How Long Can You Leave a Dog Alone?

Last Updated on July, 2024

It’s heart-aching to see our cute little furry friend down in the mouth while he’s left alone. But we are forced to bid him farewell when work lay bare on our shoulders. 

We do see our dogs acting normal and OK. But are they really OK, or is “he’s fine” just a phrase to assuage our guilt? 

I know a lot of questions are plaguing your head. Alright, let me aid you through it! Here’s what you should know before you say your four-legged friend bye-bye. 

Quick Summary

Puppies under 16 weeks old should not be left alone for more than 1-2 hours. Adult dogs can be left alone for 6-8 hours a day.

The average amount of time a puppy and adult dog can be left alone varies based on age, breed, health, and other factors.

There are various ways to mitigate the negative effects of leaving a dog alone, such as exercise, training, using a crate, hiring a dog walker, and using a GPS pet tracker.

How Long Can a Dog Be Alone?

a dog lying on the floor

The main question of every pet parent is, how long is too long for a dog to be alone? 


Puppies! Someone who brings the utmost joy to a family plus who looks sentimental and sympathetic. They are much like newborn babies who need to be cared for and given attention. 

You might know that young pups’ bodies and brains are still developing, and leaving them alone for long periods can prone them to several behavioral issues, especially SEPARATION ANXIETY! 

Generally, every pup needs frequent potty breaks way more often than adults. It’s pretty obvious that all the puppies can hold their pee or poop, not for more than two hours.

On the other hand, to make matters a bit more inconvenient, pups under 16 weeks old tend to wake up in short bursts within 30 minutes to 2 hours. 

How long a puppy can be alone depends on its age, breed, health conditions, and temperament. Plus, you have to keep in mind puppies can hold their bladder for up to 1 hour for every month of life.

Just take the info below on how long a puppy can be alone, 

  • The dog below ten weeks old: 1 hour
  • Dog between 10-12 weeks old: 2 hours 
  • Dog 3 months old: 3 hours
  • Dog 4 months old: 4 hours 
  • Dog 5 months old: 5 hours 
  • Dog 6 months old: 6 hours 
  • Dog over six months old: nearly 6-8 hours

But this doesn’t mean leaving a six-month-old pup for 6 hours alone is a good idea.


Basically, adult dogs (18 months) can be left alone for a couple of hours between 6-8 hours a day. Well-behaved and well-trained dogs can comfortably stay alone if the room to roam is adequate. 

But we must consider how long your teenager can hold his bladder. He’d have to relieve himself very often if he is prone to specific health issues, mostly an elderly dog. 

Senior dogs are likely to nap for more of the day than young pups. They learn to sleep when they are home alone. 

On the other hand, a two-year-old senior dog tends to socialize more with other dogs, and they should be frequently taken out. So going home for lunch or having someone to come by to take him out is much required.

However, every dog is different in its way. Observe your partner and get to know his needs, and you’ll be able to adjust accordingly.

What Happens After You Leave Your Dog Alone?

a dog Chewing furniture
a dog Scratching
a dog standing on the ground and barking

Sometimes, dogs feel down in the dumps when we leave them alone. This is when they get depressed and improve destructive behaviors, ultimately causing lethargy. 

For some, it might not be a big deal, but for some dogs, it’s too much to bear when leaving them alone. Here are some indications when your dog feels anxious, bored, and stressed being alone. 

  • Urinating 
  • Chewing furniture and clothes 
  • Barking, howling, whining 
  • Scratching 
  • Biting 
  • Running out of reach 
  • Get lost 

Do Consider the Facts Below Before Leaving Your Partner Alone

Make Him Sweat

TIRE THE HELL OUT OF HIM!!! The more your furry friend sweats, the more he’ll become fit and behaved. 

Exercising your dog and burning out some calories helps your furry friend pass out asleep afterward; plus helps him stay healthy, break down meals, stimulate the mind, and avoid feeling things messed up. 

You can take him up for morning walks, a play session, or a brisk walk, or let your dog sniff since it both physically and mentally tires them.

The intensity of the exercise depends on your dog’s health, age, and breed.

a dog playing on the ground

In general, a healthy dog needs about 60 minutes of moderate exercise. Once again, this tires him out, so he has a relaxed lonely time.

Consider About Bathroom Breaks

Every dog generally needs to pee between three to five times a day, and as I told you, the timing may vary from dog to dog depending on their size, health, habits and how older dogs are. 

As discussed before, it’s something crucial to consider. A puppy ten weeks old is most likely to hold its bladder for just 1 hour, and pups between 10-12 weeks can have it for around 2 hours. 

Keep in mind that dogs forced to hold their urine for so long will be prone to diseases like urinary tract infections, stones, and crystals, plus there are also possible chances for the mishap to occur in the house.

If you couldn’t drive back home for the lunch break to take your boy out, you should look for a dog walker who’d help you avoid mishaps.

Let’s Teach and Train!

a human training a dog

Here’s how you make things go the right way. Training them is the actual key to success. Teach them that being alone is fine and you’ll be back to them quickly.

Try walking to the door like you’re going to leave. If your little furry baby looks panicking, ignore it and move on. Try repeating the process 2 to 3 times daily, so your partner gets used to it.

Crate training your pup could bring potential changes, or a puppy-proofed room could be a great idea too. This isn’t only a safe place for your boy but also would protect the dog from causing any harm to your house furnishings.

But keep in mind, just placing your pooch inside the crate and locking the door makes him feel stressed and could lead to separation anxiety. 

You should always leave a pup just six months and below inside a crate for 3 to 4 hours per day or 2 hours, especially if he’s still potty training.

