Effectively managing the time your dog is home alone will make your pet happier and more content with not being with you. Two-thirds of pet owners say they leave their dogs on their own for long periods. Leaving an adult dog home alone for between 4 and 6 hours is generally okay. But there are still things you should do for your dog during your time apart to show you care and to make this time as enjoyable as possible.
Hire A Dog Sitter
Most Americans work 7.8 hours per day. When you factor in commute times, that’s a lot of time to be away from your dog. If you’re regularly away for a long time, hire a dog sitter or dog walker to keep your dog company. A dog sitter will provide food and company to your pet. They’ll also spend time playing with him.
If your dog could do with a walk in the middle of the day, a dog walker is a good choice. During the winter, request that your dog walker keeps your dog warm by dressing him in a winter coat and accessories, such as snow booties. It’s also best to get your dog walker to reduce the length of walks to protect your dog in the snow. And, when they return, make sure there’s a nice warm shelter for your dog to curl up and sleep in while he waits for you to return home.
Make Your Dog Feel Safe
Have you ever heard a strange noise when you’ve been home alone that’s left you on edge? Dogs can hear things that are 4 times farther away than humans can, so there’s sure to be a lot going on in their minds. Rather than giving your dog free rein of your home while you’re out, confine him to a set area that’s safe and comfortable.
You could leave an open crate for him to retreat to complete with a dog bed, blanket, comforter, and a bowl of water. Many pet owners like to keep a watchful eye on their dogs when they’re not there with them. A pet camera that connects to your smartphone is one way to do this. You’ll even be able to communicate with your pooch from work to reassure him if he’s looking a little worried.
All dogs need playtime. Automated dog toys are a great way to keep dogs entertained when you can’t physically throw a toy for them. Ball launchers, treat dispensers, and self-rolling balls are some automated toys to consider. You can also get dog toys that link to your smartphone. They let you trigger movement and adjust the speed of toys, so you can be sure your pooch is having as much fun as possible.
Caring for a dog is a full-time job, even when you’re not at home with your pooch. These tips and tricks will help you provide the best quality care for your four-legged friend at all times.
Julia Henriques is the editor of the Pet Rescue Blog. After studying at Madrid University in Spain, she spent 35 years in international banking before joining Pet Rescue Blog in 2019. She's on the Board of Playing Again Sams (Wisconsin Samoyed Rescue) where she enjoys helping adopters and group members choose natural healthcare options for their dogs. She lives in Chicago with her partner Marc and rescues Samoyed Tarka.
Pet Rescue Blog is a pet blog dedicated to educating and inspiring readers about pet adoption and rescue. It features a variety of content, including heartwarming adoption stories, expert advice on pet care, and news about animal welfare issues.