The general rule of thumb is not to leave your pet alone for more than six hours. Either they really know how to take care of themselves even though they make a lot of mistakes (cough cats) or they don’t at all (cough dogs.) But how long is a safe amount of time to leave your pet alone? And how does being alone affect their health and happiness?
Cats are often thought of as being very lonely, but they are actually very social. Some cat owners even say their cats get sad when they leave. They form strong emotional bonds with their owners and other pets, so it’s important to know your pet’s habits and behaviors before leaving them alone for too long.
On the other hand, dogs are known to love drama and act out when they’re alone. Every time they are alone, it seems, is an endless source of frustration for them. But if they are set up for success, they can spend time alone and do things that make them happy. Toys treatment and comfortable places help them handle those times when they are alone.
Here are some tips from our owners and pet sitters on how to help your pets do well when you have to leave them alone and how long each pet can handle being alone.
Leaving My Cat Alone… I think they’re good.
Most of the time, our cats live in a totally different world than we do. Are they in the chest of drawers? Who can say? Did they get away and hide in the sunroom? How long has it been since they left? Because of this, many cat owners have admitted to leaving their cats alone for long periods of time.
However, experts say that you shouldn’t leave your cat alone for more than 8–12 hours.
Cats are known for being easy to take care of. Their toilets are inside, their food is usually small and easy to keep full, and all you need to do is put out a few water bowls. So, what’s wrong with leaving them home alone over the weekend or for a few days while you’re away on business? Giving your cat some enrichment and fun is a healthy way to make sure it doesn’t get lonely or bored while you’re gone.
Your cat will feel more at home if you move their toys, give them safe, elevated places to play or even turn on the radio or a pet-friendly TV show. Even though flirt poles are great for playing with other cats, you can also set them up with a stand or piece of furniture so your cat can bat at them all day.
Read More: 7 Reasons to Walk Your Dog
Leaving My Dog Alone… Something’s Certain to Go Wrong.
You might be right, but there are ways to keep problems from getting worse. We often forget that mental stimulation also called “enrichment” can be just as tiring and effective for dogs as physical exercise. And your mind can grow even when you’re not there.
We all know that dogs need to go outside, eat and drink more often, and get into trouble if they’re left alone for too long. This is because they need much more interaction than some of the other pets we have. Because of this, you need to know what your pets do.
Here are a few great tips you can live by!
- Live on what you can hold – How long does it usually take your dog to “hold it” while you are at work or running errands? That could be a good way to decide if you need to bring someone in or cut down on how much time you spend away from home.
- Also, think about how old your puppy is. If you have a puppy, you probably shouldn’t leave them alone for more than a few hours. A routine-following older dog, on the other hand, might be sleeping while you’re busy at work.
- Make sure they are comfortable – Having enrichment toys or things for your pet to do on their own can really help keep them busy while you’re gone. Kids can have a lot of fun with tape- and staple-free cardboard boxes and even heads of lettuce. It’s not too destructive and doesn’t take too much time to clean up. (Hey, at least the couch won’t be destroyed, right?)
All of this said, our experts say that your pups should not be alone for more than 6 hours a day to make sure they are happy and healthy.
Keeping in mind that your pets are social creatures who need regular interaction and guidance will really help you and your pets get along better. And there’s never a bad time to have a reliable, well-trained pet sitter ready to go whenever you need them!