How long can dogs be alone? 

Hondje alleen thuis

If you are the proud owner of a dog, you have probably struggled with the amount of time you are able to leave your dog alone. This might occur, in example, when you have a work event or you have to do some groceries. You may be wondering whether or not you should have a sitter come over. In this article we explain how long your dog can be left alone and we will give some tips and tricks to help your dog be more comfortable with being alone for longer periods of time. So, if you want to know how long your dog can be alone, please read along! 


The amount of time your dog can be home alone 

The amount of time that your dog can be left home alone differs with the age of your dog. Most adult dogs can be alone for about four to six hours. Of course, your dog should be somewhat used to being alone for such a long period at a time. They also should have access to water and some food. With senior dogs that might possibly suffer from incontinence, you might not want to stay away for the full 6 hours. 

Young puppies up to ten weeks should not be left alone for more than one hour. This mostly has to do with the fact that they have small bladders and are not housetrained yet. Therefore, they need to go out regularly. Also leaving your pup alone in the early stages of his or her life can cause a dog to develop (separation) anxiety. 

A puppy of about two to three months can be alone for about two hours. Their bladders are still developing and therefore still need to be taken out regularly. They also gain some more energy in the first months, which also makes that they should get some exercise during the day to keep them at ease. 

Once your dog is four to six months, they are generally able to hold their pee and are therefore able to stay home for about four hours. This is also the point in which their bladder is fully developed. It should however be noted that some dogs do need lots of exercise during this stage of their life. Especially larger dogs need to be able to release their energy. It is therefore important that you are able to go out and train with them. 

How long a dog can be alone for also depends on the breed of the dog. Some dog breeds are simply more attached to their owners or tend to have anxiety issues. This will cause them to feel uncomfortable if they are alone for many hours. It can even lead to issues of separation anxiety or for them to become increasingly stressed. As dogs like to live in groups, they find it troubling when a member of their family leaves them alone for a day. Of course. Therefore, you should always consider what type of dog breed is suitable for your personal situation. 

Hond op bank

Tips and tricks for your dog to be more comfortable alone 

There are various tips and tricks that will help your dog being more comfortable if they have to be alone. You can read them below! 

  1. Train your dog to be home alone. This means that you do not suddenly stay away for four to six hours a day. You should gradually build this up for your dog to become more comfortable with being on himself or herself. It often also helps to train your dog in an area where he or she feels most comfortable. This might be their crate or the living room. Once they are adjusted to being alone in those spaces, you can slowly let them move around in the house and become more familiar with those places as well. 
  2. Give your dog enough exercise before leaving your house. In doing so, you prevent your dog from feeling bored or annoyed by the fact that they are home alone. If they do feel that way, they might start with annoying behavior like barking and scratching. Through tiring your dog, your dog will most likely fall asleep very quickly, which allows you to leave peacefully. 
  3. Provide them with toys. By giving your dog a toy or game to play with while you are gone, they will have something to do. That way they are not bored