Leaving a dog home alone while at work is one of the most common reasons why dogs are routinely left alone. But how long is too long? Today, our Smokey Point vets discuss how long you can leave your dog at home without them succumbing to boredom or depression.
What Do Dogs Do All Day When Left Home Alone?
What do dogs do when they are left alone? The nature of your dog usually determines the answer to that question. Some independent dogs will take a long nap while waiting for you to return. Fear and anxiety are unfortunately channeled into destructive behavior in dogs with separation anxiety.
Some canine breeds are considered to fare much better alone than others. Dog breeds that perform well on their own are typically those that are less active and lively. Some of the breeds that can do well alone include:
- Basset Hound
- French Bulldog
- Shar Pei
- Bull terrier
- Chow Chow
- Akita Inu
- Boston Terrier
However, don't think this gives you free rein to leave these dogs home along as you please. Dogs are social animals. Just because a particular breed may be adaptable, that doesn't mean they enjoy being home alone for so long.
How Long Can Dogs be Left Alone?
For older dogs, it appears that 4-6 hours is the most commonly prescribed time. While they are at work, many people leave their pets alone for up to 8 hours. If a dog has enough space to move around and play, he or she can adapt to staying at home for eight hours.
If there is another person in the house, such as a married couple or their children, some households have an easier time. In any case, a dog should never be crated for more than a few hours at a time (disregarding sleepy time).
How Long Can Puppies be Left Alone?
The question of how long a puppy can be left alone has no simple answer. Puppies can retain one hour of urine and feces per month of age. They, like newborn infants, require more attention than older dogs. If you start working at 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Consider getting an older dog, preferably one that is 2-3 years old, if you do not have someone at home to care for your new puppy. You can also look into doggie daycare and boarding options.
Can I Help My Dog Feel More Comfortable Being Alone?
There are easy things you can do to make your dog feel more at ease while you're away from home.
Make Them Feel Safe
For dogs who are afraid of being alone in the house, swaddling jackets and crates can be lifesavers. They may give your dog a sense of safety and security, according to some canine psychology experts.
Give Your Dog Some Entertainment
While you're gone, leave your dog with intriguing puzzle toys or beloved plushies to keep them occupied and entertained.
Keep in Touch
Pet owners are increasingly using video cameras to communicate with their pets when they are not present. Owners can use the technology to track their pets' behavior and reward them with treats or playtime if they behave well.
Doggie Day Care
Dogs, like children, can make it difficult to plan social outings or vacations that are not pet-friendly. If you'll be gone for an extended period of time, consider boarding your dog at a local doggie daycare. They'll make sure your dog has a good time while also receiving top-notch care from professional handlers. Some services allow you to drop off your dog in the morning and pick them up after work if you just need someone to babysit your dog while you're at work.
What if Daycare Isn't an Option?
Find a high-quality, spacious crate for your dog. However, be aware that the rule of the thumb is that a dog shouldn't be left in a crate for more than 8 hours.
If you don't believe in crate training (which many pet owners do), make sure your home is dog-proofed to prevent them from injuring themselves. While you're at work, a pet camera can help you keep an eye on your dog. You can keep track of your pet's whereabouts and communicate with them using two-way audio. Check out webcams with laser dot features for remote fun that will make both you and your pet feel like their working hours are cut in half.