This article is about a very explosive topic that occupies many who would like to acquire a dog. Is it possible to keep a dog as a single person with a full-time job? Many animal lovers will tell you: Full-time job & dog is an absolute no-go – which is partly true.

A dog that stays alone for 8 hours a day – Absolute animal cruelty! To show you that a full-time job & dog is actually possible in some instances, I have summarized this report for you.

Border collie dog lying, isolated on the white background

Full Time Job & Dog Ownership

Working full-time and keeping a dog when you’re single is definitely possible. BUT, it’s essential to keep your dog still properly occupied and exercised.

If you work full-time and you are a couch potato, your dog will undoubtedly be unhappy. Because if your dog is already alone all day, he should be allowed to pursue his needs, hobbies and interests with you in the evening!

There are some key requirements if you want to keep a dog while working a full-time job!

Please DO NOT adopt a puppy if you work full-time.

Puppies are babies! If you adopt them at 10-12 weeks, they need your full attention! Puppies need physical contact and cannot control their bladder until ten months of age!

American Staffordshire terrier puppy

Therefore, the dog needs someone to be by his side, socialize him, get him used to the environment and do all the essential tasks of a responsible owner!

This is not possible with a full-time job! Even if you sacrifice your whole annual vacation, your puppy still can’t stay alone after five weeks while you are at work! The only exception could be if you have a life partner, parents or grandparents who want to and can take over a lot of work with the puppy and willingly take him in while you are at work!

Owning a dog is more than just a hobby!

Dog School, Dog Sports, Dog Park, and social walks. Even if you don’t want to be in a group, you need to see your dog as more than just a hobby.

If you work full time, you should really spend all your free time with him. A dog that is only with you when you go shopping or with whom you only take a short walk a day is not happy.

After work, a movie night or a dinner with friends, while the dog sits alone at home – this should only rarely be the case.

Your Free Time for Your Dog

If you have a full-time job and still want a dog, you should know that the rest of your day must consist of dog activities!

If your dog has been alone all day, you must keep him busy in the mornings and evenings! Lying comfortably on the couch and relaxing from a stressful day at work is no longer possible with a dog!

Out in the fresh air, rain, snow, and other bad weather is almost a must.

Playing with Dog

A Dog Sitter is Absolutely Necessary!

Yes, I do believe that a dog can be alone for 8 hours a day. But I also think he will need more than five days in a row. I would feel very guilty if I had to do that to my dog.

My work situation allows me to work from home two days a week. Therefore, there are actually only three days that I am in the office all day. Of the three days, my dog is with my mom on at least one day. He gets a lot of attention during the day in the form of petting and walks.

If you have no relatives or acquaintances who can help you: Look for a dog daycare center. Many larger cities already have them. A friend puts her dog in daycare twice a week and is thrilled with the quality of care at dog daycare!

Personally, I would love to additionally give my dog to dog daycare or book a dog sitter to take her for a walk at lunchtime on the days I am in the office all day.

Unfortunately, this service doesn’t exist where I live, but I’m hoping we’ll eventually have one of these for dogs in the city.

Basic obedience and independence of the dog

For your dog to stay alone safely, he must already achieve basic obedience and independence.

You can definitely NOT leave a young puppy alone for 8 hours. Even an adult dog should only be left alone for as long as he can, or he has been trained. Also, make sure your dog doesn’t tear up your apartment when you are at work. Training and practice are everything!

Obedient Dog

Choose a appropriate dog breed – if you work full time

Even though each individual dog has its own unique character, certain breeds of dogs are more suited to working people than others. These animals have been bred for centuries to be uncomplicated and patient. For this reason, these dog breeds can be left alone longer.

The best dog breeds for people in full-time employment include:

  • Basset Hound
  • Chihuahua
  • French Bulldog
  • Labradoodle
  • Labrador
  • Maltese
  • Pug

When choosing your future favorite, pay attention not only to the dog’s characteristics but also to your living situation and housing conditions. Even the most patient dog is not suitable for every living situation.

