Many dog owners would love to just stay home with their cute pup all day, but unfortunately we all have jobs, school or errands. You are probably wondering how long can you leave your dog alone without it negatively affecting them. Here, our Madison vets answer how long you can leave your dog at home alone and how you can keep them occupied.
How Long Can You Leave a Dog Home Alone?
Dogs are excellent companions that enjoy being around their humans, just as much as we love cuddling up with them. But you can't be with them 24/7, so how long can you leave your dog alone? What do they do when you are gone?
There is no one-size-fits-all all answer to these questions, it depends on your dog's age, breed, and overall 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 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.
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.
At Gluckstadt Animal Hospital, we offer daycare and overnight boarding for dogs and cats if you're going away for an extended period of time. 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!
If you're unsure boarding is necessary depending on how long you'll be away, consult one of our veterinarians.
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.