Leaving a dog alone?

posted 11 months ago in Pets
Post # 31
768 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

dirtyrabbit :  yeah ok clearly an irresponsible owner would be asking for advice on this…no one needs your nasty attitude 

Post # 32
1987 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

HarveySpecter :  we got a puppy because the centres around us wouldn’t let us rescue because we were working all day. Someone wouldn’t sell us a puppy because we were working all day. That’s their choice and that’s fine but honestly it’s adding guilt and creating an environment in which dogs can’t be rescued because no dog can be left.

We got a puppy and we leave her from 7am-5pm. We pay a for a day walker in the middle of the day for about 30-40 minutes. She’s a very socialable dog so we were happy for her to go on a pack walk with other dogs, our walker doesn’t charge less for pack walks as some do but it gives our dog a chance to really tire herself out. If the dog walker is off, I’ll send her to daycare a few days a week and she’ll be alone a few days. The reason I won’t send her all week is because she’s just too tired and loses a lot of weight when we’ve sent her all week, she doesn’t know when to stop playing and running. So she has a few days at home to catch up on sleep. She is fine by herself, I don’t make a habit of it but our first dog walker forgot her (twice) when she was a tiny puppy and really not able to hold it all day. She was fine. She was so good and didn’t dirty despite her being so tiny. She was a bit more hyper in the evening and she was clingy but I honestly think her reaction was a result of my immeadiate panic about her being left all day. She was honestly fine. My dog is out of her crate now but she was crated until recently. She’d have some toys in her crate and we’d give her a kong. All she does, is sleep. She’s still not even 2 and all she does is sleep. Because dogs sleep a lot anyway and actually it’s all she’s ever known. When I work from home, she will choose to lie at my feet rather than her bed but she just sleeps. It’s like trying to wake the dead when I put her out when I work from home.

My dog is not mistreated. She doesn’t tear up the house because she’s alone (she’ll jump on the bed if the door isn’t closed but that is it). She doesn’t have a doggy door and she doesn’t dirty. She’ll sometimes scatter her toys over the floor when I get in, sometimes they’ll all still be in her box. She doesn’t bother us for attention all evening and weekend. For my works Christmas party, my husband will be attending with me and so she’ll go to doggy daycare overnight because we’re back too late that night. If I’m going to be home late, I ask the dog walker to pop in later in the day. I love the dog walker, it makes a big difference to the dog and if you can afford it I’d recommend one.

People will always make you feel like you’re the biggest shit ever for daring to work and not being a stay at home pet parent, but that just isn’t realistic for many people. There are so many dogs out there that need a home, with someone who cares for it.

Post # 33
238 posts
Helper bee

This is probably an unpopular opinion but I leave my dog home alone 8-6 most days. I typically hire a dog walker once a week. I walk him in the mornings before I leave for work and when I get home. He’s 6 now but I’ve been leaving him home alone all day since he was a year old or so. He has full run of our house but normally just sleeps on our bed. 

Post # 34
106 posts
Blushing bee

We have a 3 year old lab/pitt mix and he is home alone from either 8-4 or 10-5 depending on my hours. SO works 8-5:30 so I’m always home before him and sometimes leave after him. Our dog LOVES to be home alone. He actually gets irritated on the weekends because we are with him the whole time haha He loves his sleep and he gets the whole house to play in except for our bedroom. SIL lives in the apartment above our house so she will try to take him up to play with her golden but he usually refuses because he would rather stay in his house alone. Every day after work we play catch with him until he is worn out or take him for a long walk. Do I wish I didn’t have to leave him for that long? Yes. But he enjoys his alone time and we have to work. If SIL wasn’t around to make sure he is let out for the bathroom when he needs to be though then I would hire somebody to at least do that. We don’t have a fenced in yard so we can’t do a doggy door but if we did, I would feel comfortable leaving him while we are at work with access to outside. 

Post # 35
1755 posts
Buzzing bee

dirtyrabbit :  Who said she was going to treat it like furniture? I think a dog is better at home alone for most of the work day than in a shelter its whole life. 

Post # 36
1362 posts
Bumble bee

You’ll want to go for an adult, low energy breed. Mine is fine for 10 hours and just sleeps the whole time. He acts the same if I am home. I think taking your dog for an actual walk in the morning and evening is really crucial though. Just going out in the backyard isn’t the same.


Post # 37
3836 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

HarveySpecter :  Our dog is 3 and is home from about 7:30am to 6pm during the week.  When he was a puppy, we took him to doggy daycare, but he is a large dog and is fine during the day.  These hours are pretty common where I live, and no one has given us crap about it.  Our dog is fine too!  We like to leave the TV or radio on for him and take him for tons of walks when we are home (plus lots of cuddles!) so he doesn’t feel neglected. 

FWIW my dog is a very low energy breed and has full reign of the house.  I don’t think I would keep a high energy dog home alone all day; if my dog wasn’t so lazy, we would get a dog walker to come midday.  

Post # 38
9173 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

our dog is older now (13) and he’s crated when we are not home, he would destroy it otherwise. he gets anxious when alone.  i work from home 2 days a week so he gets crated 3 days. we are gone 8 to 6. one of the three days i do come home at lunch to walk the dog and if my husband is nearby, he’ll stop home too.  it’s not ideal but it’s what we do.  when i am home with him, he pretty much sleeps in the same spot all day long.  many times i don’t even let him out until i’m finished work.  so i assume he’s sleeping in the crate all day too.

i hope our next house has a fenced yard and doggie door.


