How long can you leave a dog alone for?

How long can you leave a dog alone for? - PetBuddy

How long can you leave your dog? I get asked this a lot so I'm here to help. It really  depends on a few things like age, temperament, energy level, and lifestyle.

How long can a dog stay alone? 

All dogs should be ok with spending time at home alone, it's a really basic training skill for therm to self settle and not be glued to us and that will help prevent separation anxiety. 

But how long can dogs be left alone? Really, a healthy adult dog can go for six to eight hours without a toilet break. However, less is best when it comes to regular time spent at home alone. Dogs are super social animals and love their humans and being alone for too long can lead to depression and destructiveness. My own dogs are never left alone for more than 5 hours.

How long can a puppy or older dog stay alone? 

Puppies have teeny bladders and need to go out for the loo more often. Puppies are like babies and they're not physically or emotionally capable of being left home alone for as long as older dogs are. Also, as dogs get older, it’s harder for them to spend extended periods of time on their own too as they need more frequent trips out to the loo. Puppies really shouldn't be left for more than an hour or so which is built up as they get older. 

Location matters

Where your dog is when they're left home is super important. If you choose to leave your dog in a crate then remember that they shouldn't be left in it for too long. It's difficult for them to move around and stretch so a bigger dog-proof area is always a better idea. 


When leaving your dog home alone, it's a great idea for them to be left with things to keep them feeling enriched and happy. Long lasting chews, dog safe toys and enrichment puzzles are helpful in keeping your dog engaged while you are away. Things like Beef Air Pipes stuffed with our delicious Pates will keep your dog occupied while you’re out. This helps keep your dog entertained and can even prevent destructive or disruptive behaviours such as barking and chewing things they shouln't.

Make your time together the best it can be

It’s so important to maximise the time you do have with your dog. Take advantage of the chances you and your dog have when you’re together. If you know you’ll need to leave your dog home for a period of time, get up early to get some playtime in. Some dogs love a long walk so why not take them on one and work on training games at the same time. It's so important to make sure your dog has physical and mental stimulation before you leave. It’s also an opportunity for more bonding time and helps your dog cope with longer periods of time away from you. 

Get help

When you leave your dog home alone, why not ask for some help from a friend, family member, or a professional dog walker. This gives your dog a chance to go to the loo, socialise with other people and dogs and enjoy some playtime.

If your dog struggles with alone time, it’s best sort out any separation anxiety issues right away.

All dogs should spend some time home alone, but it’s important to be thoughtful and considerate. Leave your dog alone for a reasonable amount of time given their needs.

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