How long can your dog stay home alone?

If we had it our way, we would have our dogs with us at all times. However, life sometimes requires us to be apart from our pets and leave them home alone. But guidance on how long your dog can be home by themselves is unclear, often making pet parents’ stress even worse.

How long can your dog stay home alone? What factors into this and where (or when) do you draw the line? And finally, how can you set your dog up for home-alone success?

General guidelines

How long your dog can stay home alone completely depends on your dog because every pup is different. There is no single, straightforward answer, but there are some general guidelines most experts recommend:

  • Adult dogs can be left alone for 4-6 hours, according to PAWS Chicago. Some healthy, well-trained adult dogs are able to stay home by themselves for 8-10 hours, but they shouldn’t be forced to “hold it” for more than 6 hours at a time, nor should they regularly be left for this long period of time.  If you will need to leave your dog for 8-10 hours on a regular basis, it may not be a good decision to have a dog, which is an important consideration.
  • Young puppies shouldn’t be left alone for more than 2 or 3 hours at a time.
  • Seniors should only be home alone for 2-4 hours, notes Rover.

These are only general guidelines. There are some important questions you should ask about your individual dog to determine how long they can safely stay home alone. Keep reading!

Important considerations

It is important for pet parents to understand what factors into the length of time they can safely leave their dog alone. Like we said, every dog is different. And as an owner, you know your dog best. Here are some considerations for leaving your dog alone:



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