Updated on April 16, 2023

Unfortunately, most dogs will spend some time alone at home alone during their lifetimes. But as they are a gregarious creature that would always pick company over isolation, we need to watch how long we leave our dogs alone.

The RSPCA advises against leaving a dog alone for more than four hours at a time, and some dogs may not be able to handle this amount of time alone. No dog should ever be left at home alone when they are feeling scared or anxious.

So that they can learn to settle down and sleep when left alone, puppies and dogs need to have their tolerance for isolation gradually increased.


Puppies have an innate desire to be close to their caretaker, and this behaviour serves a practical purpose. Therefore, we must gently instruct them that it is fine to be apart from you and left alone, while avoiding any anxiety.

Our goal is for our puppies to develop a strong bond with us so that they can go on to lead happy, healthy, and successful lives. Avoiding separation anxiety can be achieved by making the child feel safe and secure at all times and responding to any signs of distress.

For the first few nights in their new home, puppies should sleep near to their owners so that they can be comforted if they wake up and get the attention they deserve. Over the course of several days or weeks, we can gradually increase the space between us (depending on the individual).

Because puppies need to sleep so much during the day, we can use this time to practise separation in the home by doing chores while leaving our puppy alone in the backyard or in the house. The puppy’s mind will pick up on the lack of company as it wanders in and out of sleep, and this will help it become used to being alone and to the fact that you always return while it’s settled.


Puppies can be left alone for shorter amounts of time (15-30 minutes) and then that time can be gradually increased. A camera is a logical way to check in on them while we’re gone and make sure they’re comfortable and secure.

We can gradually increase the time, but until they are about five months old, puppies shouldn’t be left alone for more than an hour at a time because they can’t hold their urine for very long. You can gradually increase the time up to four hours once they can sit still for that long (as long as the individual can cope).

Canine separation anxiety

Dogs often experience anxiety when left alone.
It’s not about the breed; it’s about the person. Although most dogs do well with minimal training, some breeds, such as Labradors, Border Collies, Bichon Frises, Jack Russell Terriers, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, are more likely to develop separation anxiety because of their intense desire for human companionship. To see how new rescue dogs react when left alone for the first time, they should be filmed.


Because we want them to sleep while they’re alone, it’s best to take your dog for a walk or give them some other form of mental stimulation before leaving them. Because it takes time for the adrenaline to dissipate from the dog’s system, low arousal, slow-paced, sniffy walks are preferred to quick, high-adrenaline excursions.

When leaving a dog alone, make sure to always leave a warm bed and fresh water nearby. Be wary of them overheating in the confined space of a container, since they will not be able to go to a cooler area if they get uncomfortable. If possible, select a crate large enough to accommodate two sleeping areas, one with a soft bed and the other with less bedding, giving the pet a choice about where to relax.

You should seek help for your dog’s possible separation anxiety if it destroys its bedding when left alone.


Leaving your dog with a treat-dispensing toy can help them relax while you’re gone, as chewing and licking are two of their favourite self-soothing pastimes that often result in slumber. If your dog isn’t eating when you leave him alone, it may be a good indicator that he isn’t stressed out. You should also ensure that your dog will be okay even if you run out of food.

If your dog has a certain room in the house where it goes to unwind, leaving the door open to that room while you’re away is a good way to ensure it continues to do so while you’re gone. While it’s fine to leave the TV or radio on if they’re usually playing when you’re home, turning them on “to keep your dog company” can send the wrong message to your pet and cause anxiety if you’re leaving soon and your dog isn’t used to being alone.

Dog is being left alone at home

Dog is being left alone at home
If you’re anxious about how they’ll act while you’re gone, it’s best not to make a big deal out of leaving. You can talk to them and greet them when you get back (dogs are social animals, so it’s natural for them to reestablish bonds after a period of absence, just like people do when they come home from work), but try not to get too excited about seeing them again. Problems arise when this sort of greeting is expected and not addressed.

In conclusion, each dog is different in terms of how long they can be left alone, so it’s important to go at your pet’s pace, but no dog should be left alone for more than four hours at a time without a break.

Obviously, there may be exceptional circumstances and for some dogs – for instance, those who are content when home alone but cannot cope with someone coming to the house to let them out or take them for a walk, or for an owner who needs to leave their dog home alone for longer than four hours on occasion (again, as long as the dog can cope with this).





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