5 Tips for Leaving a Dog Home Alone

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Dog Care By Meg Marrs 3 min read December 9, 2019 1 Comment

leaving a dog home alone

One is the loneliest number – a fact any pooch can tell you!

leaving a dog home alone

Your dog would love to spend 24/7 with you, but the truth is that many of us need to spend large parts of the day working in an office or running errands out and about. While some humans treasure alone time, dogs despise it. However, there are some simple things you can do when leaving your dog home alone that can make their lives a little easier:

 1. Get Them Nice and Tired

Before leaving your dog home alone all day, get them nice and tired by taking them for a long walk or run (maybe even a canicross adventure).

Remember, a tired dog is a happy dog. You know that happy feeling you get from endorphins after exercise? Your dog gets that too!

 2. Hire a Dog Walker

If you can’t get home during the day at all to take your dog for a quick afternoon romp, the smartest thing will be to hire a dog walker to come by to get your dog out and about at some point during the day.

Find the perfect pet sitter at Sittercity.com

3. Get Another Dog

Because dogs are social animals, sometimes having a 2nd dog can go a long way towards preventing separation anxiety.

how to leave your dog home alone

However, this won’t always be a solution – everyone’s situation is different. You need to consider the breed, gender, training, and temperament of the 2nd dog, and even taking all that into consideration, it may still not get along with your original dog. Then you have a major poor crisis on your hands.- x2!

4. Use Toys to Prevent Bordem

A lot of negative dog behavior that happens when leaving your dog home alone for the day stems from the fact that your dog is just plain bored.

The same applies to children – it’s the times when you aren’t keeping them occupied that they are most likely to cause trouble.


Dog toys are a great way to keep your dog happy while on his own. The best dog toys will challenge your canine friend and keep him or her occupied all day. Toys with food inside of them are especially recommended. If your dog gets bored with new toys quickly, consider joining a monthly subscription box service such as BarkBox.

You might also want to consider giving your dog chew treats that will take them a significant amount of time to get through – like raw hide treats or bully sticks. Dogs should also always have access to water throughout the day. If you aren’t around to change your dog’s water periodically, consider an automatic dog waterer to keep water flowing and fresh.

5. Consider What Kind of Dog to Get When You’ll be Gone All Day

Not all lifestyles lend themselves to owning a dog. It’s important to keep in mind how your life may have to change once you have a dog. You’ll have to go straight home after work, make plans for your dog when you go on vacation or even stay somewhere else overnight. It’s a huge lifestyle change with a ton of added responsibility.

That being said, if you know you’ll be spending large chunks of the day away from home, keep that in mind when choosing a dog.

Consider looking at lower energy breeds that are known for calm demeanors. If you have a puppy but aren’t sure of its breed, consider a dog breed identifier kit. Knowing your new dog’s breed can help you find solutions for breed-specific behavioral problems.

It’s also smart to consider adopting an older dog. Older dogs have a ton of love to give, but don’t tend to be as energetic puppies, so they usually don’t mind taking it easy and relaxing when home alone. Plus they’re already house trained! An older dog may definitely be the way to go if you spend all day at work.

What’s the Longest Time I can Leave my Dog Alone?

Most agree that 8 hours is the most you would ever want to leave a dog alone for, taking in mind physical discomfort and emotional. For puppies, that time needs to be much shorter as their bladder control isn’t as developed. This may apply to senior canines with bladder issues as well.

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Written by

Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs is the Founder and Director of Marketing at K9 of Mine. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!


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My puppy has a lot of energy and don’t like to be left alone.


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