6 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
Humans have busy lives, we understand that, but humans are also our whole lives. When you leave your home, your dog likely spends a lot of their time alone waiting for you to come back. So, of course, most dogs would love for you to be home as much as possible.
Not only to we require love and attention, but we also need to go to the bathroom! Certain dogs can hold it longer than others, but you should try not to push the limits if possible. So, it is important for you to make sure you only leave your best friend alone for long periods of time if you have to.
How Long Should Dogs Stay Home Alone?
An adult dog can usually be left alone 4 to 6 hours, but every dog is different. Dogs that are trained better might be okay for longer periods of time, but younger dogs will likely need to be checked on much more. Ideally, a dog should not be left alone longer than 8 hours at a time.
Young puppies are the trickiest when it comes to leaving them alone. They have a lot of energy and they cannot hold their bladder for long, so they should only be left alone for 2 hours at most when they’re young. However, as they grow older, you can slowly transition them to 4 hours.
6 hours a day is ideal to adult dogs, but this can be hard to manage if you have a full-time job with a longer commute. Therefore, if trained properly, some dogs may be able to hold it for 8 to 10 hours, but it should not be expected of them.
Even if your dog can go for longer periods of time without going to the bathroom, that’s not the only thing to worry about. Dogs need attention and love from their owners. While some dogs are more independent than others, our lives revolve our humans. Therefore, sitting at home alone all day is no life for us.
We understand that life gets busy, but you should try to be home as much as you can for your dog. Otherwise, you can at least have someone check in on them during the long days.
How Often Should Dogs Be Taken Outside?
Most dogs will need to go outside every 3 to 5 hours each day. This usually means right away in the morning, some walks during the day, and then right before bed.
Not every dog can hold it for the same amount of time though. When Molly first adopted me, I only wanted to sniff outside instead of doing my business, so I would hold it for very long amounts of time. However, just because I can hold it doesn’t mean that I always want to.
Many dogs love to go outside to explore and mark their territory rather than just relieving themselves. Therefore, the more you can take them out, the better. Again, every dog is different though. The longer you have your pup, the easier it will be for you to know their behaviors.
What to Do if You’ll Be Gone too Long?
Even if humans plan to be home at a certain time, issues can happen and cause them to be late. If this is the case, then you may be worried about your dog.
If this happens last minute, then there might not be much that you can do about it, but you can always plan ahead. Maybe find a trustworthy neighbor or friend that lives nearby and let them have a spare key to your home so that they can check on your dog if needed.
If you know that you’ll be gone for a long time ahead of time, then you can plan for someone to check on your dog during the day. However, if it is last minute, you can try to see if that person is available, but it might not be guaranteed.
Make sure that you spend time with your dog as soon as you come home, especially if you’re gone for a long time. They’re waited all day for you and missed out on a lot of attention, so make up for it with the time that you do get. Don’t take time with your dog for granted.
What if Your Dog has an Accident While You’re Gone?
If your dog is home for longer than expected, then it is likely that they will have an accident. As gross as it might be, you need to stay calm. You can’t hold it all day so you shouldn’t expect your dog to.
Therefore, if an accident happens, just clean it up. Then, take your dog outside right away to see if they need to go some more. Odds are, they probably tried to hold it like they’re supposed to, but they just couldn’t anymore.
Yelling at your dog or shoving their face is the mess will not solve anything. It will only cause your dog to fear you and feel more uncomfortable when they’re home alone. Be understanding with your dog because your dog will always be understanding with you.
What Can You Do to Make Alone Time Easier for Your Dog?
Being alone can be boring for most dogs, so you need to find a way to keep them happy and entertained while you’re gone. For me, I’m content with just staring out a window for most of the day, but I know not all dogs are as easily entertained.
So, first of all, you should make sure your dog has plenty of toys to keep them busy. Give them things they can chew on and squeak so that they don’t try to destroy anything else. Also, make sure your dog is fed before you leave, otherwise they might get hungry and try to chew on things that aren’t food.
Also, make sure your dog has access to plenty of comfortable places to lay. If they get bored of playing, then a good nap is always a great way to pass the time.
If you are really worried about your dog while you’re not home, then you can install a camera to keep an eye on them while your gone. That way, you can make sure they are not getting into trouble behind your back.
The bottom line is, never leave your dog behind longer than you have to. When you get home, always reward your dog with plenty of love and attention so they know that the waiting really was worth it.
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