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I'm thinking about adopting my first dog, and I'm wondering what everyone does with their dog when they need to leave home for several hours, or even a day.

I live in a rural area, so I go out of town about 3-4 times per month to get groceries and run errands. I'm usually gone for around 12 hours, on average. I could probably take the dog with me (I'm getting a small dog), but that would probably be stressful on him/her since I would be going to several different places, and would have to leave him/her in the car. I don't have a basement, but I do have a spare bedroom. I have a backyard, but it is not fenced.

What do most dog owners do in cases like this?? I want to be prepared! :)

Thanks!
 

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I'm also home most of the time (rural, too), but need to leave sometimes-like you, too long to leave in crate. We have a fenced yard, but it's way to big to leave the puppy in it where she can get garden hoses, etc. So, we bought a 10'x10' pen to use for this exact thing. I've been leaving her in it longer each day lately to get her used to the first time I have to leave for 6+ hours. She cried & made a fuss the first several times, but I didn't give in (even though it was difficult! she's quite persuasive). Now, she stays in it quietly, if not happily yet. Good luck with whatever you use. It's hard to leave them that long for the first time!
 

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Take them, I say- being alone at home or alone in a vehicle, right? Except that pets should not be left alone in closed cars due to the building heat of the sun even on hazy days from spring to fall- so if you can't tether pup in the car and leave a window WIDE open because you are afraid of theft in that enighborhood, then I would leave her home- can you install a dog door so the dog can go outside? IF so, great, if not, then there are piddle pads for pups to use when they can't get outside. I use one

OR leave her with a friend?

Either way, any pup needs to be eased into being alone- start by leaving for under a minute, then go back in and let the pup see that you come back- increase by a few minutes at a time until you are up to 30 minutes, then go for an hr, then an hr and a half, etc.

It really works- my pup doesn't love that I go out for long periods but she doesn't whine, bark, cry, whimper or get destructive because I eased her into it.

I am having a much harder time leaving her than she is being left alone.
 

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If it's cool, take the dog with you. If it's too hot or really cold, leave the dog home and get a friend, neighbor or dog walker to come over a couple times to take the dog out.
 

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My dog was with me to Lowes today (again). I also take the opportunity to do a little training in the store and when I ran into the grocery store she waited in the truck ... with the engine running and the air going (Ford with keys on the door so it can be locked with the engine going). I don't dare to let her wait more than 10 minutes since a friend's rottie got heatstroke when the AC stopped while they left him in the car, but it's enough to run in for a few items.
 

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If it's cool, take the dog with you. If it's too hot or really cold, leave the dog home and get a friend, neighbor or dog walker to come over a couple times to take the dog out.
This is my suggestion.
When weather is hot/cold enough (I don't know what those points are) leaving a dog in a car can actually be dangerous. However, I take my dogs when I run errands sometimes and the weather is nice. Sometimes they can come into the store with me and sometimes they cannot... they enjoy it.
 

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If it's only 3-4 times per month, I would leave the dog home alone. But as above, ease the dog into it from the first day it's home, and when you do leave, give it kongs and other chew toys. You might also want to restrict access to the whole house, but that depends on the dog.

I work from home, so my two dogs aren't home alone a lot, probably maybe two 8 hour periods per month at most, on occasion we've been gone 10-12 hours. Never had any accidents or destructiveness, but that depends on the dog, whether or not it's properly housetrained etc. Keep in mind also that some small dogs have small bladders and just can't hold it for more than 6 hours or so.

If it's possible to take the dog with you, I would do that. If it's left in the car, then at least it's not home alone for 12 hours. You can let it out and let it pee and give it some attention between errands. Some dogs have issues with cars though, I would only do this if the dog enjoys going for drives and is calm when left in the car. Crate training would be good, then you can crate it in the car when you're not there. Obviously you must always park in the shade and on hot days the dog is better off at home.
 

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Mine are crate trained. If I'm going to be gone up to a few hours then I crate them. If I will be gone longer than about 4 hours then I put them outside in the dog run, which is 10'x6' and 6' tall so they can have more room to walk around, and can potty. The kennel has chicken wire over the top so they can't climb out, and also chicken wire flat along the ground under the edges so they can't dig out.
 

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My small puppy is 7 months old. When we go golfing (gone about 3 hours) we either leave her in her sleeping crate or if the weather is nice we have a 6 x 4 foot outside chainlink kennel with a tarp roof that we put her in. It is hard leaving them the first time, but it is that or you don't have a life! When we go into the city (we live in the country) we usually take her to a pet resort that has daycare and for $10 she can play with other little dogs and be supervised (it is a super place). I think as she gets older I will be more comfortable leaving her in the outside kennel for longer periods of time. I am not sure how she would behave left alone in the house as we have never done that. We do however sometimes leave her in when we go out to work in the garden for a short time. She seems to whine only when she can see us....if she can't see us she is quiet. I have started taking her in the car for rides but have never left her in the car to run into a store. I am not sure how she would react....if she would bark and go crazy???? I guess I will try it one of these days...............
good luck
 

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I'm assuming that hot weather isn't a major issue where you are (compared to Texas :) ), so I recommend that you take the dog with you, and make sure that the car doesn't overheat. I can leave my dog in the car for 30 min. on a sunny day at 80 degrees with the windows opened a little. I imagine you could do the same, but for an hour...

Depending on the size of the dog, you might get a small portable crate and carry the dog into the store on the shopping cart. ... But, if you can keep the dog from getting too hot, and can provide potty breaks every hour or so, I think that taking the dog with you is a good socialization opportunity...
 

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We leave our pup home every single weekday for up to 8 hrs, with a break at the halfway point. I feel kind of bad about it, but we have to work! He does fine in his pen while we're gone (he's crated at night, but we give him more room during the day).

If it was places your dog could go, I would take him along! Socialize your dog to different situations so going places won't be stressful for it. This weekend I brought our 5.5 m/o puppy to my college reunion. He was outside, in all different buildings, dorms, went to an art show, met tons and tons of people and a few dogs, and he was amazingly well behaved and happy as a clam the entire time! So it is possible to be in lots of different situations with different people and have it not be stressful. If the dog is small enough, you could probably have it in a soft carrier in the cart, as long as it isn't too loud. If the weather isn't too hot, the dog could hang in a well ventilated crate in the car with the windows open. Of course the dog would have to be crate trained prior to the outing, but otherwise as long as it isn't too hot or cold, it shouldn't be an issue.
 

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I have now worked up to 5 hours with my almost 5 month old pup, little one has not been left yet. If I am going to be gone longer than that puppy either comes with us or I get a pet sitter. We live in a rural location too so I know how it is having to go a distance to get errands done. I have my kids with me so that helps, if going into a location that I can not bring puppy into, like say Walmart I leave my 2 teens out with her and they walk her etc while I go inside.

WHen I have to go for those 5 hours or less pup have free reign of the kitchen, livingroom and entrance way. I hide treats around etc. I take her for a good walk before we go and again immediately after getting home. She has done very well with this.
 
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