Canine companions can make all the difference to a household. Dogs are known for being extremely loyal, energetic, and great company which is why they are the most popular pet in the United States.
There are currently around 69 million dog owners in the states compared to 45.3 million cat owners.
As these pets are parts of the family, we want to do our best to keep them happy and healthy. So what are we supposed to do when we need to go out?
In this article, we discuss whether it is better to leave a dog at home or in a car whilst you aren’t there.
Table of Contents:
What Happens When You Leave Your Dog In The Car?
It is a well-known fact that you never leave your furry friend in the car on a hot day.
Influential dog charities and animal experts have concluded that even with the windows cracked open, your pet could experience organ failure, tissue damage, or even worse if left in a hot car.
Likewise, when the weather is too cold your pet should also not be left in the car as they may catch hypothermia.
In a matter of minutes, the car can significantly cool down or warm up which is dangerous for your pet if they are left alone for too long.
There are certain factors that make dogs more vulnerable to being left in a car alone such as age, weight, health conditions, those with short snouts, and breathing problems.
Advice For Leaving The Dog In The Car
If for whatever reason you need to bring your dog with you in the car, it helps to have a passenger to sit and run the heater or air conditioner whilst you’re gone.
When running errands, ask your partner, kids, or a friend to come with you and keep your dog company.
Never leave your dog alone for more than a few minutes. If you’re literally jumping out of the car to drop off a parcel or gift to someone’s house then your dog will be okay.
However, sometimes errands can take longer than we expect so it’s safer to leave your dog at home or take it with you.
In the time it takes for you to fill up the car with petrol, your car’s internal temperature could’ve doubled and turned into an oven even with the windows down.
What Happens When You Leave Your Dog At Home?
Experienced dog owners will know that many dogs will just sleep whilst you aren’t home.
If you have more than one dog, they might play with each other or play with some toys but it’s more likely that they will just sleep until you get home.
As dogs are social creatures, they might look out of windows to see what’s going on and bark at that pesky squirrel that taunts them with his daily visits.
They may just watch out to see you coming to the front door.
Tips For Leaving Your Dog At Home
Leaving your dog at home is good for them as it teaches them how to be alone and avoids them developing separation anxiety.
Here are some great tips that will make life easier for you and your pup.
1. Create Their Own Space
When you first get a dog, you are usually told to make an area for them in the house so they can feel calm and safe.
This space should house their toys, water, and food. You can always make this area even more inviting with blankets and cushions, depending on the breed.
To provide some comfort whilst you’re gone, leave something that smells like you in their bed to keep them calm.
Clothing works well, although if your dog has a habit of chewing then we’d suggest not leaving your prized sweater in their bed.
2. Ensure There Is Plenty Of Water
Although this may seem like common sense, it’s important to emphasize how important it is to regularly change your dog’s water and ensure they have plenty of it.
As dogs don’t have sweat glands, they pant and drink water to cool down.
Get into a routine of changing your pet’s water every morning and keeping the bowl nice and clean when you do it. Always give your pet water that is safe for drinking.
3. Give Them Something Safe To Chew On
Contrary to what you may think, it’s dangerous to leave your dog with a bone or something similar as pieces could break off causing them to choke or get stuck.
This is the worst-case scenario, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Instead, leave them with a puzzle toy such as a Kong or a lick mat that will keep them entertained for hours without a care in the world.
There are many enrichment activity toys available online for a minimal cost, we love snuffle mats!
4. Leave Out Toys
When dogs have toys to play with and things to keep them entertained they won’t be as anxious when left alone.
This also helps prevent them from chewing on things they shouldn’t be chewing, especially when they are puppies.
5. Walk Them Before You Leave
A tired dog is a good dog! When you give your pets enough exercise, they should settle into their beds or somewhere comfy and snooze peacefully when you aren’t there.
When dogs have a lot of unused energy, they tend to misbehave and want to chew things.
Hiring a dog walker or dog sitter, or sending them to doggy daycare is a great option for many. However, we understand that these can be expensive and aren’t viable for everyone.
6. Understand The Breed
Is your dog highly sociable? Does your dog like to have company or prefer to be alone?
These are things you probably already know about your dog, so it’s evident that there are certain things you can do to make them happier when left alone.
Even if your dog doesn’t like to be left home alone, it doesn’t mean you should leave them in a car whilst you are running errands or seeing friends.
Always bring your dog with you or leave them with a sitter.
Dogs That Do Well Alone
There are certain breeds of dogs that are so better alone than others, these are usually less active and independent.
Other breeds are very hyper and require a lot of stimulation and exercise to keep them happy.
Here are some examples of dogs that do well alone:
- French Bulldog
- Chow Chow
- Boston Terriers
- German Shepherd
- Siberian Husky
This doesn’t mean you can leave them unattended for extended periods of time.
They can cope well whilst you’re at work better than other dogs, but they still need the same love and attention that needier dogs do.
Follow our guide to keep your dog happy when alone.
The Bottom Line
It is better to leave your dog at home where they are safe and happy rather than make them wait for you in the car.
Many stores, restaurants, and public spaces are dog-friendly, so double-check and bring them along for the ride!