How Long Can I Leave MY Dog Home Alone?

how long can I leave my dog home alone

As a dog trainer, I get asked a lot "How long can I leave my dog home alone?"

What you need to understand is that dogs are social creatures. They miss you and they need both mental and physical stimulation to thrive, just like we do.

Here's my typical answer: You should never leave your dog home alone for more than a few hours, 4-5 tops.

If crating your dog, you should never confine them to a crate for more than 2-3 hours. It's too small of a space to be confined for long periods of time.

And here's the typical reply I get: But I work, that's impossible.

First, no it's not impossible. Secondly, a dog is a big responsibility and adopting a dog should not be taken lightly.

Here's why you can't leave your dog home alone for more than 4-5 hours at a time:

- they need to relieve themselves, generally about every three hours, but more often if a puppy, an elderly dog or a dog who is sick.
- being alone all day is stressful to many dogs
- dogs get lonely too. Yes, they do! Even another dog friend would be helpful if you are gone

So, what can you do?

- Doggy Day Care is one option. Make sure to vet the day care and be fully comfortable with the one you choose. They should be transparent and have good ratings online as well as offer references.
- Come home for lunch and spend time with your dog. Let them out to potty, spend some time playing and some time cuddling before you head back.
-Hire a dog walking service to come and let your dog out for a walk once or twice a day, depending on how long you are gone.
- If your job would allow you to work remotely, ask to do so every so often. You'll never know if you can unless you ask!
- Ask a neighbor to check in on your dog once or twice a day

Get creative! There are plenty of things you can do to make sure your dog has enough potty breaks and attention throughout the day.

If you have any questions or need suggestions, ask away!


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