Dogs Home Alone: How Long is Too Long?
Updated: Feb 17
With school breaks and the holidays upon us,
our normal schedules are often turned upside down.
But when it comes to our dogs,
how long is too long to leave them home alone?
Just because you can leave your dog alone, this doesn’t mean you should on a daily basis. Dogs are known as pack animals and as such, they instinctively rely upon the presence of the pack for security and comfort.
Each dog is an individual and their specific needs and requirements are as unique as they are. While some dogs can cope just fine with being alone, others cannot tolerate being on their own.
K9 Types Who Hate Being on Their Own
These include canines who are:
Elderly or sick;
The Consequences of Leaving a Dog Alone Too Long
For many dogs, being left alone regularly for 10 to 12 hours a day creates unnatural stress and can lead to one of two common canine issues, isolation distress and separation anxiety.
This is a more generalized, lower intensity of K9 stress. While the dog doesn’t really want to be left alone, another human or dog will usually prevent serious separation anxiety.
According to the Whole Dog Journal, K9 separation anxiety is an extreme case of isolation distress. It is akin to a full-blown panic attack when left alone.
Separation anxiety is also known as monophobia, the (abnormal or exaggerated) fear of being alone or isolated.
This includes dogs who are hyper-bonded to one person (for example, Great Danes who are often referred to as “velcro dogs”). These dogs will still exhibit stress even though other humans - or dogs - are in the home.
Dog Breeds Who Hate Being on Their Own
Pomeranian Australian Shepherd Japanese Chin Maltese
Pug Border Collie
English Cocker Spaniel Chihuahua Chinese Crested Bichon Frise
Fox Terrier King Charles Cavalier Spaniel
Yorkshire Terrier Dachshund
French Bulldog Shih Tzu
Great Dane Toy Poodle
American Pit Bull Terrier Havanese
NOTE: This is not an inclusive list of every breed that hates to be left alone. It’s critical to know your own dog best.
Know YOUR Dog
As mentioned before, dogs are individuals with their own temperaments, character traits, quirks and possible phobias. When choosing your next dog or figuring out how to give your current dog the very best quality of life, think about their own specific needs each day and whether you can give them the attention, exercise and more they need to be healthy and happy.
For example, do you spend more time doing things with your dog on the weekends just to leave them alone for many hours during the week? For some dogs, this can be a difficult and stressful adjustment with disastrous consequences.
A Word of Wisdom
If life requires you to be away from your beloved canine regularly, bring in a professional dog walker or pet sitter to help fill those long hours. By providing enough:
Physical activity; or
you can help your dog from acting out in negative behaviors.
Accidents in the house;
Destructive behaviors (chewing, clawing and escaping);
Becoming overly anxious;
Excessive barking/howling; or
Even becoming aggressive.
Your Pet AuPair
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Offering Dog Walking and other Pet Services in the Harford County, Maryland areas of Bel Air, Forest Hill, Abingdon, Fallston and Churchville!
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