You can not adopt a dog and stay at home with it 24 hours a day. Eventually, it will have to spend some time alone, sometimes for extended periods. So how long can you leave a dog at home alone? Read this article to find the answer to that question, so you can take care of your pet responsibly.
People adopt pets to get company. In return, they in turn give a promise to take good care of them. This does not mean that they have to be at home all day, which is impossible due to work, errands and other daily activities.
A common question is: should you adopt a dog if you know it has to spend many hours alone at home? The general answer to that question is: no. But if you now decide to go ahead with the adoption anyway, here’s what you need to know:
Age is important
Although we would like to give you a specific answer on the exact number of hours you can leave your dog at home alone, there are a number of factors that affect the answer. One of them is age. Leaving a one-year-old dog alone is not the same as leaving a three-month-old puppy alone.
The puppy has a much harder time spending a lot of time at home alone, and it can get separation anxiety. You must also remember that the puppies’ biological needs are greater than those of adult dogs, so the less time it is alone the better.
How long have you had the dog
You need to consider how long you have had your dog. If it has been a while and it is already comfortable at home and sure that you will return, it will not be as stressed as it was before when it just arrived at your home. If you have just adopted a dog, start by leaving the dog at home alone for just a couple of hours a day. It will probably feel scared, abandoned and sad.
Experts recommend adopting a pet only if the animal will initially not have to spend more than three or four hours alone at home a day, at least initially. In fact, it is not good for a dog to stay home alone for more than 8 hours, and preferably the figure should be significantly lower than that.
A dog that does not go out much, especially if it is not trained or is still a puppy, can start to show behavioral problems. It can start chewing furniture, shoes and doors. It can bark so much that the neighbors start complaining. These are visible signs, but there are other less obvious ones that you should pay attention to.
When your dog spends too much time alone at home, it can suffer from many emotional problems as well as problems with self-esteem. The most common are feelings of abandonment, being unwanted, guilt, fear of an unfamiliar environment, stress, anxiety and depression.
Only by spending many hours at home alone can the dog’s intestinal flora and bodily system be disturbed. This happens when it is unable to perform its needs, such as pooping or urinating when needed. A dog can “hold on” for up to 8 hours, but it is not natural or comfortable. Therefore, the dog’s natural cycles can be disturbed.
Schedule a home visit
You must also remember that a home visit in the middle of the day can be a good way to break up the 8 or 10 hours you leave your dog at home alone. If the 8 hours of solitude are at night when the dog is sleeping, it is also easier for it to deal with it.
No matter what you decide, we assure you that if your puppy needs to be home for 8 hours or more, you can always ask a relative or friend to visit your dog during the day for a quick walk or some playtime. This will make the wait for your return more bearable and your pet will feel much better.