Get to stay with your fido during every training session when it’s your dog’s first experience. Plus, to ensure that a crate is a safe place for your dog, provide him with enough food inside and give him unique toys which he only gets inside the crate.

How to Make it Easier for Your Pooch to Stay Alone 

a dog lying on the ground
  • Make Him Feel Comfortable

The best way to make it easier for your dog to stay alone is to make it comfortable. The location you owe to your dog should be puppy-proofed. 

Make sure you empty the bins and tidy up the place. Lock the rooms you think your furry buddy should not have access to. 

Give your dog access to his favorite place where he can let his tail down and relax. This can be the safe space with his bed, crate, and toys to play with. 

  • Keep His Ears Wide Awake

All dogs are most likely to relax when left alone. Any sounds of other animals and noises from outside could make your jumpy dog feel strained and disturbed. 

So try not to leave him in complete silence. Hook up your dog’s ears by playing music and leaving the television or radio on to eliminate the noises from outside.

  • Keep Him Entertained 

Keeping your pooch entertained ensures that your little buddy has a soothing experience alone. Providing him with treats before you leave could keep your dog occupied. 

Consider investing in items like; stuffed toys, food dispensing toys, interactive toys, treats and food puzzles, and calming supplements that could relieve your dog from anxiety and boredom. 

How Can You Break Your Dog’s Time Alone?

a human holding a dog
a dog with a dog walker
a dog inside the car

If you push on to be a dog owner, you must be creative. Here are my ideas to minimize your dog’s time alone.

  • Doggy Daycare

Of course! Consider sending your pup to daycare if you want to. Not only does it improve social interaction, but it also helps your dogs get the necessary activities to grow into well-behaved companion animals.

It would be best if you also remembered most dogs are not a good fit for daycare, especially pups plus, look for a clean, well-designed place with professional staff who’d handle dog interactions. 

  • Hire a Dog Walker

You’d hire professional dog walkers who could offer you quick home visits, neighborhood walks, and even daily training. You’d likely find dog walkers everywhere since the industry is now up to the hype.

  • Try Heading Home for Lunch

If not every day, consider having frequent visits to home during the work week to let your furry friends outside to relieve themselves and have quality time. 

  • Arrange Someone to Look After

It can be anyone with whom your dog feels comfy. You all must have already known someone trustworthy to set up the job. 

And your partner would be thrilled to keep up with midday visits.

  • Take Him With You for Work 

The idea could make you step back from doing it. While most dog owners respond by pulling off the idea from the list, it’s sometimes possible. 

It might be like, THIS AIN’T COOL, but this will be cool!

Is Alone Time Important for a Dog?

Of course, it is—a possible answer for any good dog owner. Leaving your dog alone will not only build his overall behavior but also helps you go for any occasion with no hassle and distress.

Make sure you start training your puppy before adolescence. Begin it small and keep going up for more time.

Can the Company of Another Dog be an Alternative?

This cannot weigh the same as human companionship. We all know that dogs are usually social animals who love human company. So, they don’t encourage the company of another dog when left alone. 

On the other hand, they mostly prefer being alone, which means another dog’s company would backfire, resulting in bullying and controversies.

What Can Be the Balm for Your Ache (Alternative)?

a dog wearing gps tracker

Alright. We’ve tried many alternatives, and nothing seems to buckle down. Looking after your pup cannot be a full-time job, and we have the temptation to cut corners when time is short. 

But what if there’s a chance to monitor your dog when you’re away? Is it possible? 

YES, IT IS! Wind down, pals. I’ve got a great alternative to discuss. A GPS PET TRACKER can make you all the way up! Trust me, guys, I’ve laid my hand on it and felt real peace! 

These GPS trackers track every step of your dog, so you can keep an eye on your canine partner 24/7 when you’re away. 

Since the companies of trackers are living up to the hype, they’re upgrading the products with ultimate features like tracking your dogs’ activity, which is excellent. 

On the other hand, just a slide on your phone could show your dog’s accurate location and current activity within a few seconds.

This alternative is second to none. It is a must-have for every pet parent out there, and give it a try and watch how useful these GPS pet trackers can be.


It’s important to consider whether you can have time for your new pup and bear the responsibilities. Plus, a pup can become a great addition to your family only if your family members agree to take part in the journey of growing him.

It’s inevitable. Every dog will miss their caretakers and look heartbroken when we are away. 

Every dog is one of a kind. But the general rule applied is you can only leave an adult dog alone for four consecutive hours. Since dogs are companion animals, they often need human interaction. If not considered, they become stressed and lonely. 

You can choose from many options: doggie daycare, a professional pet sitter, or a family member who could soothe the ache. But I’d say GPS pet trackers are the definite go-to. 

Final Thoughts

Due to busy schedules and programs, most owners fail to spend time with their furry little friend. This is when the dogs are misled and grow up destructive behaviors. 

Dogs do really feel lonely when left home alone and on the other hand knowing that you’ve got an eye on your canine partner is when you really rest. 

How could you possibly do that? GPS tracker is the only answer. If you want to keep an eye on your partner 24/7, there’s no other alternative which could come in useful. 

When there’s a number of brands to choose from, I know making up your mind is difficult. We all need to choose the best.

We’ve picked some of the trackers known to be the best. Check out our article on the BEST GPS TRACKER herein.

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Stefano Giachetti
Stefano Giachetti is always excited to share his knowledge and love of animals with you through our blog, IPetGuides. And he has always loved animals and has been blessed to have many pets throughout his life. Currently has a Pomeranian Dog Breed.

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