Leaving a puppy alone while you’re at work: our top tips

Bringing a puppy into the family is an exciting time. But dogs and puppies need a lot of love and attention, especially when they’re young. Ensuring you spend adequate time with your new pooch is unlikely to be a problem, but there are always going to be occasions when you need to leave them alone. It’s therefore also important that they learn to be comfortable on their own for short periods of time, to prevent issues such as separation anxiety.

If you’re working full time and do not have a way to spend time with your puppy during working hours, we would recommend considering a dog-sitting service or similar to ensure good mental wellbeing for you and your four-legged friends.


How long can I leave my puppy alone for?

When your new pup is very young it’s important that you do not leave them alone for extended periods. Younger puppies can become distressed after a short time of you being away, so it’s important that you are prepared to spend as much time as possible with them in the beginning.

As they grow, puppies become more independent (and more able to control their bladders). That means you can use your puppy’s age as a rough guide to how long they can be left alone for. The chart below shows the maximum advised time you can leave a dog alone for based on their age. However, we do not recommend leaving your puppy alone regularly for these periods, and ensure they feel comfortable as every dog has different levels of tolerance to being alone.


Remember, every puppy is different, and you need to find out what works for yours. Try leaving your puppy alone for short periods at first. If they’re alright and don’t show any signs of stress, then you can start increasing the time you’re away. Eventually, as they get older and more used to you being away, you can occasionally begin leaving your dog alone for the day. Take a look at our pro tips for puppy parents for more training advice.

What should I do before I leave my puppy alone?

  • Start slow – leave your puppy alone for just a few minutes at first, gradually building up the time you’re away, so long as they’re not upset

  • Make sure your puppy gets plenty of exercise – the mental and physical stimulation of going on a walk and playing outside will help them cope with being left alone

  • Create a safe place for your puppy – like their crate, if they’re crate trained, or a puppy-proofed room, with access to fresh water

  • Be prepared for accidents – while you’re still house training, puppy pads can help keep things clean

  • Make positive associations – giving your puppy a chew or special toys will help them associate you leaving the house with them getting a treat.


I don’t want to leave my puppy alone while I’m at work – what else can I do?

Change your working arrangements

If working from home isn’t possible, see if you can get some flexibility in your working hours. Could you take a long lunch?

Have someone pop in

Consider having a family member, friend, or dog sitter check in on your puppy while you’re out.

Go to doggy daycare

Dogs are social animals, and it’s very important to get your puppy used to meeting other dogs and people. Doggy daycare can be the perfect solution for when you’re away.

Speak to your vet

If your puppy is showing signs of separation anxiety, or you have any concerns, ask your vet for advice.

We know leaving your puppy alone can be just as stressful for you as it is for them, but by taking time to train them to be comfortable alone you can have the joy of a doggy addition to your family and keep your boss happy. If you’re looking for more advice for keeping your new family member happy check out our puppy advice pages.

We hope this has given you a helping hand. For more tips and guidance, check out our dog advice pages.

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