Automated Food and Water Dispensers

You should make sure your dog has adequate access to food and water throughout the day.

For this gives you automatic food and water dispensers that reliably ensure that your dog has access to food and water at certain times during the day.

Water dispenser for dogs

Useful tips on how to keep your dog alone without stress

Dogs are pack animals. They do not like to stay alone. The fear of being left behind is in their nature and is more pronounced in some and less in others. But dogs can learn to stay alone even into old age.

  • Take time to get the dog used to being alone
  • Train in small steps when you leave your dog alone
  • Walk and exercise so that the dog relaxes
  • Keep your dog busy with games while you are alone
  • Create a spatial boundary when your dog is alone

Watch how your dog reacts to being alone. If you notice that your dog doesn’t take his eyes off you for a second when you’re home and can’t relax, this could also indicate that he’s afraid of you being gone. Practice with him and show that you always come back – and being alone temporarily is no reason to be afraid.

Why do dogs suffer when they are left alone at home?

The dog is a very social creature. It is in a dog’s nature to always be with his pack. But in everyday life with a dog, it is not always possible to take your four-legged friend everywhere.

There are situations when your pelt-nose must dutifully wait for you at home, for example, when you go to work, shopping or have other obligations.

Only very few dogs accept being separated from their family or caregiver without any problems. This can be very stressful not only for you but also for the neighbors and especially for your dog.

It is important to practice with your puppy or adult dog that leaving him alone every now and then is not a bad thing. However, the dog must first learn that he is relaxed waiting at home and get the security that his owner is guaranteed to return.

Otherwise, natural separation anxiety can develop over time, which will also affect your dog’s general well-being, as well as his fear and aggressive behavior.

How to recognize separation anxiety in dogs

Separation anxiety in dogs can show itself in several ways. Some dogs bark, howl or squeal when left alone. In this case, it is readily apparent to you and your neighbors that your four-legged friend cannot be left alone.

However, there are other signs that your furry friend is experiencing stress when left home alone:

  • Symptoms of stress: panting, drooling, tense muscles
  • motor restlessness: pacing back and forth, excessive alertness (constant listening, staring at the door, looking out the window, etc.)
  • destructive behavior: Scratching at the door, damaging things in the apartment, shredding the trash can
  • impatient waiting: e.g., lying in passageways or in front of the apartment door
  • Bodily excretions: Urinating, defecating, or throwing up
  • Agitation that lasts longer: when you come home again or in general on days when he was left alone, he does not come to rest at all (e.g., stress panting)

TIP: If you are wondering whether your dog can stay alone in a relaxed manner, install a camera to watch him in your absence. Watch the video footage afterward.

If your dog lies down, relaxes in his spot, and sleeps, everything is fine. However, if he shows one or more of the above signs, you should start appropriate training with him.


As you can see, it is possible to have a dog even though you are working. But it would be best if you changed your leisure time behavior for the dog. For example, long movie nights or nights in clubs are just as much out of the question as extensive shopping trips through grocery stores and drugstores.

It could also happen that your dog is not allowed to go to all friends and relatives. You should also avoid crowds with your dog, such as shopping malls, demonstrations, loud Christmas markets, carnival parades and similar big events.

When I’m at big events or the movies, I bring my dog to my mom’s house all day! There he gets her full attention, and I can enjoy the evening without a guilty conscience!

That said, it’s important to me that my dog isn’t alone more than twice a week. I also try to be with my dog 24 hours a day on the weekends.

What is your opinion about leaving a dog alone at home? Are you also single & working with a dog?
I am looking forward to your opinion!

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Categories: Dogs


Dr. Orika Mosquera

Hello, I am Dr. Orika Mosquera Lopez graduated from the free university of colombia sectional Barranquilla as a doctor and surgeon. I work as a General Practitioner with Experience in the Emergency Department, Hospitalization and External Consultation. I love pets, i have 2 cats, Bagheera and Nhala and one Yorkshire Terrier called Princess. I care a lot about the well-being of my animals


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