Parents, you know the look - the one when you're getting ready to leave the house and your pup knows he isn't coming with you. You know, the sad puppy dog eyes are designed to make you feel supremely guilty for daring to leave.

That guilt is usually transformed into a sinking feeling of dread as you head out, knowing that when you return, any number of fates may have befallen your possessions in a fit of canine protest: soiled carpets, chewed-up shoes, scratched doors, and shredded pillows.

Leaving your dog alone at home can be tough on you and your dog. We've put together this article to help you and your pup get through times when leaving your dog alone at home is unavoidable. We'll share how to help our pets feel far more comfortable when alone and help you find peace of mind for yourself.


Pets Home Alone: What Do Dogs Do All Day?

We all know the question that keeps many pet parents awake at night. What do dogs do when they are left alone?

The answer to that question often depends on your dog’s personality. Some dogs that do well alone will take a quality nap while they patiently wait for you to come back.

If your furball is more mischievous, they might turn to typically forbidden activities, like climbing on the off-limits sofa or jumping on the counter to snatch a yummy treat.

However, some dogs are terrified of being left alone. Dogs who suffer from separation anxiety channel their fear and nervousness into destructive behavior, resulting in ruined valuables and stressed-out pets.

Luckily, dog owners can now tell the difference thanks to the modern technology of the Petcube Cam, a pet camera that comes with two-way audio, night vision capabilities, and high-resolution video footage. This can help you understand how your dog is coping with your absence.

How Long Can You Leave a Dog Alone?

Understanding the limits of the question ‘how long dogs can go without food and water’ is crucial for their health and wellbeing. Generally, a healthy dog can survive for about 5 to 7 days without food, but dogs can only go 2 to 3 days without water. However, these numbers can vary greatly depending on the dog’s age, size, health, and environment. Also, just because dogs can go without food and water for a short time doesn't mean they should.

Dehydration is more critical than starvation. Dogs lose water constantly through panting, breathing, and urinating. They can quickly become dehydrated without adequate water intake, leading to serious health issues. If you suspect your dog is dehydrated, it's essential to provide water immediately and consult a veterinarian.

To ensure your dog’s safety, especially in unforeseen circumstances, Petcube’s Emergency Fund is an invaluable resource for pet parents. The fund manages the financial burden of unexpected veterinary expenses brought on by an emergency. Not only does this ensure that your precious canine receives the necessary treatment without delay, but it also provides you with the peace of mind of knowing you're covered in an emergency.

The Emergency Fund by Petcube offers you up to $3,000 a year for emergency care. As a loyal blog reader, we're offering you an exclusive 27% discount when you sign up – follow the link!

It’s always best to plan and ensure your dog's needs are met, even when you're not around. Ensuring they have access to clean, fresh water, maintaining a consistent feeding schedule, providing plenty of exercise and attention, and having a financial backup plan are critical to ensuring your day stays happy and healthy.

How Long Can You Leave a Puppy Alone?

Puppies require a lot of attention, care, and frequent interaction. The general rule of thumb is that a puppy can be left alone for approximately one hour for every month of age, up to a maximum of four hours at a time. For instance, a two-month-old puppy should not be left alone for more than two hours.

Leaving a puppy alone for too long can lead to various issues, including anxiety, destructive behavior, and accidents. Puppies are still learning to control their bladders and bowels, so they must be taken out frequently. Additionally, they are exploring their environment and learning what is acceptable behavior, which requires supervision and guidance.

Leaving a puppy alone at home for the first time is challenging, not just for you but for your pup, too. Consider doing some puppy separation anxiety training to help them get used to you leaving in a gradual way rather than all at once.

To keep an eye on your puppy while you’re away, consider investing in a Petcube Cam. This device lets you monitor your puppy through a live video feed directly on your smartphone. With features like two-way audio, you can even talk to your pup and comfort them if they seem anxious or distressed. This technology helps bridge the gap when you can't be physically present, providing peace of mind and a way to check in on your puppy's wellbeing.

Remember, while technology can be a great aid, it doesn’t replace the need for physical care and interaction. Puppies need socialization, training, and affection to grow into well-adjusted dogs.

How Long Can You Leave an Adult Dog Alone?

The general guide is that dogs should be allowed to be left alone for around 4- 6 hours a day. However, this duration might not be suitable for every dog. Some dogs may suffer from separation anxiety, leading to destructive behaviors or excessive barking when left alone for too long. Others may become restless or depressed. Understanding your dog's needs and tolerance for being alone is essential.

Well-known dog behaviorist Cesar Millan emphasizes his mantra “exercise, discipline, and only then, affection.” To prevent separation anxiety, he recommends giving your dog a thorough workout before you leave so that they are tired out and more compliant to being left behind.

Can I leave my dog alone overnight? Dogs are creatures of habit, and if your routine is to be at home at night, your dog may find it difficult when the sun goes down and you don't come home. You may be able to train them to get used to your absence by staying out once it's dark for increasingly more extended periods. But this will take time for your dog to adjust to.

