If you’re a proud Dachshund owner, you’d probably love to spend every second of the day with your affectionate pup. Unfortunately, this is an impossible dream for most people, and you may wonder if it’s okay for your Dachshund to be left alone. Depending on their age, Dachshunds can be safely left alone for short periods, but they probably won’t like it very much.
In this article, we’ll talk about how long you can leave your Dachshund home alone and how to keep them safe and entertained when you do so. We’ll also cover some of the signs of separation anxiety and what to do if you notice your Dachshund displaying them.
How Long Can a Dachshund Stay Home Alone?
Generally, an adult Dachshund should be left home alone for no more than 4–6 hours. Some dogs may be able to tolerate longer periods, but Dachshunds are more likely to prefer short solo time only.
As small dogs, Dachshunds can’t hold their pee as long as big dogs and must be walked more frequently to avoid accidents. As a breed, Dachshunds are exceptionally social and sometimes prone to being clingy. These traits can make it difficult for them to stay home alone for long periods without developing emotional and behavioral issues.
Older Dachshunds, Dachshund puppies, and dogs with medical problems, such as diabetes, usually can’t be left alone for as long as healthy adults.
Puppies shouldn’t be left alone for more than an hour when younger than 10–12 weeks. They can’t hold their pee for very long at that age, and successful house training requires frequent potty breaks. The early weeks of the puppy’s life are also critical periods for socialization and developing a relationship with the human family.
Dachshund puppies left alone too often may struggle to form proper bonds with their family and are more likely to develop anxiety and other behavioral issues in the future.
Older Dachshunds and those with medical conditions often need more frequent bathroom breaks. They may also require medications or closer supervision, which makes it a safety issue for them to be left alone.
Leaving Your Dachshund Home Alone
When you need to leave your Dachshund home alone, you can take some basic steps to make its solo time more successful. The goal is for your dog to be comfortable, safe, and entertained while they’re on their own.
When leaving any dog home alone, you’ll need to protect your pet from danger by taking actions such as safely storing toxic plants, cleaners, or medications. Make sure your pup can’t get into the trash, chew electrical cords, or ingest other foreign substances.
Because of their long bodies and short legs, Dachshunds are at higher risk of back and neck injuries. Due to this unique danger, Dachshund owners must take extra steps to keep their dogs safe.
Dachshunds should generally avoid jumping on and off furniture or stairs. Dogs with a history of back injuries may need to avoid climbing stairs. Use safety gates to barricade your stairs if necessary. Place ramps or doggy stairs near furniture to give your Dachshund a way to get up and down safely.
Of course, the way to avoid most, if not all, of these dangers is to keep your Dachshund in a crate when left alone. The next best option is to confine your dog to a single small room that’s been dog-proofed. Never leave your Dachshund outside unsupervised, even in a fenced yard.
Provide your Dachshund with a comfortable place to rest and snooze while you’re gone. If they stay in a crate, add a bed or blankets. Dachshunds enjoy burrowing and nesting, so they may enjoy having both options.
If your Dachshund is a destructive chewer, you’ll need to be careful which bedding you offer to ensure they don’t destroy and ingest any.
Make sure your Dachshund has access to water and food. Keep in mind that if your dog drinks a lot of water, it may have difficulty holding its bladder until you get home. You may provide only a small amount while your dog is alone, but if that’s the case, limit how long you’re gone.
To help your smart Dachshund stay entertained while left alone, provide a variety of toys. Safe chew objects, puzzle toys, and balls to chase are all options. If your Dachshund lives with another canine friend, consider tug toys or ropes they can use together.
Another pet can also keep your Dachshund entertained; however, if you have any concerns over how well they get along, don’t leave them alone together. Dachshunds were bred to hunt rodents, and it’s likely not safe to leave them alone with small exotic pets and possibly even cats, depending on how well-socialized they are together.
If you are away from home longer than 4–6 hours, consider asking a friend or neighbor to come by and play with and walk your Dachshund.
Dealing With Separation Anxiety
Some Dachshunds may not tolerate being left alone well and develop signs of separation anxiety. To minimize this risk, socialize your Dachshund early and continually, helping them feel secure and confident on their own without relying on you. Gradually get your Dachshund used to staying home alone by starting with short trips and working up to the full 4–6 hours or more.
Monitor your Dachshund for signs of separation anxiety.
There are several potential solutions depending on how severe your Dachshund’s separation anxiety becomes.
Many dogs feel more secure in a crate; as we mentioned, they also help keep your dog safe. Leaving a TV or radio on can keep your Dachshund company. Interactive pet cameras are now available that allow you to see and talk to your dog from afar.
Ask your vet if anxiety medication is appropriate for more severe cases, such as if your Dachshund starts to hurt itself. You could also consider enrolling your pup in a doggy daycare program if they don’t seem happy at home alone.
While some Dachshunds may tolerate being left alone better than others, the breed is generally too social to handle extended periods on their own. When deciding which dog breed will best suit your lifestyle, tolerance of being left alone is one factor you should consider.
As we discussed, there are many steps you can take to help your Dachshund get used to spending at least some time alone. However, if you lead a busy lifestyle and are rarely at home, a different breed or even another type of pet may be a better option.