How Long Can You Leave A Puppy Alone? Leaving Your Hound 'Home Alone'

Shirin Biswas
Jan 24, 2024 By Shirin Biswas
Originally Published on Oct 28, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Dog indoors waiting for someone.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 10.3 Min

Life can get quite hectic once a puppy is brought to the household.

Although, most pet parents suffer from anxiety when the time to go out the door for work rolls in. There are a few tricks that can help your puppy be happy even after you leave.

Until puppies are around eight weeks or two months old, they need plenty of exercise, plenty of room to move around in, and a lot of food that would help them in growing. While some breeds of dogs can adjust to being alone in a room for quite a while, still others suffer greatly. Irrespective of the breeds, the first few weeks are crucial for any pup in terms of crate training, exercise, and laying the foundation of habits such as having to be alone. Keep reading to make sure that you can be stress-free about leaving your puppy alone for a couple of hours!

If you enjoyed this article, why not also check out how long do dogs carry puppies and do dogs miss their owners.

How long can a puppy be left alone during the day?

Adding a new puppy to the family can be a great time for everyone, however, these little fur-balls of energy usually love socialization and suffer from stress when the pet parents are not around.

Hence, it becomes very important for the dog's owners to be able to manage the time after their work. It is also important that while the owners are not around, the puppy does not suffer from too much stress or show any bothersome behavior. One of the main things that vets and other professionals suggest to anyone who is looking to adopt puppies is that they should make sure that they are not away from the house for long periods of time. The first few months of the dog's life are very crucial, since they would basically be trying to get used to the environment, the new home, and the parents and their schedule.

If the pup is not given proper care and attention during this time and if it is left alone without anyone supervising, there might be accidents and your pup could develop severe anxiety issues. It is best suited to puppies if their pet parents stay at home for the first few weeks of becoming a part of a new family. Puppies shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time when they are 8-12 weeks old since their bladders are small at this time. The small bladder capacity often causes the small animal to pee all over the house and create a mess. An eight-week-old puppy can only be left alone for about one hour at a time, since holding its pee for any longer would be painful and damaging.

Once the puppy is about 12 weeks old, it can be left alone for at most two hours before more pee and exercise are in order. As the animal slowly grows up from being a pup to a dog and is around three to six months old, you can start applying the rule of thumb. The rule of thumb is that the age, in terms of months, is the number of hours that your pet can go without any human interaction or assistance for bathroom-related needs. Once your pet has grown to be around six months old or more, it should become easier for you to leave home without worrying too much about the fur-ball of joy!

A puppy should be introduced to the idea of being left alone at home rather than gradually. Training also plays a huge role in this period because the pup should eventually learn to accept this as a part of the day and should not think of it as a threat. Understandably, it takes a while for puppies to understand and accept that their favorite humans wouldn't be around to give them company and engage in playtime for such extended periods of time - since there is are no full-time jobs in the puppy world that involves going out for the entire day! Hence, the puppy's psyche has to be built up gradually in such a way that it can think of the absence of the adult humans of the family as something that is okay and normal.

In order to teach your puppies that being home alone is not a bad thing, the time periods of absence have to be increased very gradually. Once a puppy has been introduced to the new home properly and has gotten acclimatized to it, the next thing to do would be to make sure that the baby is given a safe space to live in, toys and treats. Once the puppy has settled in, pet parents can try by leaving their canine friend for a few minutes. If the puppy is quiet and calm during the periods of absence, treats must be showered to show what kind of behavior is worthy of appreciation!

Training puppies to feel safe when they are in a room alone can be a lengthy process, and if you happen to have a full-time job, the best thing would be to get some help. Whether it be some friendly neighbors who volunteer to check on your pet or some professional help, human interaction can make sure that issues such as separation anxiety are kept at bay.

Can you leave your puppy at home while at work?

It might be painful to have to leave your new puppy at home for long periods of time, as as much as new pet parents hate to do it, so do their puppies.

However, people who have a tight schedule around work and have to be at the office for hours on end can hardly avoid this. While a few hours of the day can be spent outside the house when a new puppy has entered the household, you may notice that once you come back from work, your pet seems to be distressed and doesn't leave you alone. Puppies have small bladders and hence, cannot be home alone for too long. If your puppy is not yet six months old, it would probably be a good idea to hire some help if you have a job that requires you to leave the house for longer than six hours at one time.

