Leaving Your Dog at Home, 4 Tips to Keep Them Happy While You’re Away

By Max Turner 26 Min Read

Introduction

Leaving your dog at home can be stressful, especially if they are not used to being home alone. However, don’t worry: there are many things you can do to make sure that your dog enjoys their time at home while you’re away.

But how much time should be leaving your dog at home alone?

There’s no definitive answer to that question, as it depends on several factors. For example, the dog’s personality, age, health, and whether or not they’re used to being left alone are all important considerations. Additionally, the length of time you’ll be gone and how well-prepared you are to leave your dog home alone also play a role.

Generally speaking, most experts agree that leaving a dog home alone for more than four hours at a time is too long. This is because dogs are social animals who thrive on companionship and interaction. When left alone for extended periods, they can become bored, anxious, and stressed, leading to all sorts of behavioral problems.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. If your dog is particularly low-maintenance and enjoys their own company, they may do just fine being left home alone for longer periods.

The key is to make sure that they have plenty of food and water available, along with some toys or other forms of entertainment to keep them occupied while you’re away. 

If you want to make sure your dog doesn’t get into trouble, you should be checking on them every 15 minutes.

Here are some general recommendations for how long you can leave your dog home alone, based on age:

Puppies

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When it comes to leaving your puppy at home, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Puppies need to be supervised at all times, and you should ideally only leave them for short periods. Leaving them for an extended period can lead to problems such as separation anxiety or destructive behavior. Here are some guidelines on how long to leave your puppy home:

  • 1 to 2 hours is ideal for a supervised break from their parents. This will give them enough time to run around, play, and have some fun but won’t leave them feeling neglected or stressed out.
  • 3 to 4 hours is a good amount of time for an unsupervised break. During this time, make sure you keep an eye on them and come back if they start showing any signs of being overwhelmed or restless.

Adult dogs (over 18 months)

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Dog lies among torn pieces of a pillow in a living room. Funny staffordshire terrier and destroyed homeware, untrained dog left alone at home

Never leave your adult dog at home alone again! A dog should never be left alone for more than 8 hours. Most dogs are adaptable and will do okay for a short time, but it’s not fair to leave them alone for long periods. According to the ASPCA, over half of all dogs in shelters were given up because they couldn’t get used to being left alone in the house.

If you’re going to be gone all day and no one else can keep your dog company while you’re gone, then bring them with you where they can run around off-leash or even make friends with other dogs. This is content being expanded by two different companies, each from a single introduction into an expanded range.

If you leave your dog alone for long hours, it’s important also to consider the following:

  • Does your dog get anxious or bored with long periods of separation?
  • Does your Dog bark excessively when left home alone?
  • Does your dog have separation anxiety that will go away over time?
  • Is your dog housebroken and doesn’t have accidents in the house when left alone? It can be hard to leave your best friend at home, but leaving them alone isn’t always bad for them! The key is to strike a balance and make sure they’re comfortable with the time you’ll be gone.
  • Do you have a dog walker that you trust? If you’re planning on leaving your dog home alone for long periods, you’ll want to make sure that you have someone who can keep an eye on them and provide them with the necessary food and water.
  • Is your dog in good health to be left alone?
  • Other animals in the house

What can happen when your dog is left home alone?

Boredom

The most common problem faced by dogs left home alone is boredom. Without stimulation, dogs can become anxious, restless, and destructive. Boredom can also lead to bad habits such as excessive barking or chewing.

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Separation anxiety

Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety when left alone. This can manifest in destructive behavior, excessive vocalization, or even illness.

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Obesity

Obesity is a growing problem in the dog population and is often exacerbated by a lack of exercise. Dogs left alone for long periods are more likely to become obese, as they have little opportunity to burn off excess energy.

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They can get into mischief.

An unsupervised dog is a recipe for disaster. They may get into the trash, chew on cords and furniture, or get into things they shouldn’t. This can lead to injuries or even death if they ingest something toxic.

