Is it Fair to Leave a Dog Alone All Day?

Home Community Dog Behavior Is it Fair to Leave a Dog Alone All Day?

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    This is a discussion topic for the Ask the Experts Q&A below. Do you think its fair to leave a dog alone all day while the family is at school/work? Do you have a dog sitter instead? Or do you have a friendly neighbor who calls in to check on him and walk him during the day?



    Yes if you take the steos to ensure that the dog has someone coming in daily to walk and spend time with it when you cannot.

    But then technically the dog is not home alone all day, he is having his needs met by an owner willing to do what is needed to make sure they are met.



    I agree with Karen, aslong as someone is caring for the dog while you cannot then it is ok. Im a full time student, but i come home at dinner to walk my dog. If I cannot then I always have someone else do it for me.



    I guess I’m a bad "mom" haha. I wouldn’t trust a stranger to come into my home to walk my dog, I don’t have a friend/family member who can take time to walk my dog during the day and I don’t have time unfortunately on my lunch break to come home to walk my dog. He is home in his kennel for 8 hrs a day while I’m at work. I do my best, which is get up early to make sure he has food if he’s hungry. we go for a 30 min walk and we play ball in the morning before work. He’s a small dog (shih-tzu cross), he’s in a bigger kennel with room to stretch out, he has lots of toys and chew things and water. When I come home we go for another 30 min walk, he gets fed and we play periodically throughout the evening before bed. I often feel guilty for leaving him for so long but as far as I can tell he’s a happy puppy and could do a lot worse than me haha.



    I try to get home each day and walk my dog, Riley, at lunch. As an attorney, this doesn’t always happen, so if it is right after work, I make sure to give her an extra long walk and extra attention. And I reward the puppy pads so she knows that if I don’t get home at lunch, she won’t get in trouble;). The system seems to work for us.



    Dogs don’t have the same sense of time as we do. Dogs know when you’re gone, but can’t tell the difference between five minutes and five hours. It’s all about training. No "friendly neighbor" or "dog sitter" is needed otherwise………



    I leave my dogs alone if I cannot take them to work with me, and even then they are in a kennel for 9hrs. If they are left at home my puppy is caged with water & my Leo allowed to roam free with water available. During the summer I leave my back doors open for the dogs. If they come to work they are in a kennel for 9hrs and see me walking past with other dogs etc. They are happy and contented, friendly and listen to my commands regulary, they don’t take it out on me because I work. At the end of the day they are dogs, and to be honest even if I was home all day would spend most of it sleeping. I think as long as they get their stimulation, walks, company, pack needs etc when I am with them they are happy to be left when needs must. I also know people that ake their dogs with them wherever they go and hose dogs have low esteem, seperation issues and also jealous issues, these all can become nasty in a dog if not controlled correctly, so I would rather have well adjusted dogs than over protective ones who can’t be left alone without becoming distructive. Thats just mu opinion on this issue.



    I leave my dog home while every one is at work and school. But she has the whole house to herself. She doesn’t stay in a kennel when we are gone. She is pretty well trained and doesn’t cause any damage to the home. Most of the time she sleeps while we are gone during the day, but when we travel she comes along, she thinks she is a princess. She seems fine with us gone during the day.



    exactly Katie. good job!



    This is one of the reasons my mom was against getting a dog. She said she would rather not get a dog at all instead of leaving it alone all day.. She thinks its unfair and it would be like a prison.



    I have 3 dogs. I have 2 of my own and foster for an organization so I usually have 3 dogs in my home all the time. But, I am home all day and I take them to the local doggie park which has a creek where they can swim and run free and intermingle with other pooches. My dogs have the run of the house when I leave if I can’t take them with me. Then never destroy the house and never have separation anxiety. It’s because I trained them that way, they didn’t come like that. They are up-to-date on all their vacs or they wouldn’t be able to run free at the park. My dogs are also crate trained so if I have to separate them for any reason, I have a crate to use for this purpose. I think if people work and have dogs that’s okay. Dogs don’t understand time, and if you walk your dogs before going to work and again when you come home and again at bed time, that’s better than no walking at all. Dogs just love to be with their people and what’s any better than having your loving companion lying at your feet or curling up on the couch with you after a long, hard day at work. Just because you work doesn’t mean you can’t provide a good life for your pet. After all, you do have weekends to be with him/her. And folks please, don’t buy a dog or cat or any other animal, please, please adopt!!!



    Remember, the dog may be okay being alone during the day, but he can only hold it so long before he has to go to the bathroom. The smaller the dog, the more often they have to go to the bathroom.
    If nothing else, the dog-sitter can come & walk him, so as to prevent accidents.
    I have a local pet-sitter in, to walk Marlowe in the afternoon, as he gets his first walk at 7:30am most days, & then we don’t get home until at least 7:30pm or later (long commute). He can’t hold it that long.
    Dog-sitters are licensed, bonded, have other customers you can talk to, & probably have other customers in your neighborhood (ask anybody you see with a dog, ask at the dog park for recommendations).
    This way, you also have someone you can hire who can care for your dog when you’re on vacation & can’t take him (& can’t find a friend to take care of him), that your dog already knows. It’s also far cheaper to have a sitter come in, even for an overnight sleep-over (my dog sitter does this), than to check the dog into a pet hotel at $60.00 a night to start.



    Sorry but i think if you are going to be a responsible loving pet owner you shouldnt have a dog if you are going to be at work fulltime. That is a recipe for disaster and would be like leaving a child at home alone. Different if the dog is older.



    However, if you have other animals in the house, it makes a difference; and the during-the-day visits are always good.
    I also have 2 cats – we adopted them a few months after we adopted Marlowe – so he actually isn’t alone all day, there are other warm bodies in the house.
    He’s decided that the younger cat, Faro (a tuxedo cat who looks like he stepped off of an Egyptian tomb painting) is a recalcitrant puppy that he has to supervise, so he actually has in interest during the day. (Marlowe is a natural baby-sitter.) (Tuxedo cats are half dog, anyway…) And Faro doesn’t seem to mind the supervision thing, so it works out for all involved.
    And Marlowe’s certainly better off having a permanent home than still being in a foster home. He needed one-on-one attention, lots of love, & the chance to get over an undiscovered (until we got him) fear of men. We’re Home #4 in his life (he was 2 1/2 when we got him), so he’s got stability now.
    Even a working pet owner is better than the dog being in a foster home or a shelter.
    Dogs adapt better to being alone for long periods of time than parrots.



    I keep seeing posts that say a dog does not have a concept of time. Does anyone know of a dog behavior test that taught this to the experts and why it was determined? I know if I walk out for 15 minutes, my dogs don’t do much…but if I am gone all day they jump and bark (greetings) like crazy as though they are very happy to see me. So, how do we know they have absolutely no concept of time? I would be interested to know how that was determined. just wondering.

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