If you need to leave your dog alone for extended periods regularly, providing them with adequate stimulation is essential. This includes exercise before you go and after your return, toys to keep them occupied, and a comfortable resting area. Dogs are social animals and thrive on interaction, so if your lifestyle requires you to be away frequently, consider a doggy daycare or a pet sitter.

It's also crucial to ensure that your dog can always access fresh water. If you will be away for more than the recommended time, having someone check on your dog to provide food, water, and a bathroom break is better.

Understanding your dog's limits and providing the right environment and care when you're away can help ensure their happiness and wellbeing.

What to Do with Your Dog While You're at Work?

Balancing work and pet ownership can be challenging, especially when leaving your dog alone for several hours. The first step is creating a safe and comfortable environment for your dog. This includes a cozy resting area, stimulating toys, and access to food and water.

If your dog struggles with being alone, consider using a Petcube Cam. This innovative device lets you monitor your dog while you’re at work, offering live video streaming, two-way audio, and even alerts for unusual activity. You can interact with your pet, easing their loneliness and keeping them engaged.

Another option is to enroll your dog in a daycare facility. Doggy daycare provides your pet with socialization, exercise, and care, making it an excellent choice for active or social dogs. Hiring a pet sitter or a dog walker can be an excellent alternative for dogs that prefer the comfort of their own home.

When You Get Back – Things to Do

When you return home, you'll be met with frantic adoration, great big welcome-home jumps and licks, and one enthusiastically wagging tail. Whether you've been gone for an hour or six, your dog has missed you, and it's an excellent time to lavish some attention on your canine companion.

Take your dog out for a long walk or play a thoroughly exhausting round of fetch to help your dog release some tension and pent-up energy. If your pup’s been at home all day, they will relish the opportunity to run about and stretch their legs. A good play session will also help reassure your dog and strengthen the bond after your absence.

Dog Breeds That Do Well Alone

Even though every dog has their own personality, some dog breeds are known to cope with solitude much better than others. Breeds who do well alone are mostly known to be less active and energetic than others. But this does not mean that other dogs are definitely dog breeds with separation anxiety.

Dog breeds that can be left alone for more extended periods include breeds like:

  • Basset Hound;
  • French Bulldog;
  • Chihuahua;
  • Shar Pei;
  • Pugs;
  • Bull terrier;
  • Chow Chow;
  • Akita Inu;
  • Boston Terrier.

Dogs that can be left alone for 8 hours while you're working are usually intelligent, housetrained dogs that can entertain themselves in your absence. Pooches with this personality type are eager learners and don't rely on their owners to keep them company throughout the day.

Dog breeds that can be left alone for long periods include Labrador and Golden Retriever, Beagle, Peekapoo, or Shiba Inu. Naturally, long-term periods imply that the period is up to 8 hours a day and not more.

Of course, you shouldn't forget about adorable mutts. Each dog has a personality of their own, and sometimes, the breed of the dog only plays a small role in your dog's temperament.


Do dogs get lonely?

Dogs are social animals and often form strong bonds with their human family and other pets. They can feel lonely, anxious, or bored when left alone for extended periods. Signs of loneliness in dogs can include excessive barking or howling, destructive behavior, changes in eating habits, and symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Why does my dog cry when I leave?

Dogs are pack animals and are used to doing everything as a group, including eating, playing, and sleeping. You are part of your dog's pack, so it's hard for them to see you leave. This can trigger anxiety in some dogs and cause things like incessant barking while you’re out.

How do you stop a dog barking while you're out? Give them a good workout before you go, and leave them with stimulating and enjoyable toys to play with to entertain themselves.

Should I crate my dog when leaving the house?

Deciding whether to crate your dog when leaving the house depends on various factors, including age, temperament, training, and how long you anticipate being away.

A crate can be helpful in offering your dog a safe place to stay when you're not there, keeping them out of trouble. But your dog must be crate trained to ensure that the crate is associated with positive experiences and not seen as a punishment.

While most of us tend to feel guilty when crating our pups for the first time, Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan explains, “It’s all about the energy and the body language. It’s not what you say.”

Crates may make some dogs more anxious, so consider dog-proofing a room or area where your dog can stay safely while you're out.

Why do dogs get so excited when you get home from being out?

There are a few reasons why your dog gets so excited when you return home. Of course, your dog is happy to see you – they see you as their family and are glad you’ve returned.

Some dogs get extremely anxious when their owner leaves, so they are overjoyed when you get home out of relief that you’ve returned.

Dogs are creatures of habit, so they anticipate you’re your routine. They know you’ll come home in the evening, so their anticipation builds throughout the day. They also have a positive association with your return – perhaps they know that when you get home, it's time for a walk, playtime, or even dinner time.

Each dog’s excitement level can vary based on their personality and breed. It’s important to greet them calmly and positively reinforce a calmer greeting to avoid them getting overly exuberant and jumping or accidentally injuring themselves.

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