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They can have accidents.

If a dog isn’t properly trained, it may have accidents inside the house. This can be a hassle to clean up and may cause you to lose your security deposit.

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They can get into fights with other animals.

If there are other animals in the house, such as cats or rabbits, dogs may try to attack them. This could lead to serious injury for both animals involved.

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They can escape

If a door or window is left open, an adventurous dog may try to make a break for it. This could result in them getting lost or being hit by a car.

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Dogs that can be left alone

The Affenpinscher – A small but feisty breed

The Affenpinscher is a small but spunky breed that is full of personality. This independent little dog doesn’t mind being left alone and will stay busy with toys and games.

The Australian Terrier – A tough and reliable friend

The Australian Terrier is a tough little breed known for being reliable and easygoing. These dogs make great companions for those who work long hours or are often away from home.

The Basset Hound – A gentle and patient soul

The Basset Hound is a gentle and loving breed known for being patient and good-natured. These dogs are perfect for families who want a loyal furry friend to cuddle with at the end of the day.

Chihuahuas – The ultimate lap dogs

Chihuahuas are the smallest breed of dog, and they’re known for being very attached to their owners. They’re also a few breeds that can be left home alone without getting too anxious or destructive.

Pugs – A laid-back breed that loves a good snuggle

Pugs are a laid-back breed that loves nothing more than a good snuggle with humans. They’re content to lounge around the house all day, so leaving them home alone won’t be a problem.

Bulldogs – A loyal and gentle breed

Bulldogs are a loyal and gentle breed, and they make great companions. They’re not the most active dogs, so they’re happy to relax at home while you’re away.

Bichon Frise – The ultimate cuddle buddy

Bichon Frises are gentle, loving dogs perfectly content to curl up on the couch for a snuggle session. They’re also independent enough to be left home alone for short periods without getting too anxious or destructive.

Labrador Retriever – A loyal and reliable friend

Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds: they’re loyal, reliable, and great with families. They’re also known for being calm and mellow, making them ideal candidates for being left home alone.

Pomeranian – A spunky little companion

Pomeranians may be small, but they’re big on personality. They love to play and have a lot of energy, but they’re also happy to chill out at home by themselves when their humans are away.

The Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a gentle giant perfect for families with kids. They’re also great if you have to leave them home alone since they’re content just being with their people.

The American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire Terrier, or Amstaff, is a loyal and loving dog that makes a great companion. They’re also a few breeds that can be left home alone without getting into trouble.

The Labrador Retriever

Labradors are one of the most popular dog breeds: they’re gentle, smart, and easy to train. They’re also great if you have to leave them home alone since they’re content just being with their people.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. They are known for their friendly demeanor and intelligence. The average lifespan for a Yorkshire Terrier is 12-15 years.

The Maltese

Malteses are a playful and energetic breed that makes a great companion. They’re also a good choice for families with children because they’re great with kids and other pets.

The Pekingese

The Pekingese is a small, lovable dog that is a great companion. They’re known for being gentle and affectionate, making them a great fit for families with kids.

The Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier is a smart and playful dog that is a great companion. They’re also a good choice for families with kids because they’re great with kids and other pets.

Tips to Keep Dogs Happy While You’re Away

Leaving your dog for more than 2 hours

Leaving your dog at home for more than two hours can be dangerous for you and your pet. Dogs are pack animals and will become agitated and lonely when left alone. They may attempt to escape or chew on furniture or other items, creating a hazard for you and the pet.

Additionally, not providing constant attention can lead to behavioral problems such as toileting accidents or destructive behavior.

If you’re going to leave your dog for more than 2 hours, make sure you take the following precautions:

  • Make sure you have an emergency contact number for your dog. You should know where your dog will be staying and who will be caring for him.
  • Make sure your dog has some identification. This could be a collar with your name and phone number, a microchip, or a tattoo.
  • Make sure your dog has access to water and food.
  • If your dog is a puppy, make sure he’s had his first shots.
  • Make sure your dog has been dewormed.

