It can be hard to leave our dogs at home when they look up at us with those big, sad eyes. As much as it would be lovely to spend every minute of the day with them, it’s just not practical.
When we have to leave our dogs home alone, bearing in mind that they are animals who need lots of love, affection, food and water, how long is it actually safe to leave them for?
Tamsin Durston, head coach at Dogs Trust Dog School, told Metro that dogs should not be left alone for more than three or four hours. The timing does depend on the dog, however, and can even vary by breed.
“Just like humans, some dogs are fine being left alone and some need more company,” explained Tamsin. “So it really depends on the individual, and if it’s been trained to be alone since being a puppy.”
Training your dog to be independent from an early age means they’ll be able to handle being alone much better. It is a gradual process that needs to be done in stages, rather than just suddenly leaving your pooch alone for hours.
It should also be known that leaving two dogs alone isn’t necessarily better than one.
“They might not help each other and you could just end up with two anxious dogs, instead of one,” warns Tamsin.
Walking them before you leave the house is a good idea as this will tire them out and they’ll be more likely to rest. Dog toys are also useful for keeping your pet occupied in your absence.
In short, it’s not fair to leave a dog for longer than four hours. If you have to, either yourself, a friend or a dog walker should break-up the time and give them a nice walk and an affectionate pat in the middle of the day.