Caring for your puppy while you are out

Caring for your puppy while you are out

Getting a young puppy will almost certainly mean that you will have to make some fairly significant changes to your lifestyle, particularly when the puppy is under six months old and requires lots of supervision and almost constant companionship. When you are planning to bring your puppy home for the first time, it is important to pick a time when you will be able to look after them, get them settled in, and generally begin to establish their routine with you as part of your family. Often, this will mean one family member taking some time off work to do this, so that someone can be at home with the puppy for their first couple of weeks and begin to get them used to being left alone for short periods of time without anxiety.

But what about in the long term? Few of us are able to stay at home all the time, and many of us have to go out to work to help to earn the income that will pay for the care of the pup itself! So, how should you go about taking care of your puppy while you are out, either at work or for other reasons? Read on to learn more!

Don’t leave your puppy for longer than is reasonable

Getting your puppy used to being left alone should be a gradual process, and you should build up the length of time that your puppy is left alone for slowly. Spending all day every day with them and then going back to work and leaving them on their own for eight hours or longer is simply not appropriate, and ideally, no dog of any age should be on their own at home for longer than five to six hours, or four hours for dogs under a year old.

However, even spending a few hours alone can cause anxiety in your pup if this is not approached properly, and in order to be able to leave them alone happily and not come home to a ruined house and an unhappy puppy, there are various things that you need to do!

Feeding and toileting

You should feed your puppy before you go out to work or away from home for a few hours so that they are not hungry while you are out, and make sure that you leave a reasonable amount of time for the food to process through their system and come out the other end!

Allowing your pup outside for a few minutes to go to the toilet should be undertaken right before you need to leave the house, and you should train your pup to take the opportunity to do their business at this time, as they will not be able to later on.

Safe spaces

You should already be getting your puppy used to crate training, and having a space of their own that is safe, comfortable and secure. Providing your puppy with the run of the entire house while you are out might seem like a good idea as this will give your puppy more chances to entertain themselves, but in reality, the opposite is true.

Confining your puppy to one room, and setting up a safe, secure corner of it is greatly preferable, as this will instil a sense of safety and security in the pup that may be missing if they have the run of the house.

Remember to close the door, or set up a baby gate to keep your puppy in the right room!

Providing for their needs

Ensure that your puppy is left with everything that they will need while you are out. Provide two water bowls some distance apart (so that your puppy will not go thirsty if one bowl is knocked over) and if your puppy is apt to relieve themselves while you are out, provide an area for this as well, away from their bed and bowls, and protected with newspaper or puppy pads.


You should make sure that your puppy has plenty of toys and activities to entertain themselves with while you are out, and especially consider providing puzzle toys that will decant a treat to your pup and keep them busy! You might also want to leave the TV or a radio on while you are out, as the sound of voices can be soothing to your pup and help to keep them reassured.

Checking on your puppy

If you work for a full eight hours or will be away from home all day, it is important that someone can check on your puppy in the middle of the day, allow them to go to the toilet and stretch their legs, and to provide them with a bit of company. If you can get home to do this during your lunch break this is ideal, but failing this, look into having a friendly neighbour pop in on your dog, or consider hiring a pet sitting or dog walking service to look in on your dog in your place.



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