As much as you would love to stay home with your canine companion all day, it isn't always feasible because of work, school, or errands. That being said, you are probably wondering how long can you leave your dog alone and what they do all day when you are gone. Today, our Los Angeles vets answer these questions.
How Long Can You Leave a Dog Home Alone?
There is nothing better than getting to spend quality time at home with your pet. Dogs are excellent companions and enjoy being around you, just as much as you love cuddling up with them. However, you do have to leave them by themselves to go to work, run errands, or go to school. So, how long can you leave your dog alone? And, what do they do when you are gone?
There is no one size fits all answer to these questions, it depends on your dog's age, breed, and overall personality. Young puppies under 6 months old should not be left alone for more than 2 or 3 hours because of their bladder control and risk of separation anxiety. When you do leave your young puppy alone it's best to keep them safe in a crate or puppy-proof room where they can't break anything or get into too much trouble.
As your puppy get's older you can gradually increase the amount of time you leave them alone. Adult dogs are generally okay on their own 4-6 hours a day. But, many dogs are good at adapting to being alone for 8-9 hours while you are at work if they are provided with enough space to comfortably move around.
When you are gone your pooch may take a long and restful nap, or even sneak up on the off-limits sofa to relax if they are a calm dog. Sneaky dogs that are a bit more mischievous may try to jump up on the counter to steal a treat or chew on an item they normally aren't allowed to.
However, if your dog has separation anxiety they may use their anxious energy and channel it into destructive behavior, ruining furniture or breaking precious valuables. If your pooch does happen to have this problem try leaving them alone in short intervals, gradually increasing the time you are gone. Once a dog can handle being alone for 4 hours, they should be able to manage 8 hours on their own.
The Basset Hound, French Bulldog, Chihuahua, and Pugs are typically the best breeds for being left alone for long periods of time.
What Can I Do With My Dog While I am at Work?
While some dogs are okay being alone for a little bit during the day, they don't necessarily like it. Dogs are pack animals and need companionship from their owners to be happy and comfortable. Here are some things you can do to help your dog when you are not home:
Provide Them With Entertainment
Before you leave make sure your pup has a toy to keep them busy and occupied while you are away, such as their favorite stuffed animal or a puzzle toy to provide them with a fun challenge.
Communicate With Them
You can stay in touch with your pup even when you are not home thanks to technology. Pet cameras let you talk to your canine companion so you can soothe your pooch with your calming voice, or even keep an eye on their behavior so you can reward them with lots of yummy treats.
Help Them Feel Safe
Offer your dog a sense of security or safety by swaddling them in a jacket or keeping them in their crate with enough space to move around and play. Your pup might be hesitant at first but, it can be a lifesaver in the long run.