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How long can you leave a dog alone?

As much as you'd love to stay home and cuddle with your adorable dog all day, it isn't always doable due to having to go to work, school or run errands. That said, you're probably wondering how long you can leave your dog alone and what they do all day while you're gone. Our Port Jefferson vets answer these questions today.

How long can you leave a dog at home alone?

As a dog parent, you probably enjoy spending quality time with your pet. Who doesn't enjoy being around a furry four-legged friend who is always happy to see them? However, you will most likely have to leave them alone on occasion to go to work, run errands, or attend school. So, how long can you leave your dog alone, and what will they do while you are away?

The answers to these questions will be determined by your dog's overall personality, age, and breed. Young puppies under 6 months of age should not be left alone for more than 2 or 3 hours due to the risk of separation anxiety and bladder control problems. When you must leave your young puppy alone, it is always best to keep them in a puppy-proof room or crate to ensure their safety and prevent them from breaking anything or causing mischief.

As your puppy matures, you may gradually increase the amount of time you leave them alone. Adult dogs can usually manage on their own for 4 to 6 hours per day. However, many dogs are able to adjust to being alone for 8-9 hours while you are at work, as long as they have enough space to move around comfortably.

If your dog is calm, he or she may take a long, restful nap while you are away, or curl up with your favorite sweater or on the usually off-limits sofa to relax. Other dogs may practice their counter surfing skills by jumping up onto your kitchen counter to chew on something they are not normally allowed to have or to steal a treat.

However, if dogs with separation anxiety do not have another outlet for their anxious energy, they may become destructive, breaking valuables or destroying furniture. If your dog has this problem, you can start by leaving them alone for short periods of time and gradually increasing the amount of time you spend away.

Once a dog is able to handle being alone for 4 hours, they should be able to manage 8 hours. 

Pugs, Chihuahuas, Basset Hounds and French Bulldogs are usually the best breeds that can be left alone for long periods of time. 

What can I do with my dog while I am at work?

While some dogs tolerate being alone for a short period of time during the day, they do not necessarily enjoy it. Dogs are pack animals that require companionship from their owners to be content and comfortable. Here are some things you can do to help your dog while you're not home:

Provide Them With Entertainment

Before you leave make sure your pup has a toy to keep them busy and occupied while you are away, such as their favorite stuffed animal or a puzzle toy to provide them with a fun challenge.

Communicate With Them

Technology allows you to communicate with your dog even when you are not at home. Pet cameras allow you to communicate with your canine companion, soothe them with your soothing voice, and even keep an eye on their behavior so you can reward them with lots of yummy treats.

Help Them Feel Safe

Offer your dog a sense of security or safety by swaddling them in a jacket or keeping them in their crate with enough space to move around and play. Your pup might be hesitant at first but, it can be a lifesaver in the long run.

Pet Boarding

If you need to leave your dog overnight, you can opt for a boarding service. At Jefferson Animal Hospital, we offer overnight boarding for dogs and cats. We can provide your pooch with the care and companionship they need when you are away. We make sure they get lots of exercise, socialization, and fun! With medical boarding, we can provide your dog with any medications on schedule. Our caring Port Jefferson vets love spending time with the pets that board with us and treat them like their own.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you need to leave your dog overnight? Contact our Port Jefferson animal hospital today to book your dog's stay in our boarding facility. We look forward to meeting you and your pooch!

New Patients Welcome

Jefferson Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Port Jefferson companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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