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Can Labradors Be Left Alone – Do They Get Lonely?

Leaving your dog home alone can be difficult, especially when they give you those pitiful puppy dog eyes. However, most people do not have the option of taking their dog everywhere. Unfortunately, this leaves many Labrador Retriever owners wondering: can Labradors be left alone?

Labradors can be left alone. Dogs can be left alone for 24 – 48 hours as long as they are provided enough food, water, and room to roam. Younger dogs should not be left alone if they are not trained.

In this article we will be explaining how you can leave your dog home alone safely. We will also be providing some additional tips on how you can keep your dog happy when they are left home alone, and we will also be answering some commonly asked questions about leaving your dog home alone.

Pros And Cons Of Leaving Labradors Alone

No one enjoys leaving their dog home alone. However, most people cannot take their dog to work with them every day. This leaves dog owners with two options: leave their dog home alone or make arrangements for someone to spend time with their dog when they are away. Here are some pros and cons of leaving your dog home alone.

Pros Of Leaving Dogs Home AloneCons Of Leaving Dogs Home Alone
You do not have to pay for doggy daycare, a dog walker, or a pet sitter.Some dogs have a tendency to bark, especially if they are left outside.
Many dogs enjoy or tolerate being left home alone.Dogs can have accidents in doors if left for too long.
Crates, play pens, and kennels can make leaving your dog home alone safe and simple.Some dogs can get into some trouble when their owners are away such as tearing up papers and getting into the garbage. This is more common in puppies, but adult dogs can do this too.
The invention of home cameras makes it possible to check on your dog when you are away. Some even have the option for you to talk to your dog and dispense treats.Separation anxiety can be a serious problem. Dogs with separation anxiety could exhibit destructive behaviors, have accidents, bark excessively, and even attempt to escape.

How Long Can Labradors Be Left Alone

Many Labs tolerate being left home alone fairly well, and it is reasonable to leave an adult Labrador alone for around 6-8 hours. However, you should definitely avoid leaving a dog home alone for more that 8 hours. This can not only cause accidents, but it could lead to your dog developing some behavioral issues from not having their emotional and social needs met.

Can I Leave My Labrador Alone For 8 Hours

Although you can leave an adult dog alone for 8 hours, there are some things that you should do before leaving them home alone for this long.

You should definitely take your dog outside before you leave and right when you get home. This will prevent your dog from having accidents and developing health problems such as UTIs. In addition to this, you should supply your dog with plenty of water and toys to occupy himself when you are away.

Do Labs Get Lonely

Dogs can get lonely when their owners are not home, and this can range from mild to severe. Some dogs just pout and act upset when their owner leaves, but after a few minutes after they have gone the dog appears to be fine.

However, more severe cases are considered to be separation anxiety, which is characterized by anxious, repetitive, and sometimes even destructive behaviors.

Can Labradors Tolerate Being Left Alone

Many labradors tolerate being left home alone fairly well. However, it is still important to look out for signs of separation anxiety, especially in puppies. In addition to this, you will need to ensure that your dog’s emotional and social needs are met when you return home.

Do Labs Have sSeparation Anxiety

Any type of dog could have or develop separation anxiety. For this reason, it is important to look out for symptoms of separation anxiety in your dog, especially if this dog is new to your home. Some summon signs of separation anxiety in dogs include:

  • Destructive behaviors (chewing, digging, etc)
  • Attempting to escape (crate, room, house, yard, etc)
  • Having accidents (and sometimes eating it)
  • Excessive barking or howling
  • Obsessive behaviors such as pacing or scratching

If you notice any signs of separation anxiety in your dog you will likely need to take him to a vet to rule out any potential medical causes of his behavior. You will also benefit from getting some help from an animal behaviorist and a dog trainer who specializes in dogs with separation anxiety.

Is It Cruel To Leave A Dog Alone All Day

No, it is not cruel to leave your dog home alone if:

  • You have taken them to use the bathroom before leaving
  • If they have water
  • If they have a comfortable and safe place to stay in
  • If they have shelter and a place to cool off/ get warm when left outside
  • If they are left for no longer than the longest recommended amount of time for your dog’s age (ex: no longer than 8 hours for an adult dog)

Is It OK To Leave My Dog Outside While At Work

It is ok to leave an adult dog outside when you are at work. However, you will need to have some things set up for them such as a shelter from the elements, plenty of water, and a place to cool off or get warm if it is hot or cold outside.

You will also need to make sure that your dog is secure and will not get loose or have other animals get into their outdoor area.

