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How long can you leave a dog alone?

How long can you leave a dog alone?

Having a dog is an amazing, life-changing experience and you probably cherish time with your pooch, but what happens when you need to run errands or leave your home without them? In this post, our Turlock vets discuss how long you can leave your dog at home alone, how to keep them comfortable, and why boarding might be a good choice. 

Leaving a Dog Home Alone While at  Work or Travelling 

Your dog is your faithful friend, waiting to greet you when you wake up in the morning and eagerly looking forward to pets, walks, and time with us. However, you can't be with your pup 24 hours, 7 days a week - you've got to go to work, run errands and see family and friends, too. So how long can you leave your dog alone? What kinds of things do they do while you're gone? 

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions. How much time your dog can spend alone and what they do will depend on your pup's age, breed, and general personality.

Young puppies under 6 months old should not be left alone for more than 2 or 3 hours at a time, due to the fact they won't have control over their bladder for longer than this. A puppy this young will also be likely to experience separation anxiety. When you do leave your young puppy alone, our vets recommend keeping them safe in a crate or confining them to a puppy-proofed room where they can't break anything or get into too much mischief. 

As your puppy grows older, you can gradually increase the amount of time you leave them alone. Adult dogs are typically okay on their own for four to six hours a day. That said, many dogs can adapt to being alone for 8-9 hours a day while you are at work - if they have enough space to move around comfortably. 

French Bulldogs, Basset Hounds, Chihuahuas, and Pugs are generally the best breeds for being left alone for long periods.

What do dogs do all day while they're alone? 

While their owners are away, most dogs will eventually settle in for a nap - or three. They might also play with other pets in your home, or any toys left out for them. Eventually, they may chow down on some food, so make sure you leave enough for your pup for the day if he tends to graze on his meals. 

There is also a risk that they'll break the rules and misbehave, either by sleeping on the bed if they're not normally allowed to or sniffing around for snacks. 

How to Make Your Dog's Time Without You Enjoyable 

Though most dogs can tolerate being at home alone for extended periods, that doesn't mean they prefer it. Because dogs are pack animals, they need their owner's companionship to be comfortable and happy. Here are some things you can do to help your dog feel safe and content when you are not home: 

Make Sure They're Entertained 

Check that your pup has a toy to keep them busy and occupied while you are away, such as their favorite stuffed animal or a puzzle toy that they can get kibble from, to provide them with a fun challenge and something to keep their mind busy. 

Help Them Feel Safe 

Swaddling your dog in a jacket or keeping them in their crate with enough space to play and move around may help them feel a sense of security. While your dog may seem unsure of these measures first, they will likely warm up to them. 

Use a Camera to Keep an Eye on Your Pup During the Day 

Digital pet cameras allow you to keep an eye on your dog even when you are away from home. You can also talk to your pooch through the camera so you can soothe your canine companion with your calming voice or redirect their behavior so you can reward them with yummy treats. 

Consider Pet Boarding or Doggy Daycare in Turlock 

At Taylor Veterinary Emergency, we know that deciding where to leave your dog while you travel or are away from home can be a difficult choice. Whether you are heading out on vacation for a couple of weeks, or off on a business trip for a couple of days, you will need to find appropriate care for your dog. Doing a little research into the options for pet care while you are on vacation, and what features each service offers, can help to make your decision easier.

Dog and Puppy Boarding Facilities

If you can't bring your dog on vacation, today's pet boarding facilities offer a range of services, with clean kennels and lots of love and attention.

Services range from pet spas and doggie summer camps to medical boarding for pups who need extra love and attention, with price points that range from extravagant to affordable.

If you are in the process of looking at a boarding facility for dog care for your vacation, be sure to check out a few different places in your area to find a facility that best suits the needs of your pet and your wallet.

Amenities at Dog Boarding Facilities

Price is typically a good indicator of the level of service provided at a given dog boarding facility. If your pooch will be treated to luxurious hotel-like spaces with comfy sofas to lounge on and a TV to watch, you're going to pay more than you would to board your pet at a standard facility with roomy crates and fenced dog runs.

If you plan on being away for a little longer, then you may want to consider signing your dog up for a fun camp. Dog camps across the country offer loads of time for your dog to explore outdoors, as well as added facilities in some cases for swimming and playing with other dogs.

Pet Boarding at Taylor Veterinary Emergency

Our team at Taylor Veterinary Emergency understands you might be nervous about leaving your pet for any length of time, even while you are at work or out for the day. 

We're here to help put your mind at ease by giving your dog or cat all the love and care they need while you can't be with them. We offer comprehensive boarding services for pets, including dogs and cats who require monitoring and/or medication. 

At our dog boarding facility in Turlock, you'll find several amenities, including: 

  • A clean, roomy, climate-controlled kennel for your pup to sleep in
  • An outdoor play area and ample daily playtime with staff
  • Daily walks
  • Breakfast and dinner served in the kennel
  • Special diet accommodations
  • Evening bathroom break
  • 24/7 monitoring

We also offer deluxe kennels with radiant barrier roofing to help with temperature control in both summer and winter. 

The outdoor section is a tiled 5-foot by 7-foot area with a doggie door that leads to an insulated and tiled 5.5-foot indoor area, complete with a large pet cot and fuzzy blanket at night. These deluxe kennels provide your dog(s) with double the space and freedom to enter and leave as they please. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you need a comfortable place for your dog to stay for the day, or longer? Contact our vets in Turlock today to learn more about boarding your canine companion with us. 

New Patients Welcome

Taylor Veterinary Emergency is accepting new patients! Our experienced Turlock vets are passionate about the health of cats and dogs. Get in touch today to book your first appointment.

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