How long can dogs be left home alone?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Ferret, Feb 13, 2008.


  1. Ferret

    Ferret PetForums Junior

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    So, I would imagine that this is a question that everyone has asked themselves before... but... How long can one regularly leave a dog at home alone? I have looked online and found answers varying from 3 hours to 10... Obviously the ideal situation is for ones dog to have company all the time but for those who work that is simply not an option... of course one could chose not to have a pet but I am sure that many people with day jobs do forge on with their desire to keep a dog... So... what is everyone’s opinion? Do you have a dog walker? Is 8 hours really too long for an adult dog? Etc etc.
     
  2. bullbreeds

    bullbreeds PetForums VIP

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    I personally wouldnt leave my dogs any longer than 4/5 hours.
    I think each dog is different and you get to know how long they do and dont mind being left.
    I dont think its fair that I leave them longer than 4/5 hours and I rarely do it.
    Then again I work from home so I have an advantage.
    If I have puppies I dont go out at all! :D
    Dont think there is a single answer for this one. :)
     
  3. cavy_gal

    cavy_gal Banned

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    I was 12 when we got our first family dog. I and my younger brother would be in school, my mum worked in a school and my dad was a self employed driving instructor. My mum, my brother and I would be out from about 8am weekday mornings until 4pm in the afternoons and he'd have my dad coming in and out a couple of times during the day so he didn't really get left for long.

    I would NEVER get a dog walker unless it was someone I knew had a reference, who had experience and basically who I trusted. Some dogs are ok no matter how long they're left alone in the house for, within reason. Some other dogs, like my own, get upset after a while and starts to show signs that its stressed about being left alone for so long. My dog has twice gnawed his back and the base of his tail when we have stayed at my uncle's place for the weekend. My older brother was looking after him but even with him there, he still got stressed out about it. Our neighbour used to hear him barking a lot when we'd been out for the day and only my dad had popped back for his lunch or just between lessons during the day.

    It all depends on the dog and how many times its left for a long period of time, what distractions it has to entertain itself, if it has somewhere to go to the loo if it needs to and knows where it can and can't go to the loo. Seperation anxiety is very high in dogs so its difficult to make sure your dogs ok while you're out for a while.

    Either don't own a dog if you're not going to be in or have anyone else going to be in the house to take the dog out for a walk during the day, as everyone knows, the average walks a day for a dog is 3; morning, noon and night. Train your dog for when its on its own, give it toys or a t-shirt that smells like you for it to relax with. Have the radio or TV on so its like someones in anyway. Or take the dog with you if you can, but don't then leave it in your car!!!
     
  4. bullbreeds

    bullbreeds PetForums VIP

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    I bet your dogs ok now seen as your home alot.
    How is the job hunting going cavy-gal?
     
  5. tashi

    tashi Super Moderator
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    There are alot of 'depends' in this question! We certainly would not sell a puppy to someone who is out at work all day and I definately would not say 10 hours even to the most house trained of dogs. If we are out all day here and OH is not at home we have a network of friends who will come and see to the rest of the dogs for us. If you take on an older dog who is housetrained and settled etc I would still say ideally for someone to let them out of a lunch time, but lets face it we don't live in a ideal world.
    Alot of kennels now run a creche which could help - or another option is to have a dog flap for the dog to be able to have indoor/outdoor access.

    Just don't forget your neighbours YOU don't know if your dog will bark or as we had one that howled whilst we were out of the house. Be very careful of 'dog walkers' if you go down that route try and find one that can be recommended to you - we have 'dog walkers' in this area that I wouldn't trust with a teddy bear.
     
  6. cavy_gal

    cavy_gal Banned

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    He's usually asleep in his chair or the settee, so I hardly see him to be honest.. he's getting on a bit and tends to sleep alot which is fine. He's never been one to go crazy and play for hours, never knew how to play when we got him and likely would run from a toy than after it, so, he gets his two walks a day, half an hour with me just before his dinner and half an hour late in the evening with my dad before his bed time.

    And, well, I'd rather not talk about it, I am looking for a certain type of job, not by profession but if its part-time, something not too heavy. If I don't explain why I don't work or go to college and haven't really since I left school 4 yrs ago, then people automatically think I'm lazy and that couldn't be further from the truth. Basically I've suffered from severe depression, OCD and panic attacks for the past 8/9 yrs and don't have the mental stability to hold down a job "just like that". It sounds old but you don't know the life I've had and that sounds like I'm after the sympathy vote, but I'm not like that, I'm just saying you just don't know and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone, so I won't go into detail. Besides, this is someone else's thread and I don't want to be rude and have a conversation within their thread, just wanted to reply to you.
     
  7. bullbreeds

    bullbreeds PetForums VIP

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    Dont worry about that, all threads are for discussion.
    Nothing wrong with not wanting to go to college.
    A 9-5 didnt suit me either!
     
  8. carol

    carol PetForums VIP

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    most dogs are left alone during the night unless they sleep with you and spoilt rotten.
    and most dogs are ok then,
    but does depend on the dog, some people get dog walker to give the dog a break from being alone during the day.
    if they have a good run first thing and when you get back.

    personally i work with dogs all day so im in and out all day so my dog are in and out as well. and the dogs that are boarding with me at the time.
     
  9. AJ

    AJ Guest

    Our dog used to be left for upto 8 hrs, depending on my shift, when I had my old job and he hated it, as the hole in the wall and scratches on the door would suggest. I also hated to be at work worrying about him, which is a part of the reason why ive started working from home and with animals. Now hes never left for more than half an hour which he seems just about able to cope with.
     