Leaving Your Dog at home for two to 4 Days

It can be tough to leave your furry friend behind when you go on vacation or have to travel for work. If you’re only gone for a day or two, there are some things you can do to make sure your pup is well taken care of in your absence.

First, make sure you have someone reliable who can check in on your dog and let them out. This person should also have a key to your home to get in without any issues.

Secondly, leave plenty of food and water for your dog to last them the duration of your trip. It’s also important to leave out some toys or chews to keep them occupied while you’re away.

Thirdly, If you have to leave your dog alone for an extended period, it’s best to do so in a safe environment. Your dog will be safer in a crate or crater-like area that is secure and free from hazards. You can use a crate for travel or use a crate as a safe place to leave your dog when you’re not home. 

Lastly, make sure their bedding is comfortable and clean so they can relax while you’re gone.

With these tips in mind, you can rest assured knowing that your dog will be just fine while you’re away! 

Leaving Your Dog at home for a Week or Longer

When you have a dog, you can’t leave them alone for too long. It is important to take care of your dog and make sure they are safe. If you need to go with your dog for more than a week, here are some tips to make it easier for yourself and your dog.

Plan Ahead

Ensure you have enough food and water for your dog when you leave them. You can use the same food and water you give your dog every day, but it will be better to use fresh food and water. You can also consider giving your dog treats to keep them happy while you are gone.

Choosing a Carer

You may want to choose a carer who lives nearby, but this isn’t always possible. If you don’t have a carer nearby, make sure they are reliable and trustworthy. They should also be able to provide your dog with regular exercise and attention.

Be Prepared

It would help if you had a leash, collar, and ID tag for your dog. You should also have a cell phone number for your dog if something happens.

Preparing Your Home 

You should make sure your home is safe for your dog. This means making sure there aren’t any hazards in your home that could harm your dog. You should also make sure your dog has a comfortable bed and that they have access to fresh water and food.

Instructions for Your Carer 

If you are away for more than a week, you should write down some instructions for your carer. This includes where to find food and water, care for your dog, and what to do if your dog needs to be taken to the vet.

Leave a Note

If you are away for more than a week, you should leave a note for your carer. You should include a few important details, such as your contact information, the name of your dog, and the date and time you expect to return.

Leaving Your Dog at home for a Month, or Longer

You know how much they mean to you if you have a dog. When you have to leave them for a month or longer, it can be not easy to imagine life without them. However, it is important to remember that you will miss them when you are away.

To help you cope with being away from your dog, you should think about what you love most about your dog. You can also think about how you will miss them when you are away. If you have trouble thinking about your dog, you can talk to them. You can also think about what you will do when away from your dog.

If you need to leave your dog for more than a month, here are some tips to make it easier for yourself and your dog.

Leave Your Dog with Family or Friends

This is a good option if you have a family member or friend who can take care of your dog while away. They will love having your dog around, and they will probably enjoy taking care of him.

If you have a friend or family member who would like to adopt your dog, they will be able to keep him safe and provide him with all the things he needs.

If you don’t have a family member or friend who can take care of your dog, you can look into boarding kennels. This is a great option because you can leave your dog with someone who loves animals and will provide him with everything he needs.

Leave Your Dog With a Professional Pet Sitter

If you don’t have a family member or friend who can take care of your dog, you can leave him with a professional pet sitter. A professional pet sitter will have experience caring for dogs, and they will know how to provide your dog with all the things he needs.

A professional pet sitter will also be able to take care of your dog while you are away. They will clean up after him, walk him, and feed him.

Leave Your Dog with a Vet

If you don’t have a family member or friend who can take care of your dog, you can leave your dog with a vet. This is a great option because a vet will be able to take care of your dog while you are away.

