How Long Can A Puppy Be Left On Their Own?

It depends on their age and whether they are toilet trained but a guideline is no longer than four hours at a time.

Younger puppies (from 8 weeks old) should only be left for 2 hours on their own initially and then gradually build up the duration.

This is for both their physical and mental well being.

Dogs generally need to pee between three to five times a day.

But the timing of potty breaks varies from dog to dog, and puppies and seniors need more frequent breaks.

How long can a dog “hold it” before needing a potty break? Here are common time limits for dogs of different life stages:

  • Puppies: one hour per every month of age (so a three month old puppy can wait three hours to pee)

  • Adult dogs age one year and up: up to eight hours, but ideally no more than six

  • Senior dogs age eight and up: depending on size and health, anywhere from two to six hours

Of course, the above estimates vary depending on a dog’s size, health, and habits.

But any dog forced to hold their urine for too long is at risk for urinary tract infection, stones, or crystals.

Plus, holding urine for too long is just plain uncomfortable, and can lead to accidents in the house.

For safety and comfort’s sake,  provide a potty break ever four to six hours. 

Standard work days are eight to ten hours long, so if you can’t swing home at lunch to take the dog out, hire a dog walker for worry-free care.

As soon as your pup arrives in your home, practice leaving them alone for short periods of time.

Pop around the corner to the shops, maybe go next door for a cup of tea….this will help your puppy realize that you do actually come back and

that they will not be left on their own forever, so they learn that its ok to relax or even sleep when you are gone.

Options to Consider if Your Dog Is Home Alone During the Day

Finding alternatives to leaving your dog home alone will depend on your budget, your freedom to manage your time during the day, your family

and social support system, and other factors.

See if your employer will let you work from home some or all of the time. 

Depending on the kind of work you do, you may be able to do it effectively from home. If so, ask your boss if he or she would be amenable.

You’ll never know if you don’t ask!

  • See if you can bring your dog to work with you. 

  • Again, this depends on the kind of work you do, who you work for, and whether your employer might be open to having dogs in the

  • workplace. (Obviously, if you work for yourself, you can give yourself permission!)

  • Bringing your puppy to work has become very popular and you can set up a blanket, food & water dish, newspaper, toys & treats.

  • Take your dog outside on breaks and lunch hour.

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  • We raise & train ALL of our Sweet Morkie babies in exercise pens  NOT small tiny kennels like the pet stores will suggest.

  • We have found that our puppies like to have more room, rather than being squished in a small crate waiting hours for your return.

  • Top 15 Best Crates for Small Dogs and Puppies - Animalso
  • How do you know that your baby Morkie doesn’t have to go poop moments after you leave, and then your puppy is left to sit in it’s own

  • feces for hours on end?

  • Our babies have ample room for them during times we need to go grocery shopping or the doctors which can take hours.

  • Here, we have newspaper for potty when they need to go, toys for entertainment, ample room for stretching, food, water and chewies to

  • keep them busy.

  • AS SOON as we return, we open their gate, and they run, following me outside to go potty.

  • Our Morkie babies are raised in a clean, non smoking home, and they are happy.

    Come home for lunch. 

  • If your workplace is close enough, consider returning home at lunchtime to walk your dog and spend some time interacting with him.

  • Ask a stay-at-home family member or friend to dog-sit. 

  • Is there anyone in your family or circle of friends who likes dogs (including yours), is home a lot and would be willing to care for your dog a

  • few days a week? Perhaps you can offer the person something they need in return, such as pet- or babysitting services.

  • Arrange for someone to stop by and walk your dog. 

  • This could be a friendly neighbor or anyone you know and trust who likes dogs and would be willing to give yours some attention a few days a

  • week. You can also offer to pay a neighborhood child or teen to do it.

  • Hire a professional dog walker. There are a lot of dog walking services around these days, depending on where you live.

  • If you decide to go this route, be sure to do your homework and find a reputable one.

  • Enroll your pet in doggy daycare.

  • If your dog enjoys interacting and playing with other dogs, a doggy daycare once or twice a week can be a godsend.

  • “Look for clean, well-designed locations with qualified staff who will manage interactions between the dogs and provide necessary rest

  • periods,”.

  • You can only enroll your puppy after it’s had it’s third vaccine, and please bring your Morkie baby to a daycare with ONLY small dogs.

  • You want to make sure that you are not putting your puppy at risk of being hurt from a large dog.

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