Is there a way to leave your dog home alone and not have to worry about your pet’s happiness?
Every dog owner will have to deal with leaving their dog home alone sometimes. As much as you love them, you have a job and other social obligations where you will have to leave your friend at home.
In this post, we discuss tips to make your dog’s time at home safe and enriching, and how long you can leave a dog alone.
How to train your dog to be home alone
Start separation training right away – Even though it’s going to be hard, it is best to start training your dog to be home alone from the time you get them. You don’t want them to become too dependent on your company.
Get your dog a soft bed or crate, plenty of water, and a favorite toy. Head to another room with no fanfare while he is content playing. Start with a few minutes and gradually increase the time. Hold off opening the door if you hear him whining, crying, or barking. When he is quiet, you can enter the room and give brief praise. Slowly start adding short trips outside the house to the routine, following the same steps.
Treats – A special treat should be given only when you are leaving and not when you return. Your puppy may even learn to enjoy when you are preparing to leave for work, knowing that a treat is on the way.
Stay calm – You don’t want to make leaving too big of a production because that can actually add to their anxiety. The ten minutes before and after a separation should be serene and matter-of-fact. It may be hard to not give them giant special hugs and attention before leaving or right when you return, but it will be best for your dog. When you return, hold off on the special attention until your dog is fully settled down.
Exercise before leaving – Make time to either play games or go for a walk before leaving. A dog that has had the chance to spend their excess energy will be less likely to get into trouble or be stressed.
Create a routine – Separations will be much easier if you have a regular schedule or routine. Consistent times for meals, playtime, and walks will have a calming effect on your dog. Maintaining a schedule will also make easier for a friend or dog-sitter to help you out when you’re not around.
All dogs are different, and some can handle more time at home alone than others.
Every dog needs bathroom breaks, exercise, and mental stimulation. By taking care of these needs, you will be able to make separation much easier.
How to leave your puppy home alone
How long can my dog go between bathroom breaks?
According to experts, dogs will usually need to pee between three to five times a day. The timing of potty breaks varies from dog to dog, and puppies and older dogs will need more bathroom breaks.
Here are common time limits for dogs of different life stages:
- Puppies – One hour per every month of age (so three-month-old puppy can wait three hours to pee.)
- Adult dogs – Age one year and up: up to eight hours, but ideally no more than six.
- Senior dogs – Age eight and up: depending on size and health, anywhere from two to six hours.
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How Long Can You Leave a Dog Alone? – Daily Treat
How Often Do Dogs Need Bathroom Breaks? – Paw Print Blog
How To Leave Your Dog Home Alone – Petcube
How to Leave Your Dog Home Alone and Happy – Orvis