Leaving Your Dachshund Alone? How Long Is Too Long?

When you get a dachshund, your life inevitably changes. Yet, as much as we would like to, that doesn’t usually include staying at home all day to cuddle them.

Few people are lucky enough to work from home, take their dog to work, or have a relative living close by who can dog sit.

For the rest of us, the option is to leave our furry friends alone during work hours.

And that’s okay! As much as your little pal might shoot you the puppy dog eyes as you put on your shoes, it is safe to leave a dog alone.

portrait of a black and tan dachshund sadly looking out the window awaiting the return of the owner  to come home

As guilty as you might feel, it’s not cruel to leave a dog alone for a certain time period. It’s normal that you’ll spend time away from your pup, and they need to get used to it.

That said, an adult dog should only be on their own for a maximum of four hours.

If you will be gone longer than this, you need to arrange for someone to come over and let your doxie out to go potty.


Separation Anxiety

Other breeds might give you the sad eyes as you leave, and wait for you in the window when you come home.

But, dachshunds can feel the effects a little more, as they suffer from separation anxiety.

This is an intensified feeling of stress when you’re absent.

In this article, we’ll talk about what happens when you leave your doxie alone and how to make the experience as stress-free as possible.


How Long to Leave Them

Some experts suggest that dogs can be left for anywhere between four and six hours.

With a dachshund, it’s best to limit that time as much as possible. Four hours should be the most time that your weiner dog is home alone.

Like humans, dogs can develop a UTI or kidney problems from holding their bladders.

black dachshund with collar standing in hall alone

So leaving your furry friend without access to the outdoors for hours is dangerous for their health. Not to mention their boredom!

Dachshunds, being an energetic and curious breed, need mental stimulation.

If they are stuck indoors for hours on end with nothing to do, they will find ways to entertain themselves.

Which could mean chewing your favorite pair of shoes or the couch.

Whilst they are small and may not need to walk for hours, they do need to get outside.

So make sure your doxie gets a walk before you leave or have a dog walker come over while you’re out.

Puppies should not be left alone for four hours. Experts apply the ‘hour per month’ rule. For each month the puppy grows older, they can hold their bladder for another hour.

Very young puppies will be potty training and as such, will not understand that they shouldn’t go in the house.


What Your Dachshund Does While You’re Out

Dogs can exhibit several behaviors when feeling lonely. None of these are guaranteed to happen; you might have a little angel.

But it’s possible that your pup will give into boredom and act out in one of the following ways.

Barks and Howls

As sad as it seems, your four-legged friend might call out for you when you’re not there.

They howl to attract attention and think that this will cause you to come back. Likewise with barking. Especially if you’ve responded to their vocal cues in the past.

Home alone Dachshund dog barking

This behavior is not destructive in itself but it can be disruptive if you have neighbours who are home when you aren’t. It’s particularly difficult for people living in apartments.

There’s nothing you can do to stop them from making noise but you can take measures to reduce their separation anxiety.


Stops Eating

As the name suggests, Separation Anxiety is a form of anxiety. Sometimes a loss of appetite can be a result of anxiety.

It’s best not to plan their meal times around periods that you’ll be gone.

Once you get back, they’re sure to perk up and fill their belly. But until then, they’re probably feeling sad and don’t feel like eating.

By all means, leave a treat down for them but make sure their main meals happen when you’re in the house.


Chews Furniture

As mentioned, another way doxies deal with their boredom is to chew. This keeps them occupied and expends some of that hyperactive energy.

It’s a great idea to leave lots of chew toys around for them so that they busy themselves with those. But, they still might find something they shouldn’t gnaw on.

They chew shoes and furniture when they can’t find anything else to sink their teeth into and when they’re acting out.

dachshund puppy tore furniture and chews home slipper

They want to show you how upset they were that you left, and so they do some damage.

Be sure to keep your valuables somewhere they can’t get to and maybe leave an old pair of shoes around as a decoy.

want to show you how upset they were that you left, and so they do some damage.

Be sure to keep your valuables somewhere they can’t get to and maybe leave an old pair of shoes around as a decoy.


Feels Depressed

This can include lack of energy, not eating and loss of interest in their favorite activities. If your weiner dog is depressed, they won’t necessarily cause any trouble.

But it’s definitely sad to think that your fur baby is at home feeling blue.

It’s likely that you won’t be able to get them out of their funk while you’re not there. But, some of the following suggestions can help to ease these feelings.


What Can You Do to Help?

Some of the above behaviors can’t be stopped if your pup is suffering Separation Anxiety.

To stop them from acting out in a way that upsets you, the best method is to try and prevent this anxious feeling in the first instance.

Train Them Right Away

The most important step in combating Separation Anxiety is to train your puppy.

Whether you train them at home or you take them to a trainer, you can get them used to your absence.

For example, you could start off by leaving your dachshund for a few minutes, then increase it to 15 minutes, then an hour and so on.

By leaving them for short periods initially, they will realize that you always come back.


Walk or Play with Them before Leaving

It’s a good idea to tire your dachshund out before leaving home. While asleep, they won’t feel the effects of your absence.

Adult girl playing with her dachshund dog

Take your doxie out for a walk or play together energetically. Any vigorous activity that will encourage them to doze off while you slip out.


Get a Dog Walker

If you don’t have time to walk your dog before leaving, this is the next best thing and is by far the best solution for leaving a dog on their own for a long time.

If you can find someone you trust to let themselves in, consider getting a dog walker.

They will usually walk several dogs at once, but there may be people who will just pick up your pup.

This way your little one gets out for some exercise, toilet time and has a chance to socialize.


Get Another Dog

Unfortunately, this isn’t an option for everyone. One dog can be a lot to take on, so a second should be a serious consideration.

Two lovely dachshunds

Yet, if you can make room for another pup in your life, this would be ideal for leaving them alone.

As long as they get on and have a loving relationship, they won’t feel your absence so intensely.


Stick to a Routine

Dogs are creatures of habit, you soon learn that when you get one. They start to know when to expect food, to go for a walk and when you’ll be home.

So having a stable routine is key for them. It’s best if you can leave and come home at the same time each day so that they get used to expecting you home.

For this reason, shift work might not be ideal for anyone thinking of getting a dog.


Leave the TV on

When you’re home, the house is inevitably filled with noise. Whether that’s from friends and family or TV and music.

Leaving some background noise can help keep the situation normal. It won’t be such a stark contrast to go from a house filled with noise to complete silence.

Make sure that the noise is barely audible and will be guaranteed to stay calm and reassuring.

Remember: your pooch can’t turn it off and you don’t want them to feel distressed.


Downplay Leaving and Returning

This might be by far the most difficult piece of advice to follow.

Your little weiner dog is over the moon to see you home and will be bouncing off the walls (literally!) and you’re also really excited to see your pup.

So it’s going to be tricky not to make a huge fuss of them.

If you can, try to downplay your return as much as you can. When you get home, stick to your normal routine of hanging up your coat and bag.

Let yourself unwind and sit down before showing your pup any attention.

The same goes for leaving; try not to rush out of the door and keep coming back for your keys or phone. If you’re stressed, your pup will pick up on it.