How Long Can You Leave a Dog Alone?

Getting a dog necessitates sticking to a routine. Work hours, social trips, and errands are all planned around when you can get home. If you’re anything like me, you’ll occasionally forego a night out because you’re worried about leaving your dog alone.

Dogs enjoy human company, but this does not mean that leaving them at home alone is bad or dangerous. Continue reading to find out how long you should leave a dog alone and how to make their time at home safe and enjoyable.

3 Steps To Learn How To Leave A Dog Alone

Determine the location

  • Length of time you’ll be away,
  • Bladder power,
  • Weather conditions,
  • Yard availability,
  • Whether they’re destructive

When your dog is indoors and playing free—or even restricted to one or two rooms—they are safe from the elements, potential predators, and are less likely to flee. However, it would necessitate proper bladder or litter training so that you don’t return home to urine-soaked carpeting and piles of feces. It’s better for dogs that aren’t especially harmful.

For a puppy, crates may be both confining and nurturing. When your dog is left alone at home, he or she needs a comfortable bed and access to water. They’ll spend a lot of time resting, so it’s best for less involved dogs, otherwise you’ll have to make up for it when you get back.

Put your dogs in crates also protect your home from accidents and injury. To keep them relaxed, you will need to do some bladder training.

Leaving your dog alone in the backyard helps them to play freely, do their business without fear of being captured, and get plenty of fresh air and exercise. The disadvantages include bad weather (which can be mitigated with a good dog house), increased exposure to fleas and ticks, pests, and the risk of escape.

You’ll have to make the decision that which situation is best for your pet.

Teach your dog get along with being alone

It’s time to get your dog used to spending quality time…alone, once you’ve decided where you’ll leave them.

Yes, some training is normally needed so that you can leave your dog alone at home. In reality, they should feel just as at ease about it as you do. Gradually growing their alone time in the place of your choosing is the gentlest way to ease them into this.

Each day, leave your dog alone for long periods of time. Perhaps you are in another part of the building, perhaps you are outside when they are inside, or vice versa, or perhaps you simply leave.

Before you leave, give them a treat, and don’t, I repeat, don’t rush to them if they start whining, barking, or howling, as this may intensify the conduct. Allow them to figure it out for themselves. Keep track of their potty habits so you can estimate how long they can go without going outside.

When you leave your dog home alone, make sure they have a familiar and cozy place to sleep as well as any balls or chew toys they like. Make sure they’ve been checked and aren’t going to rip them apart and eat the pieces. Also, make sure they have access to freshwater. If they’re used to music playing when you’re at home, you can have the radio on while you’re gone to keep things consistent.

Create some games for your dogs

Dogs are very social creatures, and as a result, they despise being alone. They’re still not self-motivated to exercise on their own. (This reminds me of a few people I know!) This means that while you’re at home, you can engage in physical activity and social contact with your cat.

Since dogs are most busy at dawn and dusk, you can give them some exercise before leaving in the morning and returning in the evening. Running or walking around the city, tossing a ball repeatedly in the park or in the backyard, or taking them to a dog park are all good choices for exercise.

You should also spend some quality time with them, talking to them, petting or grooming them.

Take the bladder

Many people’s first thought when they leave their dog alone is, “How long will my dog go without a bathroom break?” Dogs, on average, need to pee three to five times a day, according to experts. However, the frequency of potty breaks varies by dog, with puppies and senior dogs requiring more frequent breaks.

How long will a dog go without having to go potty? Here are some typical time limits for dogs at various stages of their lives:

  • Puppies: one hour for each month they are old (so a three-month-old puppy can wait three hours to pee)
  • Adult dogs over the age of one year: up to eight hours, but no more than six.
  • Senior dogs aged eight and up: two to six hours, depending on size and health.

Of course, these figures differ depending on the size, fitness, and behaviors of the dog. However, any dog who is required to keep its urine for an extended period of time is at risk of developing a urinary tract infection, stones, or crystals. Plus, carrying urine for an extended period of time is inconvenient and may contribute to house accidents.

Good dogs need approximately 60 minutes of moderate activity each day, but this does not have to be constant. Spend 20-30 minutes taking your dog for a short walk or a play session before leaving them home alone for an extended period of time. They’ll be sleepy, so their alone time will be more fun.

Then, when you get home for the night, a midday romp (with you or a dog walker) will help break up the day and, of course, spend quality time together!

If your dog becomes nervous or aggressive after being left alone for a prolonged period of time, it’s likely that they need more regular and rigorous exercise. Consult your doctor to decide an appropriate exercise regimen for your pet.

In general, healthy dogs need about 60 minutes of moderate activity every day

Mental activity matters!

Mental activity is vital to keep your best friend safe, happy, and well-behaved, regardless of how long he can hold it or how much exercise he requires each day. Adult dogs need more enrichment than puppies and young dogs, but all dogs need some mental stimulation during the day (source). If they are left alone without it, they can become bored and even destructive.

Enrichment events, whether they’re a training session, an entertaining neighborhood stroll, a puzzle feeder, or a round of indoor games, keep your dog safe and balance out the time she spends alone.

Bottom Line

Dog is special, and some can cope with more alone time than others. However, every dog needs potty breaks, exercise, and mental stimulation on a regular basis. If your work schedule means your dog will be home alone for the majority of the day, consider finding a dependable house sitter to come by and give your dog a break.

A dog walker or sitter will provide your dog with the exercise she needs during the day while also making you feel better about your absence—and making your return all the sweeter!

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