Do Dogs Get Lonely At Home Alone

Although some dogs can get very lonely and exhibit signs of separation anxiety, many dogs do not have these symptoms and are fine with being left home alone. Of course, their physical and emotional needs will still need to be met though.

What Age Can Dogs Stay Home Alone

The amount of time you should leave a dog home alone depends on how old they are, and puppies require a lot more daily attention than most adult dogs do.

AgeMax Amount of Time Left Alone
Less than 3 monthsShould not be left alone for more than a couple hours at a time
3 monthsNo more than 3 hours
4 monthsNo more than 4 hours
5 monthsNo more than 5 hours
6-18 monthsNo more than 6 hours
AdultsNo more than 8 hours

What Do Dogs Need When Left Alone

Your dog will need some things to keep them safe, healthy, and happy when left home alone. These things differ depending on if your dog is being left outside or inside.

This is because being inside of a home naturally protects a dog from the outside elements while being kept outside does not. Therefore, a dog being kept outdoors will naturally need more things set up for them than a dog who is kept inside.

What a Dog Needs When Left InsideWhat a Dog Needs When Left Outside
A safe and comfortable space to relax inA secured area that other animals cannot enter and your dog cannot escape from
Blocked access to dangerous itemsShelter and ways to get warm or cool off
Plenty of water and some food (food is optional if feeding schedule is not disrupted)Plenty of water and some food (food is optional if feeding schedule is not disrupted)
Toys to keep them occupiedToys to keep them occupied
 Blocked access to dangerous areas/ items

How Do You Prepare Your Dog For You Leaving

Having a morning routine before leaving your dog for the day is key to prepare them and ensure that all of their needs are met. You should always include time for then to use the bathroom before leaving.

You should also get their area set up with water, toys, and a comfortable spot to relax in. You could also place some food in this area if you have not yet fed them.

As you head out the door, you should not make a fuss about you leaving because this can sometimes cause a dog more stress and anxiety. Instead of making a big deal about leaving, you should give them a quick and normal pet goodbye and leave as you would without a dog being there.

How Do I Keep My Dog Entertained While At Work

To keep your dogs entertained when you are gone, you can leave them with some toys. This way they can still enjoy some activities such as chewing and snuggling with their favorite stuffed toy when they are home alone.

You could even give them some mental enrichment when you are away by providing them with some puzzle toys.

Where To Keep A Dog When They Are Home Alone

There are many different safe ways that you could leave your dog home alone, and there are many pros and cons to each. When choosing one of these methods an owner will need to take into account their dog, their local climate, and the nature of their living situation.

It is best to keep a dog indoors if your area has harsh weather and your dog is sensitive to very hot or cold temperatures. In addition to this, it is best to keep a puppy indoors in either a crate, puppy proofed room, or playpen. This will limit their access to potentially dangerous items or areas.

Some adult dogs thrive outdoors, however. If this is the case then a kennel or secured backyard could be a fine place to leave them if they have a sheltered space and ways to cool off or warm up.

How To Train An Older Dog To Stay Home Alone

A dog will usually not need any training unless they are being left in a crate. The only exception to this is if your dog is exhibiting separation anxiety. In these cases, you may need the help of an animal behaviorist or a dog trainer who is qualified to work with dogs who have separation anxiety.

How Do You Train A Puppy To Be Alone

When leaving a puppy alone, it is important to start leaving them in short increments. To ensure the puppy’s safety, you should always leave them in either a crate, secure playpen, or in a puppy-proofed room.

You may need to do a bit of crate training to get your puppy properly introduced to a crate if you are planning to use one. In addition to this, you should never leave a puppy alone for longer than the recommended amount of time for their age.

More Thoughts

There are some additional things that you should consider when it comes to leaving dogs home alone. Some dogs really struggle when their owners leave them alone. Luckily, there are some things that an owner can do to limit these times of solitude for their dog.

These include sending them to doggy daycare and hiring a dog walker. Because going to doggy daycare everyday can be over stimulating to some dogs, many people suggest having a combination of the two for their dog’s weekly schedule.

The Benefits Of Doggy Daycare

Doggy daycare poses many potential benefits for the dog who gets a little too lonely when home alone.

The first is that it provides great socialization with other dogs, and the other benefit is that they have other dogs and people to spend time with them when their owner is away. This option is only good for dogs who are not aggressive towards other dogs, however.

The Benefits Of Having A Dog Walker

Having a dog walker is great for many reasons. This is perfect if you have long work days because it will give your dog a chance to socialize, exercise, and use the bathroom.

It is also great for dogs who have some difficulties with being alone as well because someone will be spending some time with them during the day.

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