channel it into destructive behavior, ruining furniture or breaking precious valuables. If your pooch 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, they should be able to manage 8 hours on their own. 

The Basset Hound, French Bulldog, Chihuahua, and Pugs are typically the best breeds for being left alone 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 pack 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:

Provide Them 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

You can stay in touch with your pup even when you are not home thanks to technology. 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

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.

You can bring your pup to us at Ridgemont Animal Hospital for a warm and comfortable boarding experience. We will look after your pooch and make sure they don't feel lonely without you!

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.

Contact our Rochester vets today to board your pup with us.