How to Safely Leave Your Dog Home Alone

It can be challenging to leave your dog alone. Dogs view us as part of their pack. However, it is not always possible to spend every moment with our furry friends.

Sad dog laying on matIt is best to show our dogs as parents that being alone at home isn’t a problem. Otherwise, they may develop separation anxiety.

It can be difficult for you to leave your dog alone. In just a few easy steps, you can make it easier for your four-legged friend.

Is it too long to let your dog be home alone? What are the key points to remember when leaving your dog alone? Here are the top dog experts’ recommendations and facts.

What happens if your Dog is Left Alone at Home?

Some dogs may not mind being left alone. It may cause your dog to be anxious, bored, or stressed if he is left alone.

  • Runaway
  • Getting lost
  • Scratching
  • Urination
  • Biting
  • Whining, howling, and barking
  • Furniture and clothing shopping
  • Eating like a king

While furniture and clothes can be easily replaced, there are many more significant risks if your dog is lost. You may feel more secure if your dog is left alone by getting a GPS tracker for him. It will alert you immediately if your dog runs away or exits your property.

What is the Right Amount of Time to Leave a Dog Alone?

Dogs are less accustomed to being left alone, so they are more susceptible to separation anxiety.

It is recommended that they go outside to use the toilet every two hours. Adult dogs are used to being left alone at home can be left for more extended periods. That is because they have probably learned to go to the bathroom while you’re away.

Dog looking out of windowKeep your dog’s time alone at home to a minimum. If they are left alone too long, even the best-behaved dog can become stressed. Based on the age, here are some guidelines for how long your dog can be left alone.

You may leave adult dogs of 18 months old alone for 4 to 6 hours per day. These dogs can be left alone for up to 6 hours a day. They are used to being left alone and have learned to fall asleep when you’re not there.

The time you can safely leave your older dog alone depends on their health. Older dogs might need to go outside more often.

The limit is 2 hours per day for puppies. They don’t like being left alone. They may need to pee more, and they can become anxious about being left alone.

I have written an in depth article on How To Tolet Train My Puppy which takes you through everything you need to know to make sure your new friend learns the potty rules easily and quickly.

An elderly dog can be left alone for up to 6 hours. It depends. Do they have to go outside more often?

These are some things to consider when you leave your dog alone.

  • Age
  • Issues and health
  • Separation anxiety
  • Training and behavior
  • Potty breaks
  • Feeding times
  • Get active and do some exercise
  • Socialization

Other Pets in the House

Your dog may not be anxious if they are left alone. But what about potty breaks? Do they have enough food to last them the time they are alone? You might find them bored or restless and start to use your most valuable possessions as chew toys.

When deciding how long you should leave your dog alone, take everything you know about your dog into account.

Dogs That Dont Mind Being Left Alone

Some dogs are more comfortable being left alone than others. These could include:

  • Shar Pei
  • Basset Hound
  • Whippet
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Beagle
  • Bulldogs in English and French
  • Chihuahua
  • Chow-Chow
  • The Great Pyrenees
  • Greyhound
  • Akita
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Shiba Inu

Working dog breeds can be restless and bored, so they should not be left alone. Two things you should do before you leave your dog alone

Before you go out of the house to work or play with your dog, make sure you do these things:

1) Explore the L&R Training Technique

Let your dog know that it is perfectly OK to be home alone and that you will return eventually.

Proper training is crucial when teaching your dog how to live alone. Practice the “Leave & Return” scenario as soon as you adopt a dog.

Here’s how it works:

When you arrive home, call your dog to go to bed. Once he has settled down and followed your commands, you can welcome him to your bed.

Avoid giving your dog a warm, welcoming welcome as soon as you return home. That will give your dog the impression that you are returning home to conduct other chores. It is not something to celebrate.

Get your shoes on, and walk to the door. You may ignore your dog’s panicked behavior and ensure he gets used to it. It should be repeated at least three times per day.

2) Don’t Give your Dog Free Rein.

You may monitor your dog while you are away with the GPS mobile app or web app.

Big dog laying on chewed up couchAttach the GPS tracker collar to your dog’s collar! You may monitor and track him from anywhere. You may also track and monitor how active your furry friend is, how often he sleeps, where he goes, and how busy he is.

In the beginning, it is essential to place your dog in an area they are comfortable in. Your buddy will soon become more comfortable being left at home alone. They can then go on their own, without restriction.

