According to a survey conducted by AAHA, 19 percent of pet owners took their dogs to work at least once a month in 2000. Right now, more than 60 million households in the United States have dogs, and more and more workplaces like Amazon and Google are becoming pet friendly. 9 percent of US employers are now allowing their employees to bring their dogs to work every day.
While taking a dog into the workplace has several benefits, it has its downsides, too. This is why a majority of people still opt to leave their pets behind when they go to the office. But if you intend to do this, it is crucial that you know how long you can leave your furry friend alone at home.
A lot of this depends on their age. If you have an elderly dog, it is safe to leave him 8 to 9 hours as long as he doesn’t have health issues. But if you have one that is under 2 years old, it is not advisable to leave him longer than 6 hours. A little puppy, on the other hand, should not be alone for more than 2 hours.
Useful tips for leaving a dog alone at home
As a responsible dog owner, it is important to consider your pet’s safety, happiness, and overall well-being. The key is, you should train your pooch as early as possible so you can leave him at home while at work without any problem.
Here are tips that should help you out:
· Start training your dog early on
It is never a good idea to leave your dog alone for an extended period at once. Start training early on and do this by leaving him for a few minutes. Once you see that he is getting comfortable, gradually increase the alone time.
· Make sure that food and water bowls are accessible
You won’t want your dog to starve while you are at the office, so see to it that food and water are accessible. Put the bowls in places where your pet can easily get into them.
· Keep your pup occupied
Just like human beings, dogs need entertainment, too. Therefore, before you leave the house for work, ensure that your pup will have something to keep himself occupied. Provide some interactive toys.
· Create a space where your dog can relieve himself
The last thing that you would want to happen is to come home to a messy place. To avoid this, you should create a designated area where your dog can relieve himself at. You can make use of newspapers, pee pads, or grass pads.
· Utilize a dog monitor
Using a dog monitor will certainly give you peace of mind as this device allows you to see what your dog is up to while you are working.
Leaving a dog in the bathroom while at work
Although there are some benefits to keeping your dog in a bathroom whilst you go to work, I don’t know anyone who does. To me a bathroom is a strange and alien place for most dogs and I wouldn’t recommend it as a place to keep your dog.
· Bathroom floor is easy to clean.
· It’s a confined room so it is easy to control the dog.
- The bathroom will be a very unfamiliar space for your dog because it is not a living space.
- Bathrooms tend to have strange acoustics, because of all the hard surfaces.
- Bathrooms can also be very moist environments, which for extended periods, won’t be good for dogs.
- The dog might find his way and chew on the water line supply, which can flood the house.
- He might get into the soap/shampoo/detergent or even your bath towels and tear them apart.
- If the bathroom doesn’t have good ventilation, it might be too hot or too cold.
- The space might not be enough for the puppy to roam and play around.
Leaving a dog in the kitchen while at work
A second place that you could choose to leave your dog when you are out all day, is in the kitchen.
To me, this is a much better option than a bathroom.
- A kitchen is going to be a more familiar place to a dog than a bathroom, because they will have spent more time in it.
· Kitchen floor is easy to clean.
· May be spacious enough to set up a playpen so you can still somehow ‘contain’ your dog’s movements in this area of your home.
· Pet odor may remain, and this is unpleasant for a kitchen.
· If there’s no playpen, your dog might get into low cabinets or shelves and chew on just about anything stored there.
Keeping a dog in the basement while at work
Basements more than other spaces in our homes vary massively. Not only in size but in terms of function as well. What I mean is that in some homes, basements are a fully functional living spaces and are as warm and welcoming as the other living areas in the house.
Other people’s basements are more like a garage- cold and bare functional spaces, with lots of concrete on view
- How much time does your dog spend in the basement with you? Is it a comforting and familiar environment?
· Depending on the size of your basement, this can be enough room for your puppy to play around while you are away. You have the option to transform a certain portion of the basement into a dog room.
You can even do so with the entire place. Again, it all depends on the size of the basement compared to the size of your dog as well as his level of activities.
· If you have a walk-out basement with windows, it would work great to leave your dog at while you are at work.
· If your basement comes with solid flooring, it should be fairly easy to mop, wipe, or wash.
· There might not be enough natural lighting.
· This part of your home may be too humid. And as such, it will require you to spend some money to make it better for your dog.
· Electrical outlets or cords may be present and those can pose danger to your dog.
Leaving a dog outside while at work
· There will be more room for your pet to roam around as long as your yard is wide enough.
· You won’t have to worry about a mess inside your home and spend a lot of time cleaning them up when you get home from work.
· Your canine can easily relieve himself outdoors.
· If your dog loves outdoors, he will surely have a good time being outside while you are at the office.
· It can trigger behavioral issues like too much barking and disturbing your neighbors, as well as digging up, which can destroy your lawn.
· If you don’t have fences, your pet might be able to escape and get lost. Remember that dogs are smart, and if they get bored or frustrated, they can easily find ways to escape even if your yard is surrounded with fences. Your pet may jump, dig under the fence, or even destroy it.
· Leaving your dog outside may also welcome unscrupulous individuals to steal your pet, especially if they really like the breed. This has already happened in so many places, so you should be extra careful if you decide to leave your pup outside while you are at work.
· Another disadvantage of your dog being outdoors while you are away is that it can expose him to extreme weather conditions. If you are located in a place that is too hot, your pet may have heat stroke, which is fatal. On the other hand, if the weather is too cold, your dog may suffer from hypothermia, which is dangerous as well.
Leaving a dog in a crate while at work
· It can help potty train your dog. You just have to find a way for the crate not to be soaking wet and in a huge mess, especially if you know for a fact that you will be gone for long hours. Bottom line is, a crate serves as a useful temporary tool when you are potty training your pet.
· Using a crate can provide your dog his own place while you are away. It makes him feel safe and secure. You can also make the crate as comfortable as possible to keep your pet happy and occupied while you are at work.
· Since a crate is a confined space, you will have peace of mind. You won’t come home to a messy house with pee and poop everywhere. You will just have to focus on cleaning one spot and that is where the crate is at.
· As long as the crate is locked properly, you also won’t have to worry about your dog escaping when you leave him alone at home.
· Leaving your dog in a crate can help keep him away from getting into harmful or toxic chemicals in your home.
· Leaving a dog in a crate for an extended period of time may trigger separation anxiety and this can lead to behavioral problems that can be hard to address.
· Crates are not advisable to use for young puppies or even older dogs with medical conditions.
· A crate can be dangerous if it was poorly built or has poor ventilation. The same is true if your dog is wearing a collar or leash.
· It can cause physical frustration and emotional distress.
There are several options if you want to leave your dog behind when you go to work. You can leave him in a crate, in the kitchen, bathroom, basement, or even outside. But as you can see, each of the choices has its pros and cons. Therefore, the best choice would highly depend on your circumstances.
For you to be able to identify the best place for your dog while you are at work, you have to consider the length of time that you will be away, your pet’s behavior and level of activities, as well as his health condition. Bottom line is, whichever room you choose to leave your dog at, it should be pet-proof, safe, comfortable, and wide enough for your pet to enjoy.
¹ Photo by Ayla Verschueren on Unsplash
² Photo by Matthew Foulds on Unsplash
³ Photo by Francesca Tosolini on Unsplash
⁴ Photo by Naomi Hébert on Unsplash
⁵ Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash
⁶ Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash
⁷ Photo by Illumination Marketing on Unsplash