Young puppies can only hold their pee for a couple of hours, and hence, some help is required at this age. Pee pad training will also help if you decide to not take any time off work while the new puppy is getting used to the family. Leaving a puppy in a crate for too long is not a good idea either, since no matter how safely they are tucked in with toys, the puppy is sure to want to come out for a walk or some playtime. It is also not healthy for a dog to have to hold its potty for so long.

For puppies, the best thing that working parents can do is hire some help so that the tiny animal is kept busy during the day. Once the dog grows up a little, dog daycare can also be considered since that will make sure that your canine friend is happy, engaged, and absolutely ready for cuddles once you come back home from work. It is important that a young dog is drained of its energy through walks and playtime.

How long can you leave a puppy alone in a crate?

All dog lovers and veterinarians always emphasize the importance of crate training for young dogs and puppies.

A crate helps in making sure that the dog is safe while the training for acceptable behavior around the house is still underway. If your puppy is taught that the crate is its safe space and it can spend quality time there, a better environment is created in the house. It also eliminates the scope that your pet would be eating your plants or damaging valuables around the house. If you decide to leave your pet in the crate, however, make sure to give it plenty of water, a treat that it can work to reach, and a toy or two to play with.

However, in spite of all the precautions, it is important that someone is able to check on the puppy every couple of hours while you are away at work. An 8-10 week old puppy will need to pee every hour and hence, someone needs to make sure that the animal is relieved at timed intervals. It would also help to place a few pee pads so that your buddy can use them instead of wanting to go outside.

No matter how many precautions are taken, some accidents are bound to take place. In such cases, it is important that the animals are not made to feel as if they would no longer be loved if they chew on the pee pads or pee in random parts of the house. Positive reinforcement is the key to having a healthy, happy dog!

As the puppy grows up, it can hold its bladder for longer. Once the tiny puppy is of around three months of age and is beginning to become an adult, you can begin to let them be left alone at home for around an hour to six hours at a stretch. However, it is also important to spend some quality time with the animals afterward since your absence could lead to troubling behavior such as separation anxiety and excessive barking. It is also important that the animal is given a fixed schedule to work with. If the puppy has too many fluctuations in terms of the daily routine of its favorite humans, the animal is likely to suffer from stress and anxiety, which can hamper its overall health and wellbeing.

Dachshund puppy is sitting in the middle of chaos.

What to do with your puppy when you're at work all day?

Adult dogs can be left alone at home for a few hours while you are at work if they have been trained from an early age and if the chances of separation anxiety have been negated.

If the dog has enough space to exercise and play with its toys after you leave the house and can somehow even get a treat or two through engaging puzzles, you can be quite relieved when you walk into the house and find things in perfect order. However, in order to make sure that the animal is capable of being alone for long periods of time, it is important that issues related to the parents leaving are dealt with at an early age.

When the puppy is just a couple of weeks old, make sure to create an environment that assures the animal that it is okay to be alone for a couple of hours during the day and that it won't be long until the parent comes back. Crate training comes in very handy at this time. It makes sure that the animal does not chew on your belongings while you are away. One of the most useful tips to try in order to make sure that your pet does not end up barking the entire day is giving it a piece of clothing that smells of you. This is sure to calm your dog right down!

The Importance of Teaching Your Puppy How to Be Alone

Leaving a house for a couple of hours without your dog is absolutely unavoidable sometimes and hence, it is important that the dog understands that alone time can also be a fun time!

The trick is to let your dog its crate like a safe haven where it can have fun with its toys. However, when proper crate training has been completed, feel free to keep the door ajar so that the dog can leave when potty hour rolls in! Crate training when the dog is just a couple of weeks old will make sure that you can feel free to leave the house once the dog grows up!

Dog Breeds That Do Well Alone

Some of the dogs that can do well alone are Boston terriers, miniature schnauzers, Bullmastiffs, and chow chows. While these dogs can do well when alone, they would also require more attention when they are around eight weeks old.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly factsfor everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how long can you leave a puppy alonethen why not take a look at do dogs like being pet, or can ferrets eat cat food.

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Written by Shirin Biswas

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Shirin Biswas picture

Shirin BiswasBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

With a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, Shirin has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing. She has a wealth of experience as an English teacher, editor, and writer, having previously worked at Quizzy and Big Books Publishing. Her expertise lies in editing study guides for children and creating engaging content.

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