Leaving Your Dog Home Alone: Going Away for the Weekend?

As a general rule of thumb, adult dogs can be left alone for up to 6 hours a day. 

However, the amount of time a dog can spend safely alone will vary from dog to dog, as even the most laid-back dogs may become distressed when you leave them on their own for long periods of time. And this is especially true if you have a dog with behavioral issues or separation anxiety. 

So, what happens when you need to leave for the weekend and can’t take your pet with you? 

What to Consider When Leaving Your Dog Home Alone

For some dogs, being left alone isn’t a big deal. However, they need a safe space, lots of water, and a temperature-controlled room. In addition, some dog breeds, such as Yorkshire terriers, basset hounds, and beagles, are better suited to alone time.

Another factor you need to consider when leaving your dog home alone is your pup’s age. For instance, puppies shouldn’t be left alone for more than 2 hours a day. Any longer, and you risk them developing separation anxiety, so taking younger pups to a kennel is advisable if you’ll be away for a while.

Other factors to consider when leaving your dog home alone include:

  • Health conditions and social issues
  • Potty breaks
  • Behavior
  • Exercise and socialization
  • Feeding times

Where Can I Leave My Dog for the Weekend?

It’s essential to try to keep the time your dog is left alone to a minimum. That said, this may not always be possible. So, here are some solutions that may work for you and your dog when you need to go away for a few days. 

1. Leave your dog at home and have someone check in on them

If your dog doesn’t adjust well to an unfamiliar setting, leaving them at home where they feel safest may be the ideal choice. However, a weekend is a long time even if you provide them with the basics of food and water. You can always ask a friend or neighbor to stay over or stop by a few times a day to check on your dog and give them some exercise. They can also check for anxiety symptoms and ensure they adjust well to your absence.

That said, it can be very unsafe and dangerous to leave your dog home alone for extended periods of time. As such, it’s better to find them another place to stay so they can receive adequate care. 

2. Get a pet sitter

Consider getting a pet sitter if you don’t have anyone who can stop by to take care of your dog while you’re away. Many companies offer dog sitting services, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing your pet is in the hands of professionals.

Make sure to acquaint your dog with the sitter before leaving and always check online reviews. In addition, it’s a good idea to leave detailed instructions on what your dog needs—for instance, your pet’s favorite toys, a veterinarian contact, and their feeding habits.

3. Take them to a kennel

If you don’t like having a stranger in your home, consider looking into professional kennels in your area. Most kennels offer flexible services, meaning you can leave your pet with them for several days at a time. As a result, your dog will get to play and interact with other dogs, and you’re assured they’ll have a stress-free experience. 

Final Thoughts On Leaving Your Dog Home Alone

Dogs are social creatures; this tendency makes leaving them home alone a tricky endeavor. Make sure you consider your dog’s temperament and unique needs when deciding how much time they can spend on their own. This way, you can make the best decision for their well-being and your peace of mind.

How can we help?

Contact our hospital in Hebron, CT if you have questions about leaving your dog home alone and how it can be best handled. We will discuss what breed you have and what may be needed. We will also review your area, and give you the most recommended shelters if you will be gone for an extended period of time.