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How long do you leave your dog home alone?

(15 Posts)
trashcanjunkie Fri 31-Jul-15 22:59:04

I'm possibly hopefully, hopefully changing career next year, and will have to leave our two much adored dogs at home during the daytime. One is a 12 year old staffie who's happy to sleep till two pm if he's allowed to, and the other is an 18 month old chihuahua. Neither dogs mind being left alone for a few hours, and the staffie used to be left all day (he belongs to my dp who, before we met thought nothing of doing an hours walk from seven am til eight then going to work until five pm and then doing another walk)

We're in an upstairs flat which has a large very secure balcony. Am I being silly thinking the dogs would be ok left from eight am until four pm if they had access to the balcony? I'm really not sure.... They aren't anxious in the slightest, it's more for wees and poos, but something just niggles about it.....

How long do you leave yours for, or what provision do you make?

trashcanjunkie Fri 31-Jul-15 23:00:30

I must add they will be walked immediately before and after they're left, and there's a possibility I might make it home at lunchtimes....

tabulahrasa Fri 31-Jul-15 23:08:39

If it's longer than 4 hours I get someone to come round to sort him out.

Thefacttheyact1234 Fri 31-Jul-15 23:11:55

Mine have maximum 6 hours once a week, and then less time on the other days. I run with them/have a long walk before work.

I have to say that in the days I know they're not home alone I do relax and almost work better hmm knowing they're ok.

Btw there's nothing at all to suggest they're distressed. I come home on the long day and can see they're fast asleep. No feedback from our very good neighbours about problems and certainly no physical evidence of distress.

Lauresbadhairday Sat 01-Aug-15 07:09:07

For 4 days of the week I'm out of the house from 8.30 until 4.00. I get a dog walker to come in around lunchtime to take the dog out for a short walk so she is never left for longer than 4 hours. She sleeps most of the day and doesn't seem distressed but even leaving her for this amount of time makes me feel anxious and guilty.

I think around 4 hours is the recommended maximum time dogs should be left so if you can make it home at lunchtime then that would be fine. Otherwise have you thought about getting a dog walker or asking trusted friend/neighbour to pop in?

Good luck with your career change.

StarsInTheNightSky Sat 01-Aug-15 07:14:02

Our dogs never get left alone (just our circumstances) but in your shoes I wouldn't feel happy about leaving them that long. As others have said, could you get someone to call in and check on them?

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 01-Aug-15 07:15:58

I'm only happy leaving mine for four hours, very occasionally six.

In your situation I would get someone in at lunchtime to take them out and give them a break/something interesting to do in their otherwise boring day.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Sat 01-Aug-15 07:30:31

We've got a 5 year old beagle and he's never been left longer than 4 hours. Even then I get twitchy! He adores company though. We had a border collie when I was growing up and as she got older she slept all day and would happily have been left for longer.

mollie123 Sat 01-Aug-15 08:44:25

I don't work (retired) so go out and leave 'lurch' for maybe one or two times a week.
my rule is leave him comfy on his bed with some biscuits and plenty of water for no more than 5 hours - have been out for 6 hours occasionally but it is very much the exception.
when I worked - I would not have had a dog as my days were long with commuting
he is 11 now and he was less settled when he was younger as he had separation anxiety (a whole long story)
OP - every dog is differant, two dogs are probably happier when left than one dog alone, if you can have someone come in to let them out mid-day even if only for 5 minutes. see how it goes as they may be fine.

lastqueenofscotland Sat 01-Aug-15 09:34:34

Not very long! Probably 3/4 hours though sometimes by mistake longer - the longest was 16(!!) which was not intentional a four hour round trip became nightmare journey as motorway was shut on the way back and i was stuck with the engine off just parked on it for hours then many many many miles doing about 10mph. Was expecting to come back to a trashed house/poo everywhere/ etc etc... got back and he was just hungry.... PHEW.

I know a few people with greyhounds who frequently get left 9-5 with no apparent problems.

aginghippy Sat 01-Aug-15 10:12:46

My dog gets left 4-5 hours 3 days per week and max 6 hours 1 day per week. IIWY I would be looking into getting a dog walker.

Good luck with the new job!

insanityscatching Sat 01-Aug-15 14:50:20

We never leave Eric for more than four hours,he's never unhappy about being left it's more that I'd feel bad. We generally arrange for one of our adult dc to have him.

basildonbond Sat 01-Aug-15 15:20:28

If I have to leave my dog (just turned 2) for longer than 4 hours then I book the dogwalker. A couple of times what was supposed to be a 3-4 hour trip has taken more like 5 hours me he's been fine but I wouldn't want to make it a regular occurrence

financialwizard Sat 01-Aug-15 15:24:28

I have a dog walker that nips in and gives mine a quick blast around the back garden when I go to work. She isn't left alone for longer than 4 hours at a stretch. I only work 3 days per week though and I do run her 3 times a week and she gets 10k of walking every other day.

trashcanjunkie Sun 02-Aug-15 00:52:38

Thank you so much for the answers everyone. I've got everything crossed as I find out next week if I have made it. The irony of this situation - I currently run my own business - as a dog walker blush I'm in the awful position of not trusting anybody else. I've seen too many unscrupulous dog walkers in my time, and also know even very experienced walkers can't control what happens with regard to other dogs/cars/acts of God...

Believe it or not, I've even considered buying an insulated van and creating a mobile dog nursery!

I've also had doggy clients over the years who steadfastly wouldn't poo or pee (most of the dogs I walk are recall trained) but some of those who weren't and had to stay on the lead refused to go, so held it all day. Now, I certainly wouldn't want that for my dogs, but if they had access to the balcony to do their business, I know they wouldn't be anxious.... But it doesn't quite feel like the right thing to do. I don't have family I can ask for help, mil is too far, and my close friends all work. I've been watching the other dog walkers like a hawk, but none of them seem right for our family.

With any luck I will be able to have three days a week studying from home, so it will only be two days a week of placement.... Which gives me another year to magic up Doggy Mcphee.....

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