How long can you leave a dog alone?

From time to time we have to leave our pets home alone to go to work or run errands. But new dog owners have a question: How long can a dog be left alone? Puppy owners may be especially worried about this.

In this article, I’ll try to answer all of your questions. I will tell you how long can you leave a dog alone, whether it is bad to leave a dog alone for a long time, and how to do it correctly.

When you can leave a puppy alone?

A puppy that has just been brought into a new home needs time to acclimatize and get used to the new environment. If you leave it alone right away, it will be sad and boring and may cause trouble.

puppy on the bed

So the best option for new puppy owners is to take a vacation to help your pet. Once the puppy is used to your home and you already have some sort of routine established, then you can leave it alone. I recommend getting your puppy used to being alone before you even go to work and leaving it for long periods.

You can use an aviary and a crate to do this. Let the puppy see you pack up, grab your keys and leave the house. Immediately leave it for 10-15 minutes, then for half an hour and an hour. With this training, it will be easier for the puppy to get over the loneliness when you leave for work.

How long can you leave a puppy alone

To decide how long to leave your puppy alone, focus on its age:

  • under 10 weeks – 1 hour
  • 10-12 weeks – 2 hours
  • 3 months – 3 hours
  • 4 months – 4 hours
  • 5 months – 5 hours
  • 6-12 months – maximum 6 hours

Young puppies need to pee very often. During the first month they may pee every hour. Then every month that time increases by an hour. That is, if your puppy is 3 months old, it will go to the potty about once every 3 hours, and 6-month-old puppies go to the toilet once every 6 hours.

So you should make sure you have someone walk your furbaby at least a few times during the day. Or you can come home for a break.

If you don't do this, the puppy will get used to peeing anywhere in the house. It can also get sick if it holds its bladder for a long time.

How long can you leave an older dog alone

Adult dogs who have been trained since childhood to be left alone can safely wait for their owner at home for an 8-hour workday. But not every dog can do this. Every dog is different, so you have to observe them to figure it out. Take into account how long your dog can bear not going to the toilet.

If your pet hasn’t stayed alone for no longer than a few hours before, you shouldn’t abruptly leave it for the whole day. You either need to increase the time gradually, or come back periodically to check your dog’s behavior in the house.

When dogs get older, they may need to go to the toilet more often. Therefore, you will need to take it out 1-2 times a day.

What you can do if your dog can’t be left alone:

  • take it to doggy daycare;
  • hire a dog sitter;
  • get another pet so they can be left together;
  • ask your boss if you can bring your dog to work with you.
If you notice that your furbaby misses you a lot, try to give it more time while you're at home. Give it plenty of exercise and play games.

Is it cruel to leave a dog alone?

In fact, adult dogs should even be able to be alone for a while. That’s fine. If you give your pet enough time when you are at home, it will be quite happy.

But if you leave your dog alone for too long and too often, of course it will be stressful for it. And puppies shouldn’t be treated this way. They can develop separation anxiety. This disorder is manifested by the fact that the dog is terrified of being left alone.

sign of dog separation anxiety

Your dog may behave in a disruptive manner by chewing on furniture, scratching doors, howling and barking incessantly. If you notice this behavior in your pet, you need to look for treatment.

In general, if you do everything right, your furbaby won’t feel bad alone.

7 thing, that help your dog or puppy left alone

In order for your pet to bear the hours of loneliness, you need to create a comfortable environment for it. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Leave toys so your pet won’t get bored (just choose reliable toys that your dog can’t chew and swallow).
  2. Leave enough food and something tasty to chew. Chewing helps relieve your dog’s stress and calm down. Food-dispensing toys will also help distract your dog for longer periods of time.
  1. Use Calming Products For Dogs (for example anxiety vest, calming bed, and blanked, diffuser with calm pheromones).
  2. Make sure no extraneous noises disturb your dog. Close windows and curtains. Turn on a white noise machine or radio for your dog. This has a calming effect on some dogs.
  3. Limit the space your dog will be in. Letting it run all over the house can only increase anxiety. It can also get it into trouble. It’s better to lock your dog in a separate, safe room.
  4. If you are worried about your furbaby, you can buy a dog camera. For example, try Petcube Pet Camera. It’s a two-way communication device that allows you to see what your dog is doing, talk to it, and even give it a treat when it needs it. With Petcube, you can get a notification on your phone when your dog starts barking or making a noise.
  1. Try crate training. You can lock your dog in a crate for a short period of time. Some dogs feel less anxious in the crate.
Tip: When you are about to leave don't say goodbye to your dog. Do everything silently, as if it were normal. Ignore the fact that the dog is anxious, so as not to agitate it even more. Do the same when you come in. 

Allow 20-30 minutes for a walk with your dog before you leave the house. Tire your dog out with exercise so it won’t be so bored afterward.

Watch this video for more information:


Dogs are social animals that shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time unless necessary. If you want to get a puppy, you must be prepared to give it enough time. It should not be left alone for long periods of time.

Adult dogs can already be left alone for up to 8 hours, but still take care to create a comfortable environment for the pet. Buy toys, leave enough food, and if you want, you can install a dog camera. With a device like this, you can keep an eye on what’s going on in the house and don’t worry.

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