How to Deal With Leaving Your Pug Home During the Day
Your Dog And Your Life

How to Deal With Leaving Your Pug Home During the Day

One of my favorite things about working from home is that I don’t have to leave my dog alone for long periods of time. It’s been a true gift, especially during his bout of separation anxiety as a puppy. But what if you’re not so fortunate?

Pugs are a clingy breed. They’re best suited to a person or family who can spend plenty of time with them. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have a pug if you work full-time outside the house.

Let’s look at some options you can consider for leaving your pug while you go to work.

Table of Contents:

How much time should I spend with my pug?

You should spend as much time as possible with your pug—they aren’t going to get tired of being around you!

That said, we all have obligations that don’t involve walks around the block and games of fetch. (Oh, how I wish that weren’t true!)

Your pug will be okay if you have to leave them for short periods of time. However, they’re one of the clingier dog breeds. They’ll likely struggle if you leave them for an entire workday, every single day.

Pugs want to spend time with their families. And puppies, in particular, need plenty of playtime!

You should carve out time in your day for training, daily walks, and playtime. In addition, you might want to brush your pug once or twice a week, and should know that you’ll spend some time cleaning up their shed fur.

The rest of the time, your pug will just want to be around you, whether they’re in your lap or laying at your feet.

How much time should I spend with my pug?Do pugs have separation anxiety?

Not all pugs have separation anxiety, but they are more prone to developing it than other breeds.

Separation anxiety happens when a dog has difficulties being left alone. They are either clearly distressed or develop problematic behaviors in order to cope.

Some signs your pug is suffering from separation anxiety are:

  • Problem behaviors, such as excessive barking or chewing things they aren’t supposed to
  • Obsessive behaviors, such as licking themselves repetitively, pacing, or constant whining
  • Acting nervous or extremely clingy right before you leave
  • Depression, possibly even after you’ve come home
  • Panicking either before you leave, or after you’re gone

Separation anxiety is a true struggle for both dogs and the people who care for them. It’s difficult seeing your pup upset. It’s also frustrating to come home to chewed furniture or an upset neighbor complaining about the constant barking.

So, what can you do to help a pug suffering from separation anxiety?

  • Minimize the time they spend alone, as much as possible
  • Give them plenty of exercise before you leave to tire them out
  • Give them an area, such as their crate, that serves as a safe space in your home
  • Make sure they have plenty of appropriate things to chew
  • Give them things to do when you’re gone

We’ll talk about these things more in-depth further below.

Do pugs shed?

Yes—pugs shed a ton!

Many of them have double coats, which increase the amount they shed. They also shed heavily all throughout the year.

You can reduce pug shedding by brushing and bathing them regularly. You might also choose to take them to the groomer, especially if you’re busy or have a fussy pug.

When it comes to clean-up, you can keep dog hair under control through vacuuming your floors. If you notice a ton of hair on your furniture, you can use a vacuum extension or double-sided tape to remove it.

How often should you walk a pug?

Pugs need at least a short daily walk when the weather allows. This should also be supplemented with playtime indoors.

Puzzle toys, in particular, can be great fun for you and your pug. Pugs are incredibly smart dogs!

All that said, pugs are bred to have short muzzles. This is a poor breeding practice that works to the dog’s disadvantage, as it causes a host of health issues.

Because of this, exercise and extreme temperatures are a concern for pug owners. Your pug might have exercise intolerance, which means they can’t take rigorous activities like running or even walking long distances.

You also have to be careful that it’s not too hot outside, as their short muzzle causes pugs to overheat more easily than most dogs.

This isn’t to discourage you from getting outdoors and spending time with your pug! Just keep an eye on them to ensure they’re okay.

How do you kennel train a pug?

You and your pug might feel better when you have to be away if they’re kennel trained.

Crate training, when done right, gives your pug a place of their own to feel safe and comfortable. It also allows you to know they aren’t up to anything mischievous while you’re gone.

The first step to kennel training is to make the crate a comfortable place for your dog. Give them a dog bed or blanket inside, along with their favorite toys (see also ‘Complete Kirkland Dog Bed Brand Review‘).

Never force your dog into their crate, yell at them for not going inside, or otherwise associate the crate with negative experiences. Never, ever use crates to punish dogs for misbehaving.

The point of a dog crate isn’t to lock your pug inside a cage—it’s to give them a safe place inside your home, almost like their own little bedroom.

Here is what you should do when kennel training a pug:

  • Introduce your pug to the crate slowly, leaving the door open at first.
  • In the beginning, close the door for short periods of time, working up as your dog becomes more comfortable.
  • Be patient and let them get used to their crate on their own time.
  • Provide lots of treats!

Check out the American Kennel Club’s full guide to crate training a puppy if you need more help!

Can a pug stay alone for 8 hours?