  10. cavy_gal

    cavy_gal Banned

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    Its not that I didn't want to go to college because I would have loved to! I went for the interview and everything was ok. I'd have been doing an ND in animal welfare so, ideal for me really and its the nearest college that does animal welfare and animal care. It was the journey there that would have thrown me completely because I have a phobia of buses, trains, and transport alike. I'll go on trains with my mum but no one else. And buses with anyone else who I trust basically, just not on my own. Also I would have had to travel about 45+ minutes on one bus from the village I live in to a huge city, then catch another bus for another 45+ minute ride and it just wouldn't be practical for me. I wouldn't have been able to do all that on my own and it sounds like nothing to most people but to me it was a massive, massive deal.

    A job on the other hand.. well I want to work somewhere near me, its a garden centre and also house pets there and theres a café and book store too. I've sent up to about 3 letters, also my brother and mum have and none of us have been called back, written back to so we're a little disgusted by that and have given up. Its the only place near enough I could bike to within 15/20 minutes and feel good about working there. Its a busy, lively place with friendly, helpful staff, even though yea, they didn't even contact us back to say we didn't get called in to work there, but I still love it there.

    I have things to keep me busy during the day, theres always something to do here for me. I have cages to clean out now anyway.
     
  11. garryd

    garryd Guest

    4 hours to a bull terrier is abit like me and you doing 5 yr jail stretch :D my dogs the most the go without seeing somebody is about 3hours !;)
     
  12. claire

    claire Guest

    we have more than likely made a rod for our own backs but we dont leave cassie for more than an hour, if we leave her she is left outside but if its raining or we are going to be longer she goes to my mum and dads, she is nervious and being left alone wouldnt suit her so she goes to my mum and dads where she get spoilt. Even when i was at work starting at 6.30 in a morning i will take her and the kids there first its a right mare! i start back in april too:(
     
  13. Emin

    Emin PetForums Newbie

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    Great advice everyone! Thanks. We'll consider visiting a shelter instead of the pet store now.
     
  14. sequeena

    sequeena PetForums VIP

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    8 hours is far too long imo! If you're gone for that amount of time a day I wonder why you have a dog! I never leave mine for more than 4 hours a day :yesnod:
     
  15. aurora

    aurora PetForums Senior

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    no more than 4 hours ideally has been as much as 5 on the odd occassion. And when they where pups no more than 2 hours.

    People that work usually manage to find a solutions, as we all have to work to live etc. My dogs are walked before work at 6 am and if i'm on a split shift again at lunch time, if i'm working 7-5 then they get a walk at teatime and another before bedtime. I'm lucky because the OH works from home and has them out with him on the farm during the day, so they get company and free running exercise as well.

    Many people that work get some one to come in during the day for ah hour to let dogs out and take for a walk, this can work as long as you get some one relaible and trustworthy or someone you know or family that can do it.

    i would never leave any dog 8-10 hours on its own,:(
     
  16. jenniferx

    jenniferx PetForums VIP

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    When two of mine were young they'd be left for up to six hours and in hindsight that feels too long. Nowadays I wouldn't leave any of our dogs alone for more than three. Two hours being more typical.
     
  17. dobermummy

    dobermummy Banned

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    On a normal day the longest mine are left for is about an hour, the most is probably 2-3 hours and any longer my friend will come and walk them aand spend some time with them.
     
  18. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    When I worked my dogs were left in an outside kennel/shed and run from 8.30 till 5.30. They were fine. And why did I have dogs when I was out all day - because I spent most evenings either at dog training classes or on long walks, our holidays were walking holidays and our weekends were taken up with with obedience shows or days out walking. The dogs were in a routine in the day and it didnt bother them at all.

    Now I live and work on a farm so am normally around. Candy is now 5 months and I am just starting to leave her for longer if I am working away from the farm. Up till now I have arranged for a friend or a dog walker to come and let her out if I was going to be gone more than 4 hours but today she was fine with the other dog for 5 and a half hours. The older dog has always been left as long as necessary. She is quite happy being left all day.
    My animals are a huge part of my life, I give up a great deal for them but I refuse to be dictated to by them and if I want or have to go out for a few hours it wont hurt them. Having said that I have not tended to go out in the evenings since I got Candy as I havent felt it fair on her. I think possibly we have both been out 3 times since we got her. She was left for up to 2 hours though from the day we got her.
     
  19. Oblada

    Oblada Guest

    I think its all about the quality time you spent with your dogs rather than the amount of time they are left alone.

    For a lot of dog owners who work outside, the time spent at home can be dedicated to interacting with the dogs and giving them mental and physical stimulation. Thats what matters more than whether someone is at home or not (some people can be at home and spend all day watching TV which is unlikely to help provide with the types of activity a dog thrives on).

    My boy can stay on his own for up to 7 hours roughly but at the moment its only a couple of times a week and often less than that.
    The day both my OH and I have to work full time we will probably arrange our hours so that Diego does not spend more than 7 hours on his own as well as arrange for a dog-walker at least 2-3 times a week.
    I dont think I would be very happy knowing my boy spends 7-8 hours a day on his own 5 days a week so a dog-walker will be a good solution for us I think.

    xxx
     
  20. RowanWolf

    RowanWolf PetForums Member

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    It depends on the breed, some HATE being left alone ..and of course on your dog. But I would not leave an animal alone for more than about 4-5 hours. Again that is with a dog that doesn't mind being left for that kinda time.
     
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