A dog left at home.

Can You Leave A Dog Alone All Day?

It is a pretty simple question, but the answer depends on your particular dog and their stage of life. Let’s take a look and figure out just how long you can leave your dog alone at home.

Adult Dogs

If you have an adult dog, that is fully trained, they can usually go anywhere from 8 to 10 hours. Pushing any time longer than this is risky for the health of your home and your dog.

Obviously, you first concern will be how long your dogs bladder can hold out. Considering that most dogs will sleep the day away, you have to consider how long a dog can hold their bladder while sleeping. if your dog does not wake you up in an average night to urinate, you can figure that they are good for 8 hours at home.

A second consideration that you should be make is about the mental health of your dog. Dog’s are social creatures and they want to b with their families. Long times spent alone can cause loneliness and some destructive behavior. Still, 8 hours is a good estimate of how long your dog can spend at home alone.


Puppies are another matter altogether. For young puppies, less than a few months old, 2 hours is about it. Once they get a little older, 3 to 6 months, 3 to 4 hours should be no problem. Beyond 9 to 12 months and you can treat them like an adult typically.


Senior dogs can become just like puppies. Over time, those bladder muscles will weaken and they will just not be able to hold their bladder any longer. Try not to let a senior dog be at home for more than 4 to 6 hours without a break.

Small Dogs

Anecdotal evidence shows us that small dogs tend to not be able to hold their bladders as long as larger ones. That means if you have a Great Dane, they can likely be home longer than a Chihuahua.

Extending Your Time Away

For most people, the 8 to 10 hours that an adult can stay home alone is sufficient, If it is not, or if you have a younger or older dog, you may need to consider some options that can extend the time you are able to stay away. Here are some possibilities.

Hire A Dog Walker

The absolute best solution is to hire a dog walker to come to your home at least once a day. This might sound extravagant, but with services like Rover, you can hire a walker for around $15 a visit. Considering how happy this will make your pet and that it will keep them from tearing up your home, it is money well spent.

Provide Toys & Diversions

Consider the mental well-being of your dog when leaving them at home for a long period. They get bored just like humans do, so leave the radio on and provides some interactive toys. Stay away from toys containing rawhide, which should only be used under supervision. Choose a quality, durable toy and have a special one on hand that they only get when you are away.

Be Careful With Water & Food

You do not want to deprive your dog of food and water, but you also o not want to make it overly abundant. Given an opportunity, most dogs will gorge on food and water, making it even harder for them to hold their fluids in. If you are only leaving for a few hours, you can completely take up the water bowl. For longer periods, avoid leaving it completely full.

Give Them Some Company

Why have just one dog at home, when you can have two. Your dog will appreciate the company and with dog financing available, it is easy to afford another fur baby.

Leave A Comment

All fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required