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Dogs Home Alone: How Long is Too Long?

Updated: Oct 7, 2020


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With school breaks and the holidays upon us,

our normal schedules are often turned upside down.



But when it comes to our dogs,

how long is too long to leave them home alone?


Just because you can leave your dog alone, this doesn’t mean you should on a daily basis.  Dogs are known as pack animals and as such, they instinctively rely upon the presence of the pack for security and comfort.

Each dog is an individual and their specific needs and requirements are as unique as they are. While some dogs can cope just fine with being alone, others cannot tolerate being on their own.



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K9 Types Who Hate Being on Their Own

These include canines who are:

Very young;

Elderly or sick;

High-strung;

Highly intelligent.

Sensitive;

High-energy; and

Untrained.


The Consequences of Leaving a Dog Alone Too Long

For many dogs, being left alone regularly for 10 to 12 hours a day creates unnatural stress and can lead to one of two common canine issues, isolation distress and separation anxiety



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Isolation Distress

This is a more generalized, lower intensity of K9 stress. While the dog doesn’t really want to be left alone, another human or dog will usually prevent serious separation anxiety. 



Separation Anxiety

According to the Whole Dog Journal, K9 separation anxiety is an extreme case of isolation distress. It is akin to a full-blown panic attack when left alone. 

Separation anxiety is also known as monophobia, the (abnormal or exaggerated) fear of being alone or isolated. 

This includes dogs who are hyper-bonded to one person (for example, Great Danes who are often referred to as “velcro dogs”). These dogs will still exhibit stress even though other humans - or dogs - are in the home. 


Dog Breeds Who Hate Being on Their Own

Affenpinscher Papillon

Pomeranian Australian Shepherd Japanese Chin Maltese

Pug Border Collie

English Cocker Spaniel Chihuahua Chinese Crested Bichon Frise

Fox Terrier King Charles Cavalier Spaniel

Yorkshire Terrier Dachshund

French Bulldog Shih Tzu

Great Dane Toy Poodle

American Pit Bull Terrier Havanese

Italian Greyhound




NOTE: This is not an inclusive list of every breed that hates to be left alone. It’s critical to know your own dog best. 



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Know YOUR Dog

As mentioned before, dogs are individuals with their own temperaments, character traits, quirks and possible phobias. When choosing your next dog or figuring out how to give your current dog the very best quality of life, think about their own specific needs each day and whether you can give them the attention, exercise and more they need to be healthy and happy. 

For example, do you spend more time doing things with your dog on the weekends just to leave them alone for many hours during the week? For some dogs, this can be a difficult and stressful adjustment with disastrous consequences.


A Word of Wisdom


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If life requires you to be away from your beloved canine regularly, bring in a professional dog walker or pet sitter to help fill those long hours. By providing enough:

  • Attention;

  • Socialization;

  • Potty breaks;

  • Physical activity; or 

  • Mental stimulation

you can help your dog from acting out in negative behaviors. 


Behaviors including:

  • Accidents in the house;

  • Destructive behaviors (chewing, clawing and escaping); 

  • Becoming overly anxious;

  • Excessive barking/howling; or 

  • Even becoming aggressive. 



(We can help in the Bel Air, Maryland area!)



Bel Air Dog Walker

Your Pet AuPair

We Speak Dog!

Offering Dog Walking and other Pet Services in the Harford County, Maryland areas of Bel Air, Forest Hill, Abingdon, Fallston and Churchville! 

We also offer the following pet care services:

Cat Visits

Vet Taxi

Pet Sitting

Pet Boarding (Our Home)

Overnight Pet Sitting (Your Home)


To get started with our professional, bonded and insured pet care services,

just call 410-989-1533 or click here to get a quote.


Additional Reading:

How Long is Too Long to Leave a Dog Home Alone?

10 Dog Breeds that Can’t Tolerate Being Left Alone 

15 Dogs Breeds that Hate Being Alone

How to Help with Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Does Your Dog Hate Being Alone?

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