Yes or No, should I leave my dog alone at home?

The thought about leaving your dog alone at home may come with the familiar pangs of guilt and anxiety. After which, you might not actually decide to leave them alone. However, what if you have no choice but to make that decision?

You will always ask: Are they doing okay? Are they scared? Are they eating well? Do they think you abandoned them? Did they have an accident? Those are just a few of the many endless thoughts dog owners have when leaving their dogs alone at home. Despite it being only a few hours, there are many other worries that come along with it. That includes potential ruined furniture and pee on the carpet.

Good news! It is okay to leave your dog alone at home while you are at work. However, this of course depends on a lot on whether the following factors are being done right.

In this article, we shall discuss the reasons why leaving your dog at home is plausible.

Leaving my dog alone at home — Is it safe?

What should I take note of before leaving my dog alone at home?

A puppy being left alone at home. He is sitting in front of the door.

This is the first question to ask yourself if you find yourself in a situation as such. Whether you just took a full-time job, adopted a dog, or have just begun to live on your own. All of the above involves leaving your dog alone at home, but it depends on several factors related to your pet.

Age

It is not advisable to leave a puppy alone for extended periods of time. Since they need company, are easily bored, and do not have a lot of control over their bladder. Puppies under the age of 6 months need constant company. Hence, you will have to check in with them throughout the day.

Remember that puppies should not be left alone more than two hours at a time. It is okay to leave your adult dogs alone for 6 hours a day. While elderly dogs should be treated like puppies. They should be checked on every two to four hours.

A group of dogs at a doggy daycare centre.

Alternatively, if you do not have a choice, you could consider leaving them at a doggy daycare while you’re gone. They not only provide your pup with the opportunity to socialise. They can also learn to be comfortable around other people and dogs.

Temperament

Only you know your pet’s temperament and only you can accurately decide whether or not they can be left alone.

If your pup is laid back, independent, and easily entertained by toys. They can be left alone at home alone without any huge problems. However, if they have too much energy and tend to show signs of separation anxiety. Being left alone may stress them out and you probably need to work a way to make them more comfortable.

Training

A puppy amidst his behavioural training.

Will they pee at the right place? Will my furniture be safe from not being destroyed? Do they know where to find food? Behavioural training is a good method to help solve the problem whether your pup can manage being at home alone. However, you need to make sure that they can manage being away from you. You can do so by training to be away from them for continually longer periods of time. It is recommended to start from just being a few minutes.

Useful tips for leaving your dogs alone at home!


Now that you know you can leave your dog alone at home, the following tips will make this easier for both you and your pet.

Early Exercise

A leashed dog out for a early morning walk at the field before being left at home alone for a few hours.

Building a healthy routine around your pup is important. It is especially important if you are going to be out for more than a couple of hours. That’s what pet owners do for their babies! Ideally, you should be up early in the morning and out for a run with your dog. If you have a yard, play fetch for a good half hour. You can also do the morning routine in two parts:

Start with a 30 minutes workout with the morning pee break, feed breakfast, rest and exercise for another 30 minutes. A good hour of activity in the morning will allow your dog to lounge for a few hours after. This also means they won’t have the extra pent up energy — prevents potential ruined furnitures!

Create a Controlled Space


To leave your pups comfortably in parts of your house, you can doggy-proof your house. This is especially helpful if their training is incomplete. Leaving your pup in a dog crate is feasible if it is for a short period of time (one hour). You should provide them with their favourite snack and water bowl.

Simple Shield Gate: This product can be used to help doggy proof your house when your dogs are left alone at home.
Simply Shied Gate

For longer periods, you can cordon off an area of your home with doggy baby gates. These can ensure that both your dog and your home are protected. Just make sure they have access to food and water. For smaller dogs, you can also leave a litter box in the area.

Hire a Professional


A professional dog caretaker is walking a few dogs in the park.

It is no doubt that dogs should not be left alone at home for more than 6 hours each time. However, if you cannot check in during a work day, it would be a good idea to hire professional help.

Hiring a caretaker or a dog walker is also feasible. It is especially important to only hire someone that you trust. This is because their job involves bringing them out for a walk, then securely leaving them back in your homes. You will need to trust them with your pup for 3 to 4 hours without checking in. Not only will this ensure that your dog is not feeling lonely, it also ensures that they are well-exercised.

