How Long Can Dogs Be Left Alone?
For adult dogs, 4-6 hours seems to be the most commonly prescribed number. Yet, many people leave their pets alone for 8 hours at a time as they go off to work. Some households have an easier time if there is another person in the home who has a slightly different schedule.
It would appear that many dogs can adapt to being alone for 8-9 hours at a time provided they have a means to potty and have adequate room to move. Regardless, a dog should never be crated for more than a few hours (disregarding sleepy time)—to do so is simply cruel unless they must temporarily endure it in the case of travel.
Just because dogs can adapt to being left alone for hours at a time doesn’t mean they’d prefer it. That also doesn’t include those days you’re sure to be gone for extra-long such as travel, staying overnight in a neighboring city, or just going out to meet friends.
How to make it easier for your dog to be alone
As long as you are able to meet your pets needs, spending some time away is OK, Flynn says.
There are several ways to make your dog feel more comfortable when theyre alone.
Determine where your dog is most comfortable.
The location where you leave your dog is important to consider. For maximum comfort, dogs should ideally have access to their favorite spaces or the areas they find safest and most relaxing, Stelow says.
This can be a room with their bed, their crate, or a space with lots of toys so that they can entertain themselves.
If you let them roam in your house, you should “puppy-proof” the house before leaving, she adds. Empty the garbage cans, tidy up the space, and lock certain rooms to keep your dog from getting into anything theyre not supposed to.