Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Tips for Leaving a Puppy Home Alone for the First Time

Sooner or later your beautiful puppy will need to be left alone at home. How can you make being home alone safe and comfortable for your pup? What should you do if your puppy cries when left alone? Is it safe to leave a puppy outside all day? Our Gillette vets answer these questions and more.

Leaving Your Puppy Alone

Your puppy learning to stay home alone is good for both of you. A dog needs to learn how to function independently of their human companion and the human needs to have a life that is not solely based on catering to the desires of their canine companion. Below we will give you some tips to make the first time leaving your dog alone a calmer experience.

Can I leave my 8 week old puppy home alone?

Calling puppies your fur babies is not that far off since puppies are much like children. But often you have to run errands or go to work where dogs are not welcome. So, can you leave your puppy home alone? The answer is you should not be leaving your 8-week-old puppy alone for an extended period. This is the part of their life where they have just been weaned and need regular feedings and potty breaks. It is recommended to wait until they are at least 3 months old before they are left alone.

What should I do to prepare for leaving my puppy alone for the first time?

Things you want to do before you leave your puppy alone include:

  • House train your dog. There is nothing worse than coming home to a mess because your dog decided to destroy things as a way to deal with their anxiety.
  • Have some puppy-free time at home. Try not to spend all of your time focused on your puppy. This will allow them to get used to not having your attention every second of the day. This can be as simple as closing the door when you take your shower or not acknowledging them while you are reading a book.
  • Set up a space for your puppy where they can access their water, food, bed, and toys. Having the necessities of life in easy access removes a lot of stress.
  • Puppy-proof all spaces your dog will have access to while you are away. You might want to baby-gate your puppy in or keep them in one room
  • Have your puppy meet other people. This means if you need to take them to a sitter or have someone check in on them they will be less stressed.

How can I make my puppy's first time alone less stressful?

Following the tips below should help to make your puppy's first time home alone a little less traumatic for you and your four-legged friend.

  • Start small. Go out by yourself and take a walk around the neighborhood. Then gradually increase the length of your outings
  • Do not make a production out of leaving. Leave calmly. If you are calm your dog has a better chance of being calm.
  • Return Calmly. If you don't make a scene about coming home your dog will be more likely to treat your coming home and going out as routine resulting in a calmer dog.
  • Leave some clothes you have worn near your puppy's bed or tucked in their crate so they have your scent. Dogs have a great sense of smell and can be comforted by familiar scents.

What should I do if my puppy cries when I leave them alone?

You mean the world to your puppy and when you walk out the door it can leave them feeling like they are alone in the world. For some dogs, this can result in separation anxiety and a host of undesirable behaviors such as non-stop crying, barking, or howling. Dogs with separation anxiety can even begin showing some destructive chewing habits or begin having bathroom mishaps.

The best way to help prevent separation anxiety is to introduce alone time slowly and gradually and to ensure that they are comfortable, well-exercised (tired), and have something to play with if they become bored. 

Your veterinarian can provide valuable guidance on how best to handle signs of separation anxiety that your puppy may show. 

Is leaving my puppy outside during the day safe?

This is a much more complex question than it might seem. The age, breed, and size of your puppy are all variables that come into play when answering this question, as does the location of your home, the size of your yard, how secure your yard is, and the weather on any given day. 

To get a clear understanding of whether this is a safe option for your pup, speak to your vet. Your veterinarian will be able to answer your questions and help you determine if it's safe for your puppy to stay outdoors during the day.

What could I do instead of leaving my puppy home alone?

If leaving your puppy alone isn't working, or if you need to be out of the house for extended periods of time, there are a few options you could try that may help to make your puppy's time away from you more enjoyable:

Ask a Friend to Stop By

Have a friend or family member drop in to play with your pup. Your puppy is bound to enjoy some company for a while, and they will also appreciate the opportunity to stretch their legs and head outside for a bathroom break.

Hire a Dog Walker

You will want to be sure that your puppy is not walking with other dogs until they have all of their vaccinations, but walking with a professional can be great fun for puppies. Your dog will get a bathroom break while also learning new skills and having fun.

Consider Doggie Daycare or Dog Boarding

Doggie daycares are fun places for dogs of all ages to spend time. Different daycares have different setups, but many have fun play areas that look a lot like a child's playground where the dogs can run, play, and socialize. The best part is that your dog will come home tired and happy!

If there isn't a daycare in your neighborhood, consider dog boarding as a great alternative. When your puppy stays at a dog boarding facility for the day or overnight, there will be caring staff on-hand to ensure that your four-legged family member is safe, comfortable and content.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Looking for friendly, reliable dog boarding in Gillette? Contact Red Hills Veterinary Hospital today to learn more about our dog boarding options.

New Patients Welcome

Red Hills Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Gillette companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Book Online (307) 696-2525