3) Tire out your Dog

Before you leave your dog, make sure that your dog is getting some exercise. You may start by learning how to walk your dog. Your dog will likely fall asleep after you take him for a walk or some exercise. It lets you leave the house without too much stress.

What you Should do When you Get Back

Spend some time with your dog and show love and affection. How do you show your dog love? These are just a few ideas:

  • Visit a dog spa.
  • Play fetch in your garden (be sure to bring your GPS dog tracker).
  • Go for a walk with your dog

Here are Some Top Tricks for Dogs that don’t Like Being Left Alone

Ensure that your dog is entertained.

There are two exciting ways to keep your dog entertained when you’re not there:

  • You may prevent boredom behaviors such as biting or peeing in the wrong places by giving your small dog tasks to do. You should never leave your dog with toys that can be broken up and eaten.
  • You may use food-dispensing toys to replace the traditional food bowl. These toys can be made to last for a long time and will keep your dog engaged and active while you are away.

Conclusion

Remember to let your dog walk around after a long day indoors. However, they shouldn’t become too attached to receiving treats when you come in.

Dogs should be aware of “Leave & Return,” which means they may need to be left alone at times.

Did you find this article useful? Feel free to share your thoughts. We would be happy to hear from you!

Stay tuned for more posts on dog care and much more!

“May Your Home Be Filled With Love And Dog Hair”

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Mark

Founder of Our Dogs World 101

12 thoughts on “How to Safely Leave Your Dog Home Alone”

  1. These suggestions are helpful. I have not been working at my office most of this year. But a project has just begun, and I need to go to the office three times a week. Making my dog tired before leaving is a good technique. I like that we can always find a way around these everyday life difficulties.

    Reply
  2. What unexpected suggestions!
    Of course you have to take him out in the evening, but not leave him in the house all day.
    He’s a neighbor’s dog, when he sees me he barks at me, only … but he started to get better. I even grabbed him and stroked him.
    I don’t have a dog, but my neighbors have, and I’m used to them.
    I see that my neighbors are getting tired of their dog, one day a big dog was run by the mother of fire, like in racing.
    Respectfully
    Vasile,

    Reply
  3. I love all these ideas as I usually just leave the radio on out the back for our dog to keep her company – I will be trying some of the ideas you have suggested. Thanks again Mark, keep your posts coming please.

    Reply
  4. I have a dog and she’s a small Chihuahua mix and I have going to start nursing school next year and I have been worried she would like someone else when I’m gone for 7 hours, but I’m glad she would be just fine when I’m gone.

    Is there a reason some dogs don”t mind being away from their owners? my mom has two mixed breeds and they are glued to her when she comes back from doing anything away from them. I have wondered why they are like that but not some other breeds..have the answers?

    Thanks for writing this, I just might send this to some friends who would benefit from this. 

    Reply
    • Hi Rebekah,

      Great question and to be totally honest I really don’t have the answer, other than saying it may have something to do with how they are bought up from puppies.

      You will often see working dogs who have known nothing else since puppyhood be fine with being left, and this is probably because they haven’t been pampered and spoiled like we all do with our “Pet Only” dogs.

      Reply
  5. I feel sorry for my neighbor’s dog who is most of the day left home alone and I hear the poor dog “crying” during the day. Still wondering why some people think dogs are fun and take them for granted. They are souls who are tightly connected to their owners and this is why people who want dogs as pets should consider if they are able not only to feed or walk the dog, but to give their pets a real home. Great tips for leaving the dog alone, and thank you for the list of breeds, it’s really helpful.

    Reply
    • Hi Julijana,

      I really dont know why people get dogs if all they do is leave them alone all day.

      Dogs are naturally pack animals and love to be around people, and you are spot on with your comment on not only walking and feeding them but also spending time with them.

      Glad you enjoyed this article and thanks for the great comment.

      Mark

      Reply
  6. Hi Mark, I really enjoyed reading this article as I have a rescue dog with separation anxiety and have used a lot of your tips. He still won’t eat sometimes if I am not at home and it reminds me that it does bother him. But I find that if I play and walk him before going out I can leave him (Shitzu/Maltese) for up to 6 hours. Most times when I come home I can tell that he has been asleep on my pajamas on the bed and he isn’t distressed. Giving him something of mine so that he can sleep with my scent makes a big difference.

    Reply
    • Hi Lily,

      It is so good reading your comments as I can tell you are a real dog lover.

      I am away with work for up to 13 hours a day, so a big walk and plenty of playtime before I go to work is always on our daily routine, even if it means I get up at 3.30AM!! They are worth it.

      Mark

      Reply

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