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How Long Can You Leave a Dog Home Alone?

How Long Can You Leave a Dog Home Alone?

We know you'd probably love nothing more than to spend every part of your day with your dog, but sometimes that just isn't possible. Here, our vets at Marcello Veterinary Hospital talk about how long you can leave a dog at home alone while you are at work or running errands and how you can ensure a good experience.

How long can you leave a dog home alone?

While you would keep your dog with you everywhere you go, we know that this can't always be done. This means considering other options, like leaving at home. So how long can you leave a dog alone? 

The first thing you should know is that all dogs are different. How long you can leave your dog at home alone will depend on the dog itself. 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 gradually increase the total 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 move around comfortably.

What does a dog do all day?

If you have a dog with a laid-back personality, while you're gone your pup will likely take a long and restful nap, or take your absence as an opportunity to sneak up on the off-limits sofa to relax. Less chilled-out dogs might be a bit more mischievous - jumping up on the counter to steal a treat or chew on an item they normally aren't allowed to.

Dogs that get lonely, bored, or anxious easily, will likely find their way into things and situations that they shouldn't. 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 independently. 

The basset hound, French bulldog, Chihuahua, and pug are some of the breeds that are best at being left alone for long periods.

How can I make my dog's time alone at home a success?

Even though you can leave your dog at home alone, it doesn't mean that they will enjoy 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:

Tire Them Out With Exercise

Before you leave the house, always be sure that your pup has had plenty of exercise! A tired dog is typically a well-behaved dog. 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.

Make Sure They Are Entertained

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.

Use Technology to Check In

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 pup with your calming voice, or even keep an eye on their behavior so you can reward them with lots of yummy treats.

Make Sure They Feel Safe While You Are Out

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.

Dog Boarding at Marcello Veterinary Hospital

If your dog doesn't like being left alone, or you are going to be away longer than 8 hours, you can bring them to a dog boarding facility. 

Our dog and cat boarding facility at Marcello Veterinary Hospital 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!

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.

Would you like to learn more about our dog boarding facility and how we will care for your dog while you are out of the house? Contact our vets at Marcello Veterinary Hospital today.

New Patients Welcome

Marcello Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Louisiana companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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