Board Your Dog at a Kennel

Boarding your dog at a kennel will give you peace of mind because you know your dog will be well cared for.

However, if you choose to board your dog at a kennel, you should make sure that you select a reputable kennel:

  • In this situation, it’s best to find a kennel that has enough room for your dog to run around and play.
  • You may also want to look into whether or not they have a separate area for your dog to sleep. The kennel should have a space for dogs and a place for cats. This will help him feel more comfortable and secure.
  • Do they provide food? If you are boarding your dog at a kennel, you should ask them about their food options. Some kennels feed their dogs organic food, while others feed them commercially. You must choose a kennel that provides its dogs with the best food possible. You want to make sure that your dog is getting the right nutrition.
  • Are they insured? This is another question that you should ask. You want to ensure that your dog is in good hands and that the kennel is certified.
  • Do they have a veterinarian on staff? Ask the kennel if they have a vet on staff. If they don’t, then you should look elsewhere.
  • Does the kennel offer grooming services? As mentioned above, not all dogs need the same amount of grooming.
  • How long has the kennel been in business?

Prepare a month of dog supplies and instructions

You should prepare a month of supplies and instructions before you leave your dog with a professional pet sitter, friend, family member, or a kennel.

This will help you to be prepared when you return home. You can include any of the following:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Toys
  • Grooming supplies
  • Leash
  • Bathroom supplies
  • Litter box
  • Blanket
  • Include any medications that your dog needs. 

If you have any other supplies that you think your dog will need, you should include those as well.

You should also have a copy of your dog’s vaccination records. You should also have a copy of your dog’s current health records. You should also make sure that your dog has the right vaccinations. You should talk to your vet about which vaccines your dog needs. Ask your vet about which vaccines your dog needs.

Make sure that you write down any instructions you want your dog to follow. This includes feeding times, exercise routines, and anything else you want your dog to do

Choosing who to leave your dog with

You should always leave your dog with a professional pet sitter, friend, family member, or a kennel. If you are not comfortable leaving your dog with someone, you should find someone who is.

If you are going to leave your dog with a professional pet sitter, friend, family member, or a kennel, you should consider these things:

  • Do they have experience with dogs?
  • Do they have experience with animals in general?
  • Do they have experience with puppies?
  • Do they have experience with older dogs?
  • Do they have experience with pets with special needs?
  • Do they have experience with aggressive dogs?
  • How much time do they spend with your dog?
  • How often do they visit your home? Are they there when you need them?

Conclusion 

In conclusion, while leaving a dog home alone is possible, it’s important to keep the animal’s well-being in mind. Make sure you have a plan for when you’re gone and provide enough food, water, and toys to keep them entertained.

Dog owners should also keep in mind that dogs can suffer from anxiety and loneliness if left home alone too long, so it’s important to set boundaries and stick to them.

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Max Turner is a passionate American dog lover and writer, dedicated to sharing his knowledge and experiences through his blog, WeLoveDogs.com. With a lifelong fascination for dogs and a strong bond with his own furry friends, Max offers valuable insights and practical tips to dog owners and enthusiasts worldwide. His blog covers a wide range of topics, including training techniques, health and wellness, breed profiles, responsible ownership, and fun activities. Max's engaging writing style, combined with his expertise and genuine love for dogs, make WeLoveDogs.com an invaluable resource for anyone looking to enhance their relationship with their canine companions. Max Turner's blog, WeLoveDogs.com, is a go-to destination for dog enthusiasts seeking expert advice and valuable insights. Max's deep-rooted passion for dogs, coupled with his extensive knowledge of dog behavior, training, health care, and breeds, enables him to provide practical tips and guidance. From training techniques and health tips to breed spotlights and responsible ownership, Max covers it all. With engaging content and a commitment to promoting a fulfilling and joyous life with dogs, WeLoveDogs.com is a trusted resource for dog owners looking to strengthen their bond with their furry friends.
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