Can Maltipoos Be Left Alone? What You Need to Know!
By Kit Copson
Maltipoos make great family dogs—they’re compact, friendly, outgoing, and affectionate, but they also have a sensitive side that can make them prone to clinginess and separation anxiety.1 So, can Maltipoos be left alone? In short, yes, they can, but not for too many hours and it’s important to create positive associations around spending time alone so your Maltipoo doesn’t develop anxiety about you leaving.
In this guide, we’ll explore what experts have to say about how long a dog can reasonably be left alone at home and offer tips for leaving your Maltipoo alone.
How Long Can Maltipoos Be Left Alone?
This depends on how old your Maltipoo is, how healthy they are, and whether or not they suffer from anxiety issues. A healthy adult Maltipoo with no anxiety issues can be left alone at home for a maximum of 6–8 hours providing they have everything they need to be comfortable and entertained while you’re away.
For puppies, the time is shorter because their needs are different. Senior dogs and dogs with health issues also have a shorter threshold in terms of how much time they can spend alone because they may need more frequent bathroom trips or medicine to be administered.
According to the American Kennel Club, the general guidelines for how long a dog can be left alone are as follows:
|Up to 10 weeks||1 hour|
|10–12 weeks||2 hours|
|3 months||3 hours|
|4 month||4 hours|
|5 months||5 hours|
|6 months||6 hours|
|Over 6 months||No more than 6–8 hours|
What If My Maltipoo Has Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is one of the most stressful situations a loving dog parent can face. Your dog gets distressed when you leave but you have a life to live—shopping to get done, work to go to, and people to see. So, what can you do about it?
First and foremost, we would recommend working with a professional behaviorist. Behaviorists are in the best position to help you understand why your dog is so anxious about you leaving and how you can take steps to decrease their (and your) stress.
Mild Separation Anxiety
For mild cases of anxiety, you can try offering your Maltipoo something to keep them busy while you’re away—something fun or tasty that they only get when you leave the house. This could be a toy (like a Kong or an obstacle feeder) stuffed with your dog’s favorite treats to make them work for their rewards. This keeps them focused on something while creating positive associations around being alone.
You can also try leaving your Maltipoo something to remind them of you while you’re gone, like a sweater or blanket with your scent on. When you leave and come back, avoid making a big fuss of your Maltipoo and simply greet them normally. As the pack leader, your calm demeanor helps show them that there’s nothing to worry about.
Severe Separation Anxiety
Helping dogs with severe separation anxiety often involves getting them gradually used to spending time alone and desensitizing them to triggers.
Triggers could be seeing you putting your shoes on and picking up your keys. To start desensitizing your Maltipoo, you can try putting on your shoes and picking up your keys but not leaving the house. Sit down and read or watch TV instead.
When your Maltipoo starts to feel less anxious about these triggers, you can start closing a door between you and them in your home for short periods of time. Ask your Maltipoo to “stay”, then close the door to a room and reappear after a few seconds. You can repeat these sessions daily, gradually increasing the amount of time you spend out of the room.
In short, it’s all about building up the amount of time you’re away so your dog doesn’t get too overwhelmed by your absence and, with time, starts to feel more comfortable with you being away. For severe cases, it’s best to draft in a professional behaviorist for extra support.
Tips for Leaving Your Maltipoo Alone
When you’re away, you’ll want to make sure your Maltipoo has plenty to keep them entertained and comfortable. Here are our top tips for making your Maltipoo’s alone time a success:
- Provide mentally stimulating toys like puzzle feeders.
- Make sure your Maltipoo has access to their bed, food, and clean water.
- Exercise your Maltipoo before you leave to tire them out and reduce their stress.
- Consider leaving the radio on as this can be comforting to some dogs.
- Crate train your Maltipoo to help them feel safe while you’re gone.
- Consider hiring a dog walker/pet sitter to check in with your dog and take them for a stroll.
- Consider asking a neighbor or someone you trust to check in with your dog and take them for a bathroom break if they’re going to be alone for more than a few hours.
So, Maltipoos can be left alone for certain periods of time, but never for more than 6–8 hours at an absolute maximum. This also depends on your Maltipoo’s needs as every dog is different. If they’re a puppy, senior, or have health issues, their needs will be different from those of a healthy adult dog and this needs to be taken into account.
Featured Image Credit: Alex Boc, Shutterstock