There is a lot to consider before deciding to adopt a Poodle. Even after you are confident that a Poodle is a perfect breed for you, you’ll need to ensure that your household and lifestyle provide an appropriate home.
Are you someone who works many long hours or spends most of their day out and about? You might be wondering: Can a Poodle stay home alone? Read on to learn more about how often you can leave your Poodle alone and what you should know before you do.
Can A Poodle Stay Home Alone?
Poodles can stay home alone as long as their surroundings are safe and dog-friendly. You should also be sure not to leave your Poodle alone longer than is age-appropriate for your pet.
Do Poodles Have Separation Anxiety?
Some Poodles can develop separation anxiety, making it more difficult to stay home alone. You can work with your veterinarian to treat separation anxiety if it manifests in your Poodle, helping them become more comfortable when home alone.
What is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety occurs when a dog becomes severely stressed when left alone. This stress causes misbehavior, such as howling, having “accidents,” panting, destroying the house, or escaping.
All dogs will likely engage in this type of behavior at some point. However, dogs with separation anxiety will experience it whenever they are left alone.
Do Poodles Have Separation Anxiety?
Poodles can experience separation anxiety. They can develop this type of anxiety from past trauma or changes to their lifestyle.
Typical triggers of separation anxiety include new dogs or family members, an unsafe environment, neglect, or having a powerful bond with their owners. Poodles can also develop separation anxiety as they age and lose control of their bladders.
If your Poodle has separation anxiety, you might notice signs of distress when you are preparing to leave your home. These signs can include drooling, barking, or destroying things around the house.
Poodles with separation anxiety might also change their eating or bathroom habits.
How Can You Treat Separation Anxiety in a Poodle?
Luckily, there are many ways to help your Poodle cope with separation anxiety.
Train Your Poodle To Stay In Bed
Train your dog to retreat to their bed for long periods. Start this training by rewarding your Poodle for laying in their bed while you remain in the room. Over time, increase the distance between you until you are no longer in the room.
This simple training method can help your Poodle view their bed as a safe space and become accustomed to lying there while you are not with them.
Reserve a Special Toy for Time Spent Alone
Purchase an extra-cool toy for your Poodle that they only play with while home alone. This can help your Poodle get excited about your absence because they love the special toy.
These toys include “stuffable” toys filled with treats or peanut butter, a flavored chew toy, or a mentally stimulating treat-dispensing toy.
Medication for Separation Anxiety
The ASPCA recommends discussing the situation with your veterinarian if you struggle to resolve separation anxiety in your dog. Your vet will consider prescribing medication to help your dog overcome their fear when home alone.
What to Know Before You Leave Your Poodle Alone
Follow these guidelines to ensure your Poodle is safe and happy until you return home.
Create A Safe Environment For Your Poodle
Prepare your home before you leave to ensure your Poodle does not get into trouble while you are away. Ensure your Poodle has access to fresh water and a comfortable sleeping space until you return.
Pick up anything dangerous to your dog and place these items out of reach. Dogs often explore the house when you’re away, so make sure your entire home is dog-proof before heading out.
Pay special attention to these typical temptations dogs love to get into while you’re gone:
- Laundry, especially socks and underwear
- Off-limits food, such as a plate of chocolate brownies on a table or counter
- Children’s toys or clothing
- Anything small and wooden that your dog can mistake for a stick
- Medicine or vitamins left out on tables or counters
Create a Happy Environment for Your Poodle
Once you are sure you’re home is safe for your Poodle, you can take a few extra steps to make it even more pleasant for your pup.
Poodles are very affectionate and love people, so create a little background noise that makes them feel less lonely. Leave the TV on or play music for them to listen to. These little sounds can reduce anxiety in Poodles left alone.
Switch up the music you leave on for your Poodle often over time. This study found that hearing different genres of music can reduce stress in dogs left alone.
Leave the lights on so your Poodle is not alone in the dark. If you were home alone, would you turn on the lights? Give your pup the same consideration.
Keep safe toys and other entertaining items within your Poodle’s reach to provide entertainment until you return. You can also open the curtains or blinds to allow your Poodle to see what is happening outside.
Don’t Leave Your Poodle Alone for Too Long
Be careful not to leave your Poodle alone for too long, or they are likely to have accidents in the house.
Poodles can generally be left alone for however long they can last without needing a bathroom break. This means a puppy can only be left alone for much shorter periods than your adult Poodle.
If you aren’t sure how long this is, use the “months of age” rule. Your puppy can hold their bladder for as many hours as they are months old. This rule works well until they reach 8 or 9 months, at which point the time between needing a bathroom break will max out.
Adult Poodles should not be left alone longer than 8 hours because they will need to go outside to do their business.
Avoid Leaving a Bored Poodle Alone
Poodles are intelligent dogs that require mental and physical stimulation. Your Poodle is much more likely to misbehave alone if bored or over-energized.
Consider engaging in a training session or walk before leaving your Poodle unattended. A tired dog will enjoy the quiet, empty space more than an energetic one. Your dog might even take a long nap until you return!
You can also purchase a mental stimulation toy to entertain your Poodle while you’re out and about. These toys require your dog to move levers or open compartments to reveal treats. You can find these at your local pet shop, online, or by asking your veterinarian for appropriate recommendations for your dog.
Train Your Poodle Before Leaving Them Alone
Train your Poodle not to destroy furniture or other household items before leaving them alone. You should also housetrain your Poodle before they stay home alone.
Always ensure your Poodle is properly housetrained before leaving them alone. Failure to do so will likely result in accidents throughout the space. If you have a puppy, keep in mind that they will be more likely to have accidents if left unattended because you cannot take them outside if they show signs of needing to potty.
While it can be challenging to train your Poodle to enjoy their alone time, it is crucial for raising a healthy dog. The clubs recommend training all puppies to spend time alone and enjoy this unavoidable break from their family members.
Should Your Crate Your Poodle When They Are Home Alone?
While a crate is an excellent training tool, especially when housetraining your new puppy, avoid leaving your Poodle in one for extended periods.
If you choose to crate your Poodle while away, be sure the crate is large enough for your dog to stand and turn around while the door is closed. Otherwise, you will be forcing your Poodle to lay down until you get home. This is uncomfortable and bad for your dog.
Know Your Dog Before Leaving Them Alone
While most Poodles can be left home safely by following these guidelines, it is essential to know your dog before leaving them unattended.
Some dogs might not be happy at home alone as often as others due to their history, temperament, or personalities. For example, avoid leaving a Poodle alone for extended periods if they quickly become sad in your absence.
Start small if you feel your Poodle might not be a good candidate for spending time alone. Leave for short periods, gradually increasing the length of your absence. Pay special attention to what makes your Poodle more comfortable to help you prepare for future time apart.
Adult poodles can be left alone for 8-9 hours if safe and comfortable. Always ensure your Poodle has received enough mental and physical stimulation to tire them out before leaving them home alone.
Poodles can develop separation anxiety that leads to misbehavior. Still, you can work with your veterinarian to treat your dog’s separation anxiety with or without medication.