It’s understandable that not all dog owners can be at home all day with their pup. If you can, that’s great, but many people have work or school commitments and it’s often for most of the week.
It’s not always appropriate to bring your dog to work either, so your pal has to stay at home just until you get back. This raises the question though on how long is too long to leave your pet alone? Especially for adopted and re-homed dogs, that probably need more attention from you than most others.
In the past, nobody thought too much of it if a dog was left alone for a day or two with a supply of food and water. However, it’s not really fair to do this, and you could get in trouble for animal neglect if you’re doing this way too often. Truthfully, you shouldn’t leave your dog alone for any more than 8 to 10 hours in a single sitting. Lucky for us, a lot of dogs are able to adapt to this waiting period, but that’s all they’re doing really – Waiting for you!
It’s also worth knowing that dogs normally need to relieve themselves every 4 to 6 hours, and more frequently in senior dogs. It’s not really possible for most of us to quickly nip out the office at lunch to let our pooch have a wee, unless you’re in walking distance of course, and while most dogs can hold it in, they shouldn’t be left to do so for too long.
One last thing to mention is that if you’re leaving your dog alone in a crate or a cage all day, it’s not ideal to leave them in there for this long for most days of the week. Even if your dog is trained to do this and loves to nap in there, they need the freedom to move around if left alone for long hours.
Understandably, some dogs just simply can’t be trusted to free roam a house when they’re left on their own. Coming home to smelly presents or torn apart furniture isn’t what you want to be putting up with every day. If your dog is naughty, a sealed off area or room would probably be a better option just to give them some freedom to wonder around.
Taking all of this into consideration, if you feel you may want to help your dog out when left alone for too long, here’s some potential solutions that can help:
– Working from home. This is entirely dependent on what you do for a living, but if you can work from home every now and then then this is a good opportunity for you to spend time with your dog. Even if your dog is just sat next to you while you get on with things, it’s much better than being left alone.
– Bring your dog to work! Again, depending on your workplace, if its possible to bring your dog with you to work every now and then, that would do them a lot of good. Lots of new smells and people to say hello to is always a plus!
– Come home for lunch. If you can’t really work from home, but you’re not too far away then maybe consider going back to visit your dog at lunch times. While it’s not a great deal of time it would still be much appreciated by your dog and gives you the opportunity to let them relive themselves.
– Look into getting a dog walker. Whether it’s a professional dog walker, or a family member or friend in need of a bit of extra cash, your dog would benefit a lot from somebody coming in to let them out for a bit every day or two.
– Look into dog daycare. It sounds a little silly, I know, but if your dog loves to interact with other dogs then a day or two of doggy daycare while you’re at work would be fantastic.
If you have alternative advice or resolutions to leaving your dog alone during the day, let us know in the comments! We’re always interested to hear your thoughts.
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