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The Risks Of Leaving Your Dog Home Alone


Unless your dog is a service animal, then realistically you can’t take them with you wherever you go. There are always going to be times when your dog will have to do without you – like if you’re going to work or travelling somewhere that isn’t dog-friendly.

However, since many dogs suffer from loneliness and separation anxiety, it’s important to think about your dog’s emotional state and know the risks of leaving them by themselves for long periods of time.

“Are you ever coming back?”

Dogs aren’t mind-readers, so when you leave the house, they usually stress about when (and if) you’ll be returning. If you’re only going out for the day, there are certain techniques you can use to ease their stress levels. For example, taking them for a walk first thing in the morning to tire them out or leaving their favourite treats and toys. However, if you’re going for longer than a day, you might want to consider treating them to a pet resort stay.

Potential dangers

Leaving your dog home alone for long periods of time isn’t just bad for their emotional health, but can also affect their physical health. Dogs that are house trained will wait to be let out to go to the toilet, effectively ‘crossing their legs’ for hours until you return. This can lead to medical conditions such as urinary-tract infections.

Dogs also have the tendency to become quite stressed and bored easily. This could lead to all sorts of potential dangers, such as kicking over their water bowls (therefore leaving them with no drinking water for the rest of the day/night), or attempting to escape and injuring themselves on a fence, etc.

You also run the risk of your dog getting into the cupboards and eating things that may be poisonous to them.

Getting up to mischief

You’ve probably seen the movie ‘Home Alone’ when a young boy is accidentally left behind when his family goes off on Christmas holiday. Suffice to say he’s not the model son when left to his own devices. The same goes for your dog! Boredom can lead to naughty behaviour, as it’s their smart little way of telling you they don’t like you leaving them. You could come home to chewed cushions, a pile of poop on your carpet or a note from a neighbour saying they’ve been non-stop barking.

A lack of stimulation is the issue here, so think about things you can do to provide your dog with diversions until your return. It might be something like installing a doggie door, so they can run around safely in the back yard and get some fresh air. If you work close by, you might want to head home and check on them during your lunch break.

Keep them safe

When planning an extended absence, it’s reassuring to have a reliable place where your dog can be provided with food, water, enjoy playful exercise, and receive attentive care.

If you’re going away for any amount of time, we have options such as Doggy Day Care and Accommodation to make sure your pup is cared for by our loving and professional Pet Nannies. We also have the option of Training through our partners, Canine Evolution for any separation anxiety issues.