Dog owners warned of maximum length time pets can be left alone at home

Dog in their bed

Dogs shouldn't be left alone for more than four hours

Paige Creaney

By Paige Creaney

Published: 08/06/2023

- 15:34

It's not as long as you might think

A dog expert has warned pet owners of exactly how long they should leave their pets home alone for.

While you think your dog will be just fine at home all day, an expert canine behaviourist is urging pet owners not to leave their pets at home alone all day with just a bowl of water and a bed to keep them occupied.

Dogs need mental and physical stimulation, as well as food and regular toilet breaks, and they'd simply get lonely without any company or interaction.

Canine behaviourist Adem Fehmi has shared his advice on how long you can actually leave your dog unoccupied, and it’s not as long as you think.

Dog on the beach

Dogs should be walked a minimum of twice daily


When addressing the length of time dogs should be left alone, Fehmi said: “Ideally, we should look to leave our adult dogs alone no more than four hours at a time

"For younger dogs, they might only manage between an hour and two hours.

"Not only will your dog likely need to go to the toilet after this length of time, dogs are social mammals and need company as well as mental and physical stimulation throughout the day."

Fehmi also issued advice to owners who have plans to be out of the house for a long time.

He told the Mirror: "If you don't have any trusted family members or friends to help care for and keep your dog company in your absence, using a dog walker or pet sitter can be a good option.

"If your dog has separation anxiety, a home sitter can be a good alternative.

"Some individual care providers might also be able to take your dog on a 1-2-1 basis at their own home if this is something your dog is able to cope with.

"Doggy day care is of course another option, which might suit some dogs over others.

"When deciding on a dog sitter, walker or day care facility, it is important to consider your dog's individual character, temperament and needs."


Dogs need company as well as regular food and toilet breaks to stay healthy and sane


Issuing guidance around keeping your dogs entertained at home, Fehmi said food dispensing toys are a “must” to keep them occupied.

“It is useful to ensure that the food you are offering in a food dispensing toy is valued by your dog” he said.

"If your dog is a fussier eater, it can be helpful to save special “high value scent” treats such as fish, meat or wet food to use.”

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