As much as you'd love to stay home and cuddle with your adorable dog all day, it isn't always doable due to having to go to work, school or run errands. That said, you're probably wondering how long you can leave your dog alone and what they do all day while you're gone. Our Scottsdale vets answer these questions today.
How Long Can You Leave a Dog at Home Alone?
As a pup parent, spending quality time with your pet is probably one of your favorite pastimes. Who doesn't enjoy being around a furry four-legged friend who's always happy to see you? However, you do probably have to sometimes leave them by themselves to go to work, run errands, or go to school. So, how long can you leave your dog alone, And, what will they do while you're gone?
The answers to these questions will depend on your dog's overall personality, age and breed. Young puppies under 6 months old should not be left alone for more than 2 or 3 hours due to risk of separation anxiety and bladder control issues. When you do need to leave your young puppy alone, it's always best to keep them in a puppy-proof room or crate for their safety, where they won't break anything or get into too much mischief.
As your puppy grows older, you may gradually increase the amount of time you leave them alone. Adult dogs are generally okay on their own for between 4 and 6 hours per day. However, many dogs are good at getting used to being alone for 8-9 hours while you are at work, provided they have enough space to move around comfortably.
While you are away from home, your pooch might take a long, restful nap, or even curl up with your favorite sweater or on the usually off-limits sofa to relax if they are a calm dog. Other pooches may work on their counter surfing skills, jumping up onto your kitchen counter to chew on an item they wouldn't normally be allowed to have or to steal a treat.
However, dogs with separation anxiety who do not have another outlet for their anxious energy may become destructive, breaking precious valuables or ruining furniture. If your pup does happen to have this issue, you can try leaving them alone in short intervals before gradually increasing the time you're away.
Once a dog is able to handle being alone for 4 hours, they should be able to manage 8 hours.
Pugs, Chihuahuas, Basset Hounds and French Bulldogs are usually the best breeds that can be left alone for long periods of time.
What Can I Do With My Dog While I am at Work?
While some dogs are okay 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.
If you need to leave your dog overnight, you can opt for a boarding service. At Scottsdale Ranch Animal Hospital, we offer overnight and medical boarding for dogs and cats. We can provide your pooch with the care and companionship they need when you are away. We make sure they get lots of exercise, socialization, and fun! With medical boarding, we can provide your dog with any medications on schedule. Our caring Scottsdale vets love spending time with the pets that board with us and treat them like their own.
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.