How Long Can A Dog Stay Home Alone? An Animal Behaviorist Specifies It: Shorter Than You Think

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How Long Can A Dog Stay Home Alone

Even if we wanted to, most of us can’t afford to sit with our pet all the time. When going to the store or to work, we leave our animal alone, sometimes for long hours. While cats are loners and can spend a little more time without a human, a dog is an animal that tolerates company better and does not tolerate moments of separation well. Behaviorists are alarming – leaving your pet for most of the day can end badly.

How long can the dog be left alone? This question is asked most often during the summer season. Can our pet survive a weekend without us? Even if we take care of the physiological problems and provide the animal with food, leaving it alone may not be the best idea. Prolonged loneliness can have a detrimental effect on the dog’s psyche.

Can you leave your dog alone all day?

We don’t all have 8-hour shifts. Sometimes our schedule is tighter and therefore we leave the dog alone almost all day. Although it may seem that the dog will sleep most of the day anyway and our presence will not be terrible for him, we are making a huge mistake. It may sound terrible, but according to behaviorists, people who are rarely in the apartment should not have dogs. Even if the animal does not starve in our absence and has a place to support itself, this is not enough to put it at ease.

Dogs are animals that need companionship. It may seem that it is better for the animal to have a home and not be stuck in a shelter, even if the owner spends little time with it. It’s a bad thought. Despite systemic problems, dogs living in shelters get what they need: contact with other dogs and volunteers. In the case of a day spent alone in an empty apartment, despite the best food and the most stimulating toys, the dog does not feel well.

How Long Can A Dog Stay Home Alone
Priscilla Du Preez / unsplash

How long can I leave my dog alone at home?

In an interview with the British newspaper The Mirror, canine behaviorist Adem Fehmi put forward a controversial hypothesis. According to him, most owners leave their pets alone much longer than they should.

“Ideally we shouldn’t leave adult dogs for more than four hours at a time,” he says. – For young dogs, this should be between an hour and two.

He points out that behind the number hide not only the physiological needs of our pet, but above all social needs. Your pet will miss you after all this time. Moreover, even if he is provided with toys, he will not be sufficiently stimulated mentally. In social mammals, mental functions are closely related to social functions. Lonely dogs get bored if they don’t have company and this has a detrimental effect on their future behavior.

What if I have to leave my dog longer?

“If you don’t have a trusted family member or friend who can help take care of your dog and keep him company while you’re away, hiring a dog sitter is a good option,” says the behaviorist.

Such a solution, next to dog hotels, can be very expensive. Not everyone can afford them. In order to occupy the dog in our absence, we can invest in toys that slow down the feeding, in which we can hide the favorite treats of the animal. It’s also a good idea to bury food in different places in the apartment. This is a budget option that will not only provide the dog with food for the whole day, but will also be entertainment for him. This type of olfactory pleasure stimulates the animal – it must be cunning and vigilant to find every hidden treat.

Remember that no toy can replace the presence of another person or another animal with which the dog can play. We must keep our pet’s comfort in mind and only leave it for a long time as a last resort.

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