Do’s and Don’ts To Not 
Leaving Your Dog at Home

Life today is very busy. Leaving your dog at home for more than four hours every day can have a negative impact on its happiness, behavior and quality of life. For the health and well-being of your dog, you should not leave him or her alone for too long. Puppies should not be left for more than two hours. Dogs are capable of feeling bored out of their minds just as humans are. When a dog becomes bored, they may start to wreak havoc on your house or annoy your neighbors with endless barking. Your home is your dog’s home, but leaving he or she unattended for too long can create problems for your home and problems for your dog.

What Can Happen With The Dog

Separation anxiety; UTI’s (urinary tract infections); excessive barking; overprotection of owner and other dogs from the same household; digging; urinating and defecating; running away; self-mutilation; overstepping of boundaries within the home and excessive domination; insecurity; reduced self-
confidence; aggression.

What Can Happen To The Home

Drywall is eaten or destroyed; chewed baseboards; chewed or scratched wood floors; chewed carpet; chewed or torn furniture; chewed stairway rails; chewed electrical wires; cupboards broken into; dog becoming an escape artist if windows are left open.

Separation Anxiety

It’s estimated that 55 million dogs in America have separation anxiety. Separation anxiety signs are: excessive barking; overprotection of home and owner; self-destruction to him or herself or home destruction; broken windows; chewed and scratched doors or doorways. Separation anxiety is always trying to find a way out due to being left alone or wanting to be with their humans at all times. Some owners try drug therapy, dog trainers and exercise to solve the dogs’ problems, but sometimes it’s too late depending on the age of the dog and the time he or she has spent at home alone.


Socialization is the key to a dog’s life. Socializing your dog gives the dog physical and emotional stimulation with and without the owner. It is important for separation anxiety dogs to learn how to be social with and without their owners to give balance and to let the dog learn how to be confident in his or her own skin with other dogs and humans. When dogs are left for too long at home daily, they forget how to be a dog. We tend to humanize them way too much. When we decide to socialize the dog in a “dog social” environment, the dog can show signs of insecurity, aggression, panting, stress, vomiting, defecating and urinating, and looking for a way out. Socializing puppies at a young age helps them to learn how to interact with other dogs because if they are deprived of it, they will have damaged social capacity. Daycare, dog parks (without aggressive dogs) and puppy classes help the dog develop stability and flexibility. If you can afford doggy daycare periodically in your dog’s life, it will give your dog self-confidence and security.


It’s estimated that 78 million dogs are owned in the U.S. and 44% of all households in the United States have a dog. We forget as humans that dogs are animals, no matter how fluffy or cute they may be. Cuddling and loving your dog is important, but at the same time, we must step back and teach the dog that boundaries and love must come with respect as a human leader for your dog. We teach this method with our children with love, respect, socializing them with their friends, learning at school and timeouts if in trouble within the home. Giving the same guideline to your dog can help tremendously in a dog’s life no matter how silly it may sound. Dogs dominate and dogs follow; there is always a leader within the pack. Dogs strive for love and affection, and love to work with great rewards. As humans, we need to learn how to increase the time he or she spends with other dogs, exercise, dog daycare, and play dates. Once we have achieved these goals with our canine loved ones, we’ll have a well-rounded dog and a well-maintained home.

Alecia Nelson, Dog Trainer & Dog 
Behaviorist, It’s A Dog’s Life Academy

1302 S El Camino Real Suite E, 
San Clemente, CA 92672

(949) 973-2522  (619) 767-8329