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How long can you leave a dog alone?

As much as you'd love to stay home and cuddle with your adorable dog all day, you probably need to go to work or school, or run errands. That said, if you're curious about how long you can leave your dog alone and what they do all day while you're gone, our Fort Worth vets have some answers for you.

How long can you leave a dog at home alone?

As a pup parent, you likely relish spending quality time with your four-legged friend. Who doesn't enjoy being around a happy-go-lucky dog who always wants to cuddle and play? However, you also probably have to leave them by themselves sometimes to go to work or school, see friends or family, or run errands. So, how long can you leave your dog alone, and what will they do while you're gone? 

The answers to these questions will depend on your dog's general personality, breed, and age. Young puppies under six months old should not be left alone for more than two or three hours due to bladder control issues and risk of separation anxiety. When you do need to leave your young puppy alone, it's always best to keep them in a puppy-proof room or crate for their safety, where they won't break anything or get into too much mischief. Make sure the crate is cool in the summer months, and warm in the winter. 

As your puppy grows older, you might be comfortable enough to gradually increase the amount of time you leave them alone. Adult dogs will generally be okay on their own for between four and six hours per day. However, many dogs can get used to being alone for eight to nine hours while you're at work, provided they have adequate space to move around comfortably and can entertain themselves. 

While you are out of the house, your doggy might take a long, restful nap, or even curl up with your favorite sweatshirt. If your sofa is typically off-limits, they might seize the opportunity to curl up and rest there, if they are a calm dog. Other pups may hone their counter-surfing skills, jumping up on a kitchen counter to steal a treat, or to chew an item they normally wouldn't be given if you were home. 

However, dogs with separation anxiety who do not have an alternative way to express their anxious energy can become destructive, ruining furniture or breaking valuable items. If your pooch does happen to have this issue, you can try leaving them alone for short timeframes before gradually increasing the amount of time you leave them alone. Once your pup can manage being alone for four hours, they should be able to manage eight hours. 

Chihuahuas, basset hounds, French bulldogs, and pugs are usually the best breeds that can be left alone for longer periods of time. 

What can I do with my dog while I am at work?

While some dogs are okay with being home 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 feel comfortable and happy. Here are some things you can do to help your dog when you're not home:

Provide Them With Entertainment

Before you leave make sure your pup has a easy access to 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.

Introduce Background Noise 

If your dog is used to hearing noises from humans moving around, watching TV and listening to music when you're home, total silence may contribute to anxiety. Consider playing a calming music playlist or leaving the TV on a low volume. 

Communicate With Them

Thanks to technology, you can stay in touch with your pup even when you are not home. Pet cameras let you talk to your canine companion, soothe your pooch with your calming voice, or even monitor 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.

Get Another Pet 

While we recommend thoroughly researching which pet may be best for your family and household, and only getting another pet if the circumstances are right, having another animal friend around for your dog may be just what he needs. Of course, you'll need to check that they'll get along.

Pet Boarding

If you need to leave your dog overnight, you can opt for a pet boarding service. At A-Animal Clinic & Boarding Kennel, we offer overnight and medical boarding for dogs and cats. We can provide your pooch with the care and companionship they need when you are away. We make sure they get lots of exercise, socialization, and fun! With medical boarding, we can provide your dog with any medications on schedule. Our caring Fort Worth vets love spending time with the pets that board with us and treat them like their own.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you need to leave your dog overnight or for a weekend? Contact our Fort Worth vets today to book your dog's stay in our boarding facility. We look forward to meeting you and your pup!

New Patients Welcome

We're accepting new patients at A-Animal Clinic & Boarding Kennel! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of companion animals in Fort Worth. Get in touch today to schedule your pet's first appointment.

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