Similar to us, dogs can get depressed too. Therefore, even if they seem fine being left alone at home all day, they might still feel sad and stressed out.

Get a Friend


A dog playing with a cat for companionship when left alone at home.

Dogs are social animals and do extremely well with other dogs if properly trained to socialise. Furthermore, if you’re lucky and your dog gets along with cats, that may be ever better. This is because cats are easier to manage and are more independent.

However, if your dog seems sad, lonely, or shows signs of separation anxiety, getting them a companion would be good. Although adopting another pet would mean more work and expenses, it does keep your pup happy. A happier dog is a healthier dog!

Useful recommendations to ease into leaving your dogs alone at home!


If you are concerned what can help you when left with no choice but to leave your pups at home. Fret not! Fortunately, there are a lot of useful products out there. You can beat the anxiety with the help of some of the few useful tools that we strongly recommend!

Interactive Camera


What’s better than installing an interactive camera? Not only can you keep an eye on them, it is also a great idea to help soothe their anxiety.

Pawbo+ Wireless Interactive Pet Camera for pet owners to monitor their dogs that are left alone at home.

You can monitor your pup while making sure they are safe from trouble. We recommend the wireless interactive camera! Besides allowing you to monitor them from your mobile, it can also dispense treats in place of you. Moreover, a two-way audio is also installed. This allows you to communicate with your pup and even keep up with their training by giving commands.

You can monitor your pup while making sure they are safe from trouble. We recommend the wireless interactive camera! Besides allowing you to monitor them from your mobile, it can also dispense treats in place of you. Moreover, a two-way audio is also installed. This allows you to communicate with your pup and even keep up with their training by giving commands.

Automatic Water Dispenser


A lot of diseases in dogs come from drinking contaminated water, which is why leaving a bowl full of water all day might not be the best idea. Luckily, there are several water dispensers out there you can use to make sure your dog has a consistent supply of clean water whenever they need it.

One of our favourites is this PetKit purifying water fountain, that not only holds 2 liters of water but also makes sure the water is clean, and notifies you when the water is running low or the system needs a replacement. A more straightforward and economical version is the Stefanplast water dispenser, PBA free and holding up to 1.5 liters. 

Indoor Toilet


For younger and elderly dogs, and for dogs in the middle of house training, it is a good idea to provide them with a place to relieve themselves inside if you are gone for a while and cannot let them out. For this, you can use  a training pee tray. Alternatively, you can use pee pads, which will conveniently absorb the moisture and smell.

Read more here and discover some tips on how you can toilet train your dog.

Interactive Toys


Dogs are incredibly smart creatures. Just like they need physical exercise, they need mental stimulation to keep them healthy, happy, and growing. Interactive toys for your dog come in handy to keep their mental juices flowing, and also to keep them entertained while you are gone. Here are our top five picks:

An interactive feeder to entertain your home alone dog.

An Interactive food bowl, to keep your dog occupied while eating. These make them work for their food, keep them engrossed and also make sure they don’t eat too much all at once.

An automatic ball launcher to play with your home alone dog.

An automatic ball launcher, ideal for those who have a safe high-fenced yard that their pet can be left in. With this, your dog can enjoy playing fetch even while you’re not there!

A treat ball to fill your dog's treats so that it can entertain them.

A treat ball that you can fill with your dog’s favourite treats, or even peanut butter. They’ll be busy for hours trying to fish their treats out.

A hide and seek plush toy to keep your home alone dog busy looking for little plush penguins inside a burrow.

A hide-and-seek plush toy to keep your furry buddy looking for little plush penguins inside a burrow.

A multipurpose interactive play mat that doubles up as a blanket and stroller liner. It can entertain you home alone dog by hiding their favourite treats.

A multipurpose interactive play mat, that can be used to hide treats in and can also double as your dog’s blanket or stroller liner.

At the end of the day, it is all about finding what works best for your dog. Remember that even if your dog seems to have trouble being left alone at home, it is all about the right training and teaching them how to be alone without you. Rest assured, there are countless working pet parents out there and it is entirely possible to work full-time and have a healthy and happy pet!

Alternatively, you could read here for more tips on dealing with destructive chewing when you are planning to leave your dog alone at home!