wellness

This is exactly how long it's safe to leave your dog at home alone.

It’s a question every dog owner asks: “How long is too long to leave my dog at home alone?”

For many, it’s often unavoidable that pets are left home alone for the majority of the day.

Combine a full eight hour day of work with the commute home and dogs often end up being left home alone for up to 10 or even 12 hours a day.

But according to Tamsin Durston, head coach at Dogs Trust Dog School, that number is far too high.

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Speaking to Metro, Tamsin explained that dogs should not be left alone for more than three or four hours a day.

But while this number is startlingly low, it’s important to note that this figure does depend on the breed of dog and their behaviour.

“Just like humans, some dogs are fine being left alone and some need some company,” Tamsin explained.

“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 comfortable being home alone really begins in the puppy stages. If a dog has been trained to spend periods of time home alone as a puppy, they’re more likely to handle being alone for longer periods of time.

On the other hand, dogs that aren’t used to being left home alone may turn to destructive behaviours like scratching, biting, chewing on furniture and barking.

Tamsin also shared advice for how full-time workers can make their dogs lives easier.

“Dogs really do enrich our lives so there are ways to make it work if you have a full-time job,” Tamsin said.

“Just ensure you have someone coming within three to four hours to check on them, take them for a walk and give them company.”

She also recommends taking your dog for a walk in the morning before you go to work, so they are physically and mentally tired by the time you leave, and leaving the dog with plenty of toys and chews to keep them occupied.

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