We know that it's hard to do anything without bringing your dog along but there will be times when it's just not possible. So what do you do in these cases? Can they stay at home? Our White Hall vets talk about how long you can leave a dog home alone, how to make it a success, and how dog boarding can help ease your concerns.
How long can you safely leave your dog at home alone?
You have a busy life filled with responsibilities and things that need to get done, so as much as you love your pup you just can't be home with them all the time. So how long can you leave a dog home alone?
Frankly, there's just no one-size-fits-all answer, 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 the 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 comfortably move around.
What does a dog do while you are away from home?
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 naughty - jumping up on the counter to steal a treat or chew on an item they aren't allowed to.
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, it should be able to manage 8 hours on its own.
The basset hound, French bulldog, Chihuahua, and pug are some of the breeds that are best at being left alone for long periods.
What should I do to keep my dog safe and happy while I go to work?
While a dog may not necessarily become upset if you leave them at home for a while, it's not their favorite thing either. 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 Some Energy
You can help get the day off to a good start before you even leave by taking your pup out for a good walk or run. A tired dog is typically a well-behaved dog. The number 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.
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.
Use Technology to Check In on 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.
Give Them a Safe Environment
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.
Bring Them to Doggy Daycare
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. Doggy daycare 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!
Dog & Cat Boarding in White Hall
If you have a dog, cat, or both, we understand that it can be stressful to leave your furry companion when you go out of town – especially if they are ill, or when they are recovering from a procedure or surgery. At Hunter's Animal Hospital, our goal is to help put your mind at ease while you are away.
Along with complete general boarding services for all of our patients, we also offer medical boarding services for pets with conditions standard boarding centers may not be equipped to accommodate. Please don't hesitate to reach out to our team with any questions you have about our kitty and doggy daycare services for pets in the White Hall area.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.