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Home Alone, Canine-Style: Tips for Leaving Your Dog Home Alone All Day

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Bolt, the Yorkie-Poo guest blogger, here to dish on being left alone for an extended period of time at home:

Yesterday, my humans had to go on a short road trip, which kept them away from me for nearly seven hours. “What?” you may gasp! “They left you alone for that long??? What is wrong with them?”

Now, before you go calling the authorities on them, realize that many pet owners must leave their pets at home for extended periods of time throughout the day due to work demands or otherwise.  There is usually a human at home with me during the day, so I am accustomed to getting frequent potty and play breaks. However, I proved I am one grown-up dog as I stayed in my room (which also doubles as an in-home office!) all day and did not make a mess!  (Yes, there was a fresh bowl of water for me, a few “snacks.,” as well as come comfy, clean towels upon which I could rest!)

I did some research online and learned certain tips to employ should you be in a situation wherein you have to leave your dog at home alone for several hours. It is possible!  You just have to be prepared!  Read on…

  • One of the first things you can do in the morning is get your dog outside for some exercise….the length of time varies according to his age and physical condition, but makes sure he has time to run, trot, romp and sniff.  Even 15 minutes is a good amount of time….and being unleashed if you have a fenced in yard is even better, as the time to go sniffing around is a great way to increase mental stimulation while also getting physical activity. Trust me…we will sleep well after such an adventure!
  • Take away the dog food bowl and provide a food-dispensing toy, such as a Kong. This not only provides food but also a means of activity by which to get the food. It will keep your dog engaged for long periods of time. Be sure to keep these items clean and make sure you observe your dog initially when using one to make sure he does not choke on any small pieces or have any difficulty in playing with it.
  • If possible, hire a pet sitter/dog walker (hint, hint!) to come in and break up the day and provide some mental and physical stimulation for your dog.  He can go outside to take care of business and burn off some steam.  This is a great idea for older dogs, too, as they need to get up and stretch throughout the day more frequently.
  • Do not leave your dog outside all day, as this will most likely result in certain behavioral issues, such as excessive barking and whining. He will most likely not spend the day running around the yard for exercise and will probably either stand by the back door waiting for you to let him in or creating disturbances to neighbors with his unruly behavior.
  • Ideally, it is not a good idea to have your pet remain alone inside for long periods of time, as holding in their urine and feces for that long can lead to certain physical issues, such as urinary tract infections.  However, if you must leave him alone, just be prepared in advance…and also be prepared for your dog to be at the ready to go outside once you get home! You have been warned!

As with any issue related to your pet, please consult your veterinarian as to what is best for your pet!

Thanks to for this helpful information.



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