How Long Can You Leave a Dog Alone?

In a perfect world, we would be able to spend all day relaxing, playing and snuggling with our beloved companions. Unfortunately, we have things like work and errands that require our attention. Here, our vets in San Angelo talk about what to do with your dog while you are gone, how long you can leave your dog alone and how pet boarding can help ease your mind.

How long can my dog safely and comfortably be home alone?

Life is busy, and while our furry friends mean the world to us, we can't just spend all of our time with them. We have things like work, errands and functions that require us to leave the house and our pooch. But how long can we safely leave a dog at home alone? And what do they do while we are gone?

Frankly, there's just no one-size-fits-all answer, it depends on your dog's age, breed, and their 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.

If you have a puppy, you should begin by only leaving them for very short periods of time which will gradually increase as they get older. 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.

What does a dog do all day while I am gone?

Some dogs are very relaxed and will happily nap or lounge around until you return. If you have a more adventurous dog, however, you may need to take more precautions as they are more likely to jump on furniture and counters.

Unfortunately, if your dog suffers from separation anxiety they may channel their anxious energy 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 some of the breeds that are best at being left alone for long periods of time.

What should I do with my dog while I am at work all day?

Even if you have a dog that is able to stay home alone safely, it doesn't mean that they necessarily enjoy the time alone. 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:

Help Them Burn Energy Before You Leave

You should always make sure that your dog has burned off as much energy as possible before you leave. Your tired-out dog will be much more relaxed. 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.

Leave Them With Enough Entertainment

You should always make sure that you leave ways for your dog to stay entertained while you are gone. Leaving out toys and puzzles that enjoy can prevent them from getting into things that they shouldn't.

Use Technology to Check-In and Talk to Them

Luckily, modern-day technology makes it possible to check in on your dog and even interact with them, all while being away from 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.

Provide Them With a Safe Space and Comforting Items

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 Daycare & Dog Boarding in San Angelo

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. Pet boarding can provide your canine companion with the care and companionship they need when you are out of the house. They give your dog plenty of time for exercise, socialization, and fun!

Keep Up With Your Pet While They Are With Us!

Western Veterinary Hospital offers a live video feed of your pet while boarding with us. This is to help give you peace of mind and give you the chance to see your companion any time you like.

There is an extra charge for this service if you would like it set up for your pet. Make sure to let us know whether or not you would like to include our live video service when you book your pet's stay.

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.

Are you planning time away from the house and need a safe space for your pet while you are gone? Contact our San Angelo vets right away to learn more about our dog and cat boarding program.