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How Long Can I Leave My Dog Home Alone? Important Facts To Consider

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

boxset boxer basset on couch

As pet parents, though we hate to leave our dogs home alone for any time, there are times that it just can’t be helped. After all, we have to pay for the kibble and toys our dogs love. Leaving a dog alone is never ideal, but how can you leave your pet at home without risking its health? We’ll discuss how long you can leave your dog alone and how to reduce the amount of time your dog stays by itself. Generally speaking, adult dogs can stay at home alone for 6-8 hours while puppies and senior dogs around 4 hours.

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How Long Can You Leave Your Dog Home Alone?

red Pomeranian on grey couch
Image Credit: Anna Gorina, Shutterstock

Healthy adult dogs should not stay inside for more than 6 to 8 hours without a potty break. Most adult dogs need to be let out to potty at least three to four times a day, but the frequency can vary depending on the age and health of the dog. Puppies and some aging dogs use the bathroom more frequently, and it’s best to avoid keeping them indoors for more than 4 hours. However, some puppies and seniors may go more often and require a pet sitter to care for them while you’re at work.

Do Dogs Get Lonely?

Yes, your dog does get lonely when you’re not home. Your dog needs to interact with people every day, several times a day. Another dog or cat in the house can prevent loneliness if the animals get along, but if you have a puppy, you’ll need to spend more time with the dog or get someone to help you. Puppies require more outdoor breaks and often get upset or scared if you’re gone for too long.

What Can You do to Minimize Your Dog’s Alone Time?

a pregnant beagle at home
Image Credit: Nina Buday, Shutterstock

There are a few ways to minimize your dog’s alone time, though you’ll have to leave the dog alone on occasion. While doggy daycare may not be something you want to do all the time, you might consider using the service when you’re away for your dog for an extended period. Although the cost of daycare may not fit your budget, here are some other ways to reduce the time your dog is home alone.

  • Work from home when you can
  • Hire a dog walker
  • Come home for lunch
  • Plan for someone to visit and let the dog out
  • Adopt another pet
  • Take your doggie to work with you

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Final Thoughts

When it comes to leaving your dog at home, most pet parents feel guilty, even if it’s only for a couple of hours. Some dogs become destructive and stressed when they’re alone for too long, and regardless of their behavior, all adult pups should be let out every 6 to 8 hours to use the bathroom. If you’re unable to get home in time every day to care for your dog, you can hire a petsitter, take your pet to work, or take your pet to doggie daycare.

Featured Image Credit: Anna Hoychuck, Shutterstock

Patricia Dickson

Authored by

Patricia is a pet and coffee writer and a published author under the pen name Skylar McKinzie. When she isn’t writing, Patricia enjoys spending time with her two cats and dog. Since she was a young child, she has been a pet lover and enjoys nothing more than cuddling with her pets, Mystery, and her two cats, Binx and Link. Mystery has been with her family since the day she was born, as has Link. Binx was found under the...Read more

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