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 you leave a dog alone? Puppy owners may be especially worried about this.

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

When can you leave a puppy alone?

A puppy that has just come to a new home needs time to acclimate and get used to the new environment. If you leave him alone right away, he’ll be sad and bored and may cause trouble.

puppy on the bed

Therefore, it’s best for new puppy owners to take a vacation to help your pet. Once the puppy gets used to your home and you have already established a routine, you can leave him alone.

Let the puppy see you pack your things, get your keys and leave the house. Leave him alone immediately for 10-15 minutes, then for half an hour and an hour. You can use an aviary and crate to do this. This training will make it easier for the puppy to overcome loneliness when you leave for work.

How long can you leave a puppy alone

To decide how long you can leave your puppy alone, base your decision on his 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. In the first month they may pee every hour. Then this time increases by one hour every month. That means when your puppy is 3 months old, he goes to the potty about every 3 hours, and 6 month old puppies go to the bathroom every 6 hours.

So you should make sure someone takes your puppy for a walk at least a few times a day. Or you can come home for a break. Otherwise your puppy will get used to peeing all over the house. Also, he can get sick if he holds his bladder for a long time.

How long can you leave an older dog alone

Adult dogs that have been trained from childhood to be left alone can safely wait at home for their owners for an 8-hour workday. But not every dog can do that. Every dog is different, so you’ll have to watch him to find out. Take into account how long your dog can tolerate not going to the bathroom.

If your pet hasn’t been left alone for more than a few hours before, you shouldn’t suddenly leave him alone all day. You need to either gradually increase the time or come back periodically to check your dog’s behavior in the house.

As dogs get older, they may need to go to the bathroom less often. That’s why you need to take him out 2 times a day.

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

  • take him to a doggie daycare;
  • hire a dog sitter;
  • get another pet so they can stay 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 him more time while you’re home. Give him lots of exercise and play with him.

Should I lock my dog in his crate while I'm at work? Here are helpful tips for those who leave their dog alone while they are working.

Is it cruel to leave a dog alone?

Actually, adult dogs should be able to be alone even for a while. That’s fine. If you give your pet enough time when you’re home, he’ll be quite happy.

But if you leave your dog alone for too long and too often, it’ll naturally become stressful for him. And puppies shouldn’t be treated this way. They can develop separation anxiety. This disorder manifests itself in the dog’s fear of being left alone.

sign of dog separation anxiety

Your dog may behave disruptively by chewing on furniture, scratching at doors, howling, and barking incessantly. If you notice this behavior in your pet, you need to seek treatment.

If you do everything right, your four-legged friend will usually not feel bad when he’s alone.

7 things that will help your dog or puppy to stay alone in peace

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

  1. Provide toys so that your pet doesn’t get bored ( just choose reliable toys that your dog can’t chew and swallow).
  2. Provide enough food and something tasty to chew on. Chewing helps your dog relieve stress and calm down. Food-dispensing toys also help distract your dog for longer periods of time.
  1. Use Calming Products For Dogs (for example anxiety vest, calming bed and blanket, diffuser with calming pheromones).

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  1. Make sure your dog isn’t disturbed by extraneous noises. Close windows and curtains. Turn on a white noise machine or radio for your dog. This has a calming effect on some dogs.
  1. Confine the room where your dog spends time. Letting him run all over the house can only increase anxiety. It can also get him into trouble. It’s better to lock your dog in a separate, safe room.
  1. If you are worried about your furbaby, you can buy a dog camera. For example, try the Petcube Pet Camera. It’s a two-way communication device that allows you to see what your dog is doing, talk to him, and even give him a treat when he needs it. With Petcube, you’ll get a notification on your phone when your dog barks or makes a noise.
dog camera
  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 want to leave, don't say goodbye to your dog. Do everything silently, as if it were normal. Ignore the fact that your dog is anxious so you don't upset him more. Do the same thing when you come in.

Take 20-30 minutes to walk your dog before you leave the house. Tire your dog out with exercise so he won’t be as bored afterwards.

Watch this video for more information:


Dogs are social animals that shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time. If you’re going to get a puppy, be prepared to give him plenty of time. He shouldn’t be left alone for extended periods of time.

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

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