Is it ok to leave a dog home alone?

Author picture Jessica

How long can you leave a dog alone?

The length of time you can leave a dog alone depends on the age, personality and needs of your dog. This must be balanced with work and day-to-day tasks which can’t be avoided! As you know your dog best, it’s worth weighing up their needs with some simple tips to make separation easier. 

Dog waiting for owner

Why can’t I just leave my dog home alone all day?

Dogs are pack animals that depend on social interaction with other dogs and humans. This is important for their mental health. Therefore, it’s best that you minimise the amount of time your dog is left alone. 

A dog that is repeatedly left alone all day may exhibit problem behaviours, including depression and separation anxiety. As such, you should factor this into your daily routine to maintain your dog’s health and happiness. 

A guide to how long you can leave your dog alone

How long can I leave a puppy alone?

The length of time you can leave a puppy alone depends on how old they are. As a rough guide, the puppy’s age in months is the number of hours they can hold their bladder. For example, a 2-month-old puppy may be able to tolerate holding for 2 hours. 

A good general rule for how long you can leave your puppy is 2 hours. However, this may not work for all pups. And of course, it's important to puppy proof your home before you attempt this. If the puppy is very anxious, they may need company all day. Furthermore, if the puppy is younger than 2 months old, they really shouldn’t be left alone for more than an hour. This is a time when it might be beneficial to have a dog sitter come over.

How long can I leave an older dog alone?

The length of time you can leave an older dog alone depends on the health and personality of the dog. If your older dog takes medication, it may need to be checked on during the day. Therefore, leaving them for longer than four hours might be too much. This might be something you need to weigh up and discuss with your vet or dog sitter.

How long can I leave an anxious dog alone?

The length of time you can leave an anxious dog alone may be no less than an hour or two, depending on how anxious they are. Dogs can be anxious because of their breed, or because they have past trauma. Regardless of the reason, discuss this with your vet. They might suggest some strategies, including medication, a dog sitter or exercise before you need to leave. 

Dog sitter and dog

How do I make sure my dog has company during the day?

The ideal way to make sure your dog isn’t left alone for too long is by using a dog sitter. The dog sitter can stay all day, or have your dog at their home if that suits you better. This way you can ensure your dog gets the company and care they need to be happy and healthy, especially if they are old, young or anxious.

Find a dog sitter today.