How Long Can You Leave Your Dog Alone? - Pet Food Australia

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How Long Can You Leave Your Dog Alone?

How Long Can You Leave Your Dog Alone?

Becoming a dog parent is one of the most exciting times in your life. However, with all the love, cuddles and playtime come colossal responsibilities.

Doing mundane things suddenly has to be well-thought-out. For example, a simple grocery run turns into: ‘How can I keep my dog from barking while I’m out?’ And, ‘What if they try to Houdini out of the yard and hurt themselves?’

Ensuring that your hound is safe and occupied while you’re out is just one of the dramas you will face as a pet owner. But, unfortunately, pet owners often overlook the most crucial question: “How long can you leave your dog alone?”

Guilt can play a massive role in this question as owners constantly try to find the perfect balance between caring for their pets and making time for themselves, work, family and life.

Before we dive into just how long you can leave your pup alone, let’s look at why this is an essential topic in the first place.


2 dogs at window

It’s essential to understand that puppies and young dogs are more vulnerable to separation anxiety than older dogs. It’s also important to remember that some breeds have a higher risk of developing separation anxiety when left alone for long periods, such as Labrador Retrievers and Rottweilers.

It’s, therefore, essential to do your research into the breed of dog you’re interested in before adoption and before leaving them alone for long periods.

Another important factor to consider when leaving your pet alone is:


Dog playing

Boredom can be a massive issue for dogs when left alone. So it’s essential to factor in entertainment and engagement into their day. For example, interactive toys like Kongs or puzzles filled with treats will help keep them occupied and distracted from loneliness.

We get it; you can’t leave your work or social life behind just because you’ve had a furry family member join the pack. So, the question remains:


Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all answer to this question, as every breed and the individual dog is different. However, most experts recommend leaving them alone for 4-6 hours at most. 

In comparison, puppies are at a whole other level of demanding. Puppies need constant supervision and comfort while they adapt to their new environment to avoid anxiety problems as they grow. To prevent this, try to leave them alone for only two hours at a time until they gain the confidence to brave your work and lifestyle schedule.

Sad Dog Looking Up

So, if you’re planning to be away longer than 4-6 hours, making arrangements for someone else to look after your pet is essential. Engage a family member, friend, or professional pet sitter to pop in on your pet.

It’s essential to note that it isn’t just the length of time you leave your pup alone but also the frequency with which you do it. For example, if your pet is left alone multiple times during the week for 4-6 hours each time, this can impact their mental health and well-being if they aren’t mentally and physically stimulated. 

It’s also essential to leave them with plenty of water and food and ensure they have a comfortable bed to lie on and a few of their favourite toys.

Dog Playing in bed

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to pet parenting. The time you can leave your dog alone depends on its age, breed, and activity level. The best practice for owners is to start slowly with short periods, gradually increasing the length as everyone becomes more comfortable.

If you would like ideas on how to lessen the pain of your absence for your dog, check out our previous blogs: 5 Ways To Keep Your Pup Entertained While You’re At work or How To Wear Out Your Dog.

Good luck & happy pet parenting! 🙂

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