Saturday, June 10, 2023
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Leaving a dog alone

Age, race, character, and how long our pet has been at home are factors that can influence their behaviour. How many hours can pets be left alone?

The most important thing to understand is the dog is sociable and conditioned to live in a pack. In this context, you have to better understand the dog and their behaviour when being left alone for periods, in particular destructive or compulsive behaviours.

These and many more questions are asked by a dog owner or guardian when that dog is left alone and problems arise. The maximum time a dog can stay alone is not a fixed and constant figure but depends on many factors.

One such factor is age: leaving a puppy alone for a long time is not the exact same as leaving a mature adult dog or an old man. Puppy dogs, due to their needs and activity, cannot stay alone for long without pining after company.

Another more than important factor is the state of physical health of an animal.

Breed can also play a role. In some very temperamental or very barking breeds, being alone can increase the chances of a convulsive and noisy stay, incompatible with the desire for peace. The dog’s own character is very important when deciding how loneliness will influence its way of reacting to lonely time.

The length of time the animal has been living in the house is equally very important when trying to understand its reaction to being left alone. A dog accustomed to the house, to its environment, is not the same as an animal in the period of adaptation to a new environment.

Complying with the minimum tolerable physiological interval in those animals that have been educated to relieve themselves in certain spaces (park, sidewalk, etc.) is essential in evaluating behaviours in the face of loneliness. As a general rule, a dog cannot be home alone for more than eight hours without needing to go outside for relief.

Going out for the dog has the same effects that reading a newspaper has for us: it informs us, refreshes us and let us know what is happening in the world.

If this is not done in a timely manner, signs of serious pathologies may appear such as separation anxiety characterised by a lack of appetite, compulsive barking or howling, elimination in inappropriate places, destructive mania and senseless behaviours such as wandering in circuits or something similar. This all needs to be taken into account from the perspective of a pet owner.



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