Post # 39
1149 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

We leave ours from 7 AM to 4 PM on weekdays and she’s fine.  She’s 4 years old though, when she was a puppy we had a dog walker come mid-day while we were at work.  I think it has a lot to do with the individual dog too, our is a couch potato so she does fine with minimal exercise.  We take her to doggy daycare but only once a week since it’s so expensive but it helps get some extra energy out.

Post # 40
635 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

We built an outdoor grassy run with a large dog house attached to our garage for when we’re going to be gone a long time (6+hrs)  during the day and the dogs can’t come with us. They’re perfectly content out there! Other times (esp. in bad/extreme weather) we will have a neighbor or friend swing by and let them out.

Most of the time I’m home all day, though. I can assure you all these two do is sleep and chew on bones.

I think an older dog would be a perfect fit for you and you can for sure make it happen with some planning. The puppy stage is cute but exhausting and requires so much extra work. I wouldn’t hesitate to take in an older dog!

Post # 41
344 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

vickie2018 :  Haha!! Life-long and current husky owner. YES to this! She’s probably telling me off when I get back from work, but she’s happy as well heck too. Tail wags and talking sentences at a time. And then gives me the worst grumpy look when I leave – whether for work or for 15 minute errands. Luckily she doesn’t do any damage, except she likes to shred paper when she’s angry at being left! 

I had huskies my whole life. With the exception of the first guy who was home in an appt while my parents worked for the first 4 years, the rest of theirs have been blessed that my mother was lucky (truly) do stay home while I was younger, so the dogs had constant companionship. My girl, who is 3.5, doesn’t have that luxury. She gets a walk in the morning, and one or two long walks in the afternoon and night/weekend playtime outside in our fenced in yard. About 1-2 times a month, she goes and stays with my parents (and her sister/litter mate) for a few days and she gets her exercise in spades to carry her through. She loves to sleep and I think that’s all she does when we aren’t home. I hope eventually we can get a bigger house and a dog run like my parents have, so she could come and go during the day.

@onepeople101 – YES to your point. I tell my girl (who is spoiled and treated like a daughter, not a dog) that she is beyond blessed to have a home, even though we can’t spend all day with her like we wish we could. Still 100% better than the shelter. I wish I had more money/time/space and I would want to adopt a friend for her. And hope I can someday soon. But still 100% better for a dog to be in a caring home than in a shelter! It’s different to get a pet when you travel constantly for work and are never home (I have a neighbor who works so often out of state he’s home 3-5 days a month!) but it’s impractical to think no one should have a pet that works a relatively normal day. As long as time is spent with the dog when you are home with them. And I’m saying this, again, as someone that treats my dog as a daughter/family member. 

Post # 42
7892 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

HarveySpecter :  our dog is home along for about 8-9 hours on weekdays. When he was a puppy he had a walker but as an adult dog he stays home alone. I put a webcam on him to start and realized he mostly lays around and sleeps. He is a large dog (85lbs) and has a strong bladder – even when we get home after those 8-9 hours we usually have to make him go outside and go potty, he isn’t racing for the door at all. 

Post # 43
22 posts
  • Wedding: July 2019

Our dog is home about 9 hours (7-10 hours generally) almost every week day. She is a smaller bread (20 pounds) so doesnt require a crazy amount of exercise but we always make sure at least 1 of her 3 walks every day is super long or off-leash retreiving sticks, She gets so tired out! 

We take her out around 11pm at night and I swear the next day she never “asks” to go to the bathroom , sometimes I wonder how she doesn’t need to go more often! She knows how to ask. We just take her first thing but there have been times we overslept on the weekend for example and she is just peacefully sleeping beside us the entire time! LOL

My dog is 7 but when she was a puppy we did have a mid-day dog walker come take her out.

We also live in a condo FYI.

Post # 44
878 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

HarveySpecter : If you are determined to get a dog, I would get an older rescue and get a dog walker at least once a day, twice if possible. I would also suggest taking a minimum of two weeks off work afterwards to allow your dog to settle into life with you. 

We have a one year old dog. She gets walked by us morning and evening, has a dog walker coming in once a day for a walk and then again for a “visit and play” in the pm. We took a total of 6 weeks off work between us (we had her as a puppy though) to ensure we were leaving her gradually for longer amounts and she was well settled. She wasn’t left for 4 hours alone until 5 months old. 

Some people may do things differently but our dog’s wellbeing is important to us, and as such she is very well rounded and adaptable.

Post # 45
1042 posts
Bumble bee

HarveySpecter :  I have two fur babies that are home on average 9 hours a day. Sometimes it is 16 if my husband is out of town working and I get mandatory overtime. We also have dog doors so they can come and go as they please. One is 12 and the other is going to be 5. They are both mellow and lazy. I do not have a walker, but if I had a high energy dog, I would invest in that so they don’t get destructive. 

During the puppy phase though I think they were left 5 hours max. And I wouldn’t recommend cratingbfor that long of time. 

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors