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Can I Leave My Dog in the Bathroom While at Work? Tips & Advice

Brooke Billingsley

By Brooke Billingsley

Some dogs might be trustworthy enough to roam the house when they’re home alone, but there are many dogs that need to be protected from themselves. For some homes, this means crate training, while others use things like baby gates.

As more and more people have returned to work after the pandemic, many are left trying to come up with a solution for their dog while they’re away at work. This can be especially difficult with “pandemic puppies” that aren’t used to being left alone for extended periods. If you’ve resorted to leaving your dog closed in the bathroom while you’re at work, the one thing you should know is that you can’t take a dog that isn’t used to being left alone and lock them in the bathroom without any preparation.

The 5 Tips for Leaving Your Dog in the Bathroom While at Work

There really isn’t a straight answer if you’re wondering if it’s ok to leave your dog in the bathroom while you’re at work. There are multiple factors you need to consider before leaving your dog in the bathroom. With the right planning and preparation, the bathroom has the potential to be a safe spot for your dog to hang out during the day, though.

1. Train Your Dog

The key to leaving your dog alone for the day, whether it’s in the bathroom, a kennel, or free in your house, is preparing them for being alone. Keeping your dog in a singular space, like a bathroom, can be a great way to keep your dog safe from getting into trouble. If you suddenly close your dog in the bathroom and leave them alone for 8 hours, then your dog is likely to become stressed, which can lead to behavioral problems and separation anxiety.

Try to start training your dog to be comfortable in their designated spot as soon as you bring them home. Make their space feel comfortable and create a routine around them spending time in that space. This can be done even if you’re home to help your dog get used to the space.

Be patient with your dog because this adjustment can be difficult for some dogs. Never use their space, whether it’s the bathroom, a kennel, or somewhere else, as a punishment. They should view it as their own safe space.

woman training a maltese dog outdoors
Image Credit: Monika Wisniewska, Shutterstock

2. Make It Safe

Safety goes beyond just keeping your dog enclosed somewhere to keep them from getting in trouble. Many bathrooms aren’t safe by their very nature, so it’s up to you to make it safe for your dog.

Cleaning chemicals should be fully out of reach, whether that means using a child lock on cabinets or moving them to another room. Objections that pose an obstruction risk if consumed, like razors, tampons, and caps, should always be kept out of reach from your dog, which includes keeping trash out of reach. Electrical cords, toiletry items, electronics, and any other items that your dog might chew on or consume need to be kept where your pup can’t access them.

3. Make It Cozy

How comfortable would you be if you were stuck in the bathroom all day without a soft spot to lie or a cozy blanket or pillow? Make the bathroom as comfortable as possible for your pup. Give them a comfortable and warm place to rest.

For some dogs, leaving them with clothes or bedding that smells like you can provide them with additional comfort and a sense of company throughout the day. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of clean water to keep them from trying to drink from the toilet, sink, or bathtub.

Beagle dog drinking clear water
Image Credit: ALEX_UGALEK, Shutterstock

4. Make It Enriching

Being in a bathroom all day can get very boring! It’s important that you make the environment enriching to prevent boredom and bad behavior. Toys, puzzles, and items that smell interesting can enhance the environment for your dog throughout the day. Try rotating through items to keep things fresh and interesting. Make sure to select items that are safe for your dog. Most toys aren’t designed to be left with a dog unsupervised, so use your best judgment when selecting enrichment items for your pup.

5. Burn Some Energy

The average dog isn’t going to take to being left in the bathroom all day if they’re full of energy. Take your dog for a walk or spend some time playing with them before you leave for the day. Help them burn some excess energy before they’re stuck looking at the same four walls for half of the day.

Give them some attention and exercise at the end of the day as well. There’s nothing wrong with being out of the house during the day and leaving your dog home alone, but it’s up to you to ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise and attention when they aren’t alone.

pembroke welsh corgi dog walking on a leash with owner
Image Credit: Jus_O, Shutterstock

In Conclusion

It is typically safe to leave your dog home alone in the bathroom while you’re at work, but make sure to prep your dog and the space. Choose a bathroom with enough space for your dog to move around comfortably and make sure the space is safe for your dog. Create an enriching environment that will keep your dog entertained, as well as provide them with a comfortable space to rest.

Featured Image Credit: Alex Zotov, Shutterstock

Brooke Billingsley

Authored by

Brooke Billingsley spent nine years as a veterinary assistant before becoming a human nurse in 2013. She resides in Arkansas with her boyfriend of five years. She loves all animals and currently shares a home with three dogs, two cats, five fish, and two snails. She has a soft spot for special needs animals and has a three-legged senior dog and an internet famous cat with acromegaly and cerebellar hypoplasia. Fish keeping...Read more

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