Leaving your puppy at home while you go to work is not easy. Luckily, a combination of paid help and planning can go a long way in making sure your puppy is well taken care of when you're away. Although it's not recommended to leave your puppy alone for an extended amount of time, sometimes it's necessary to pay the bills or pay for puppy food.
If you put in the work early, your puppy will grow into an adult dog who's developed healthy coping skills and can get by just fine while you're at work.
What You Should Know About Leaving a Puppy in a Crate or Playpen While at Work
Age is the main factor to consider when leaving a puppy alone for eight or more hours. Puppies can only hold their bladders for a certain amount of time — a factor that's directly related to his or her age. To figure out how long your pet can hold their bladder, take your puppy's age in months and add one. This equals the number of hours they can hold their pee. For instance, a three-month-old pup can hold for four hours max.
Also keep in mind that no dog, regardless of age, is comfortable holding their bladder longer than eight hours.
Thus, leaving a puppy in a crate or playpen while you work is mostly dependent on how long your furry friend can wait. Confining a puppy while at work for eight hours or more without potty breaks should never be done. If you will be gone for more than 4 hours, it is better for the puppy to be in a safe area in the backyard. To help your puppy stay on a potty schedule — and cope — while you're at work, try:
If you do find a helpful neighbor or friend up for the task of puppy-sitting, make sure they're on board with your chosen potty training method.
- Hiring a puppy sitter to stop in every few hours
- Leaving the pup with a trusted family member or friend
- Having a neighbor call in
- Dropping your puppy off at a doggie daycare
- Stopping home every few hours while on break
What You Should Do If You Need to Leave Your Puppy Alone
So what should you do when you've enlisted the help of a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your pet while you're away at work? What about the few hours in between, when your pup will inevitably be alone? There are several ways to keep your little bundle of cuteness happy throughout the workday. You can:
- Make sure they have plenty of chew toys: When puppies are engaged in play, they're less likely to think about the fact that their human is gone. Plus, they'll get out some excess energy and may even take a nap, which will kill a few hours.
- Use puzzle feeders: Have your sitter leave your pup's meal in a puzzle feeder while you're away at work. Your puppy will take more time to eat, be mentally stimulated and may get tired easier and have to nap. Distractions and snoozing will help make time pass quicker.
How to Safely Leave Your Puppy Alone While at Work
During times you absolutely must leave your puppy at home, make sure your dog has access to fresh food and water. Also, be sure to pet-proof your home with childproof latches. Keep toxic chemicals, poisonous plants and electrical wires from telephones, VCRs, televisions, lamps and stereos out of reach. If you have questions about how to dog-proof your home or the best ways to crate-train your puppy, or you are thinking about adopting with Golden Meadows Retrievers, feel free to reach out to us today!