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Dog Care Services: Home Alone

Historically dogs were the working companions to people. Border collies herded sheep and cattle. Bernese mountain dogs pulled carts. Dalmatians worked beside horse-drawn carriages. You get the idea. For today’s greater dog population these are out-of-date concepts. In urban society, dogs get left at home while we go off to work.

This translates into idle, bored, often frustrated animals. Dogs are social creatures and are not naturally comfortable being left alone. More importantly, time spent alone at home is a lost opportunity to socialize, exercise, and even teach obedience to a puppy. A healthy regime includes regular interaction with people and other dogs.

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In order for puppies to adjust, they need to learn how to spend time alone. While a dog is a puppy, we need to ensure that they get comfortable with the transition; gradually building on the amount of time we’re away. Eventually, your pup should be able to manage a whole eight hours alone if necessary.

To begin with, an eight-week-old puppy needs to go outside to the bathroom every two hours. As the puppy begins to grow, this time period can be lengthened. See table below for a rough equation to gauge how long your puppy can “hold it”.

Making the Transition

It is unreasonable to think that we can leave a puppy alone for eight hours straight off the bat. This has to happen gradually so that the puppy can grow accustomed to the change.

To help ensure that the puppy is receiving attention during daytime hours, some people enlist a service that can help them with this while they are at work. Having read Ultimate Puppy on this site, use your intuition to select a dog care service that you are comfortable with.

What is Available? What is Appropriate?
Ensure that the services you select for your dog match your own values.

Doggie daycare, dog walkers, and dog sitters are some of the services that you may enlist. If you are considering one of these services for your puppy, you will want to ensure that all your hard work is not being undermined by an outfit that is not “socialization” or “early puppy training” savvy. On the other hand, if you can find an establishment that believes in healthy puppy rearing, you and your dog will reap the benefits.

Table: How long your puppy can ‘hold it’?

These times are approximate and can change depending on the size and breed of your dog.

Puppy’s Age Time Between Bathroom Visits
2 months 2 hours
3 months 4 hours
4 months 5 hours
5 months 6 hours
6 months 7 hours
7 months 8 hours

Control food and water consumption prior to putting your pup in the crate.

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