Having a dog is a wonderful experience and time spent with your dog will be very rewarding, but what happens when you need to leave the house without them? Here, our Snellville vets talk about how long you can leave your dog at home alone, how to keep them comfortable and why boarding may be a good choice.
Leaving a Dog at Home Alone While at Work or Travelling
Dogs are a companion animal and they live up to that by being there for pets and cuddles all through the day. But you can't be with them 24/7, so how long can you leave your dog alone? What do they do when you are gone?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions, it depends on your dog's age, breed, and overall personality. Young puppies under 6 months old should not be left alone for more than 2 or 3 hours because of their bladder control and risk of separation anxiety. When you do leave your young puppy alone it's best to keep them safe in a crate or puppy-proof room where they can't break anything or get into too much trouble.
As your puppy gets older you can gradually increase the amount of time you leave them alone. Adult dogs are generally okay on their own for 4-6 hours a day. But, many dogs are good at adapting to being alone for 8-9 hours while you are at work if they are provided with enough space to move around comfortably.
The Basset Hound, French Bulldog, Chihuahua, and Pugs are typically the best breeds for being left alone for long periods of time.
How to Make Your Dog's Time Without You Enjoyable
Most dogs will tolerate being at home alone for extended periods but that doesn't mean they prefer it. Dogs are pack animals and need companionship from their owners to be happy and comfortable. Here are some things you can do to help your dog when you are not home:
Give Them Lots of Entertainment
Before you leave make sure 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 to provide them with a fun challenge.
Use Technology to Communicate Throughout the Day
Today's technology allows you the opportunity to keep in touch with your dog even when you are far away. Pet cameras let you talk to your canine companion so you can soothe your pooch with your calming voice, or even keep an eye on their behavior so you can reward them with lots of yummy treats.
Take Measures to Help Them Feel Safe
Offer your dog a sense of security or safety by swaddling them in a jacket or keeping them in their crate with enough space to move around and play. While your dog may seem unsure of this at first, they will quickly warm up to it.
Consider Boarding or Doggy Daycare
At Snellville Animal Hospital, 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.
What will your dog get with boarding facilities?
Standard care at most pet boarding facilities will include:
- A clean, roomy kennel for your pup to sleep in
- Exercise time outdoors before breakfast so your dog can stretch their legs
- Breakfast served in the kennel
- Out of kennel playtime in the middle of the day to allow your pooch to burn some energy
- Dinner served in the kennel
- Evening bathroom break
What are the other dog boarding services?
If you are looking for something a bit more special than a standard boarding facility, many facilities also offer the following services:
- Specialized veterinary care
- Shuttle services to and from the facility
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.