Many people must go out for various reasons, such as work, appointments, or errands. However, it can be challenging if you have a dog. In this article, our vets at Meadow Vista will discuss how long you can leave your dog alone and how you can make their time without you more comfortable and pleasant.
Leaving a Dog Home Alone
What do dogs do when left alone? Well, it depends on their personality. Some dogs like to nap until their owner comes back. However, dogs with separation anxiety may feel scared and uneasy, which can cause them to act destructively.
Certain dog breeds are better at being alone than others. Breeds that are less energetic usually do better alone.
Some of these breeds include:
- Basset Hound
- French Bulldog
- Shar Pei
- Bull terrier
- Chow Chow
- Akita Inu
- Boston Terrier
Don't assume it's okay to leave your dogs alone for long periods. Dogs are social creatures, and even adaptable breeds may not like being left alone at home.
How Long Can You Leave a Dog at Home Alone?
For older dogs, 4-6 hours is usually the recommended time to leave them alone. However, some people leave their pets alone for up to 8 hours while they go to work. If a dog has enough space to move around and play, they can adjust to being home alone for 8 hours. If there are other people in the house, like a married couple or their children, it can be easier for the dog. But it's important to never crate a dog for more than a few hours at a time, except for when they are sleeping.
Can You Leave Puppies at Home Alone?
When it comes to how long a puppy can be left alone, there isn't an easy answer. Puppies are similar to newborn babies and need a lot of attention. They can hold their urine and feces for one hour per month of age. If you're away from home from 9 to 5 and don't have anyone to look after your puppy, it might be better to get an older dog that's 2 to 3 years old. Alternatively, you could consider using doggie daycare or boarding services.
Can I Help My Dog Feel More Comfortable Being Alone?
If you have to leave your dog alone at home, there are simple things you can do to help them feel more comfortable.
Ensure That They Feel Safe
Swaddling jackets and crates can save the day for dogs that are scared of being alone at home. Experts in dog psychology say that these items can make your dog feel safe and secure.
Provide Them With Toys & Entertainment
While you're away, you can keep your dog entertained by giving them interesting puzzle toys or their favorite stuffed animals to play with.
Use Cameras to Interact With Your Dog
Pet owners are now using video cameras to stay connected with their pets when they are not around. With this technology, owners can observe their pets' actions and give them treats or playtime as a reward.
Utilizing Boarding Facilities or Doggie Daycare
As a pet owner, it can be challenging to plan trips or vacations that aren't dog-friendly, much like organizing events with children. However, leaving your dog in the care of a local doggie daycare is an option when you're away for an extended period. Here, professional handlers will provide excellent care for your pet while also enjoying playtime with other dogs. In case you need someone to watch your dog while you're at work, some services allow you to drop off your pet in the morning and pick them up in the evening.
What to do if You Can't Bring Them to Daycare
To keep your dog safe and comfortable, find a spacious and good-quality crate. Remember, a dog should not be in a crate for more than 8 hours.
If you don't want to use a crate, make sure your home is safe for your dog. You can use a pet camera to keep an eye on your dog while you're at work. With two-way audio, you can talk to your pet and see where they are. You can also check out webcams with laser dot features for some remote playtime to make the time apart more enjoyable for both you and your pet.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. If you are concerned about your pet's health, contact your veterinarian right away for diagnosis and treatment.