Home Alone

Kids back to school? You back to work? Worried about how your cats and dogs will cope on their own again?

These days, most of our pets spend their time at home alone. They can often get bored and lonely. Especially after we've all been at for for the past year due to Covid.
Read our tips and advice on how we can help that time pass easily.

Dogs:

Dogs find it more stressful to be left home alone than cats. Especially puppies. Before the age of 5 months; puppies shouldn't be left for more than 1-2 hours at a time. Any longer can prolong house training. Puppies up to the age of 18 months can be safely left for up to 4 hours. Leaving your dog alone should also be introduced gradually to reduce the risk of stress to your pet.
We do not recommend leaving your dog outside alone. This can cause your dog to develop behavioural problems such as prolonged barking.
Every dog is different, whilst one dog may feel perfectly happy and settled for longer periods of time, another may not.

  • Exercise your dog before you go to work. This way they should spend a good amount having a morning nap.

  • Try a dog dispensing toy, such as a Kong, to keep them occupied. You could even put their breakfast in it before you go to work. For excellent chewers, try freezing the Kong first; makes getting the food out far trickier!

  • Tried a Doggie Walker? If you work long hours there are many dog walking services readily available now. They can either just pop in to see your dog or take him/her for a nice walk.

  • Leaving a radio on can make your dog feel like they are not home alone too.

  • Try leaving lots of toys out for your dog to play with. Make sure you check the toys on a daily basis to make sure they are safe. No sharp edges or loose fillings etc.

Cats:

Cats are thought to be very solitary creatures that can be left alone for much longer periods of time than dogs. While this is true to some extent cats genuinely love to be with their owners and can develop separation anxiety if they are left alone for too long.
While there isn’t as much research into how long a cat can be left alone in terms of hours, it is safe to say that you should not leave your cat alone for days. If you need to be away for multiple days you should consider inviting a neighbour/family member or cat sitter to come and visit cat.
Additionally, similar to dog parents, cat parents should provide environmental stimulation to keep your cat occupied while he/she is home alone – even if it is only for the few hours you are at work.

  • Leaving your pet some fun toys to play with when you’re not around can help you both avoid unwanted behaviour that often stems from boredom (like biting, tearing and toileting in inappropriate places).

  • Leaving a radio can also benefit cats in the same way as dogs.

  • A couple of different cat scratching posts can provide hours of fun.

  • If your cat in inside whilst alone; a cat litter tray is essential.

When you get home after leaving your pet alone, be sure to shower them in attention! Talk to your pet about your day. Take your dog for a nice walk.