Your pug really should not stay at home alone for 8 hours. That’s a long time for such a social dog to have no interaction.

However, that’s not to say anyone has to choose between a career and a pug!

There are plenty of options available, which we’ll discuss next.

How to be a working pug owner

Unfortunately, if you work full-time and have a pug, you might need to spend money to make it work. But this isn’t for everyone, so let’s go over some free options that might be available to you, first.

Go home on your lunch break

If you live close enough to work and have a long enough break, try making a trip home to see your pug.

This will help you avoid messes, especially if you’re still potty training. It also gives your pug some reassurance and helps them cope, as this way they’re not alone for the entire 8 hours you’re gone.

Take them for a quick walk, offer some playtime, or just cuddle while you eat your lunch before returning to work.

Ask friends and family for help

If they’re willing, ask a friend or family member to stay and keep your dog company for a while. Preferably, they’d be able to do so in the middle of your workday to help break the time up for your pug.

But you’re working around another person’s schedule, here, and any time is better than nothing!

Of course, this is easy if you live with other people—unless you work the same shift, your pug won’t be alone while you’re gone.

But if you live alone, it can be more challenging to find someone to help you out for free. Which brings us to some paid options.

Hire a dog walker

Hiring a dog walker to come sometime in the middle of your workday gives your dog something to look forward to! They’ll also get exercise and socialization.

Your dog walker will need access to your home, which makes some people uncomfortable. Try searching for a dog walker with good reviews on sites like Rover, or ask friends and family for recommendations.

This way, you can have a bit more trust in your dog walker.

Small brown Pug Dog with flat black face and white curly tail Straining on Leash

Hire a dog-sitter

This is a more costly option, but it’s great for your pug if you have the budget.

A dog-sitter can spend plenty of time with your pug while you’re away, allowing you to work without a worry.

You can even offer to pay a family member or friend for this service if they’re interested.

Take your pug to doggy daycare

I’ve left this for last, as it is the most expensive. But if you don’t want someone having access to your home, it might be your best option.

Finding a doggy daycare where you can take your pug will allow them to socialize with people and other dogs, and get plenty of playtime and attention.

This is another stress-free option as you know your pug isn’t lonely or misbehaving while you’re at work.

What if I’m only leaving for a while?

Pugs can be left on their own for short periods of time. Of course, this can be difficult with new dogs, especially if they have separation anxiety.

Here are some ways you can keep your pug happy while you’re out of the house:

  • Leave them lots of toys! Having lots of chew toys around the house can stop your puppy from chewing on your shoes. You can also leave some toys that make your dog think, like a KONG toy stuffed with treats or peanut butter.
  • Make sure they’re comfortable. Leave your pug with plenty of water to drink. If you crate train, make their crate a comfy place for them to be! Just make sure your pug feels as safe and secure as they can while you’re out of the house.
  • Buy a dog camera. These devices allow you to watch your dog on your phone while you’re away. They also allow you to speak to your dog, or offer them treats.

Does it help to have two pugs?

Having two pugs does help prevent them from feeling lonely! It can be a great solution to get another dog to keep your pug company, whether that second dog is a pug or not.

However, there are many things to consider before adopting another dog. Don’t do it thinking it will solve all your problems!

First of all, you have to ensure that your dogs can get along even when you’re out of the house. Otherwise, you could end up in an even worse situation than you were in originally.

If your dogs do get along well, they’re still going to take double the time and energy when it comes to training, exercise, grooming, and clean-up.

Of course, owning two dogs is also more expensive.

If you have the resources and want two dogs, then you should adopt two! Just be realistic about whether or not you can provide for them.

Two light brown pugs with black faces standing.  Potted plants in background.  One dog looks at camera, one to side.

Can older pugs be left alone longer than puppies?

Older pugs can be left alone longer than puppies. We strongly recommend you adopt an adult rescue dog, rather than purchase a puppy from a breeder.

This is especially a great idea if you work outside of the home. Full-grown dogs will need time to adjust to their new family and home, but they’re unlikely to need the same training as puppies.

It’s likely your rescue pup will already be potty trained and leash trained. They might also be crate trained or know some basic commands.

And, your local shelter, rescue, or the dog’s old family will be able to tell you much more about their personality than you’d get to know if you adopted a puppy.

The potty training alone is incredibly helpful for those who will be gone at work, as you won’t come home to any puddles on your floor!

Additionally, we recommend rescue pugs due to the health problems bred pugs have. It’s better to give an existing pug a home than to support unethical breeding.

However, older pugs are still sociable dogs that are prone to separation anxiety and loneliness when left alone for long periods. So, adopting a grown pug isn’t a magic fix for these problems. It will simply lessen them, and make life easier for busy pet parents.


We hope this guide has helped you decide whether pug ownership is right for you, or has given you some ideas when it comes to leaving your furry friend home alone.