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How Long Is Too Long To Leave Your Dog Alone?

How long to leave your dog alone

When you’re thinking about adopting a dog, one of the biggest things you need to consider is whether you have the time to look after them properly. If you’re out working all of the time and your dog is left at home on its own, that’s not ideal. But everybody has to go out sometimes which is fine because dogs don’t need you to be there every single second of the day. So, how do you know if you’re leaving your dog alone for too long? This is everything you need to know about leaving your dog alone.

Separation Anxiety

A lot of people think that dogs are fine when they’re left to their own devices and, while that may be true to some extent, they don’t really like it. If they’re left on their own for a few hours, they’re not going to be too distressed. But dogs start to experience separation anxiety when they’re left alone for long periods. In the worst cases, they’ll experience something very similar to a panic attack in humans, so it’s not nice for them at all. If you’ve adopted a rescue dog, they may be more prone to this separation anxiety, especially if they were abandoned by previous owners so you need to be extra careful.

Going To The Toilet

As well as separation anxiety, you need to think about how often your dog needs to go to the toilet. If they’re stuck inside and they can’t get out to relieve themselves, that’s going to lead to more anxiety. On average, dogs need to go to the toilet every 4 to 6 hours, so if you’re out at work for 8 hours without anybody to let them out, that is a bit of a problem.


Some people worry about their dog doing damage around the home when they’re out so they put them in crates while they’re out at work. This is never a good idea because it causes a lot of distress to the dog. If they’re damaging the home when you’re out, that’s a training issue that you need to tackle rather than just putting them in a crate.

What Should You Do?

So, if a dog needs to go to the toilet every 4 to 6 hours and they shouldn’t be left alone for much longer than that, what should you do? If you need to go away, even for one night, you need to put your dog into a facility like the Camelot Pet Resort until you get back. You can’t just leave food out for them because they’ll still experience separation anxiety.

Going to work is a tricky issue as well because most people are out for longer than 6 hours a day, but there are ways around it. You could pop home at lunchtime to let your dog out and spend a bit of time with them before heading back to work. If you’re not close enough to home to do that, you need to find a neighbor or dog walker that can do it for you.

Cats are fine to be left to their own devices but dogs are very different. It will cause them a lot of distress and anxiety so you need to make sure that you can get home yourself during the day or have somebody else drop by for you.



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