How Long Should You Leave Your Dog Home Alone?

How Long Should You Leave Your Dog Home Alone?

One of the most asked questions by people with a fur-pal is “how long can I leave my dog alone at home.” Many animals are comfortable being alone for more hours than others. But, dogs rely on human contact, and they can suffer from isolation distress if left alone for too many hours. There’s a difference between how long you “can” and “should” leave your dog alone at home. Having a dog that helps you emotionally is a luxury. I too recently got my dog an emotional support animal letter in Portland as it helps me manage my mental condition.

I understand, we all have work and jobs, and can’t stay with our pets all the time. At some point, you have to leave your pet alone at home. Built for how long? This becomes especially important if you have a dog. You don’t want your pooch to suffer from separation anxiety and stress. But, what to do?

Let’s Start From The Moment You Bring Your Pooch Home

8 to 10 weeks old pups: 

Tiny pups require constant attention as they are growing. You have to take care of their food, water, and urine. They are too young to learn to hold their bladder, so don’t leave your pup alone for more than 1 hour when he’s 8-10 weeks old.

2-3 months old pups:

These puppies are to be checked every 2 hours. You have to take him out for urine breaks as their bladder is in the growing process.

4 months old pups:

He’s a grown up man! Yes, and a 4 months old pup can hold his bladder for up to 4 hours. However, it also depends upon the rate at which your pup is growing.

Pups older than 18 months:

Generally, for pups older than 18 months old can be left alone for 6 hours a day. But, be careful that you know everything about the breed. Different breeds react differently to these situations.

A full-grown doggo:

Well, you might think leaving a full-grown dog for 8 hours is fine, but it’s not that simple. You don’t know how he will react. He can also suffer from anxiety and cause barking problems.

Factors That Dictate The Number of Hours You Can Leave Your Pooch Alone

So, what to do to make leaving your pooch alone at home easier on him and you too? Cats are different from dogs. They just do fine even if you leave them alone for the whole day. But, dogs consider you their family. They work in a pack, and you are their pack. Once your dog has grown up, he can be left for up to five to six hours a day. But there are a few factors that can change these numbers.

Your Doggo’s Training

Yes, you can train your companion to get less stressed when left alone. If he is well trained, he can do fine by himself for longer hours than before. But, get ready to be licked all over your face once you return.

Have a Good Monitoring System

Your dog can get in trouble as soon as you leave the house. So, it’s important that you have a good monitoring will help you keep an eye on your doggo and you will feel less worried and tense about it. Installing a dog camera can be perfect for you.

The History of Your Dog

Have your dog ever suffered from anxiety or any other problem in the past, then chances are that he won’t be able to hold himself up for too long.

Your Fur-pal’s Breed

The biggest factor that tells how long you can leave your dog alone is the breed of your dog. Some dog breeds can not hold their bladder for too long, and you would need someone to help him let it out. On the other hand, a few guard dogs don’t even take potty breaks for 10 hours. Although, if you have a hound, then leaving him alone for a long period would not be a good idea.

The temperament of Your Pooch

Every dog is different, and you need to understand this. Just because your colleague’s dog can stay alone for 9 hours, doesn’t mean your dog would be comfortable too for that long if he’s alone. The personality or temperament of your dog determines whether he can be left alone for a long period or not.

How Old is Your Dog

If you have a small pup, there’s no way you can leave him alone for a long period. Similarly, a senior dog would also need your attention every 2 hours. An older dog may also have some medical conditions that need constant monitoring and medication. This can also vary the number of hours you can leave your dog alone.

Bathroom Breaks Habits

Every dog needs bathroom breaks. Some might need more than the other depending upon their bladder and habits. As I mentioned before, some guard dogs can hold their bathroom break up to 8 eights. But, this won’t be the case with every dog. So, you must be aware of your companion’s habits to know how long he will be able to hold his bladder.


Dogs need constant human contact, and it’s important for you to know that. And if your dog is an emotional support animal, you can ask your employer to let you bring your dog in the office in a crate. Doing this will help both you and your dog. He won’t have to feel any separation anxiety or stress of being left alone. And if you can’t do that, you can also find a dog sitter if your dog can’t be left alone for too long.

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