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Can Pugs Be Left Alone? {Tips to Make Things Easier for Your Pug}

We live in a world where the pace of work is very intense. How do you manage time when you have a pug pet at your home? You have to give your pug quality time. They are prone to issues like separation anxiety. They feel lonely when you leave for work. It is important to know how much time away from them is enough? When do you know that your pooch is sad? These are some questions we will look at further in this article. And, also is your pooch destroying your home while you are out for work? It’s important to know that even. 


Can You Leave Your Pugs Alone at Home?


Pugs can be left alone at home for a few hours but not for too long. However, it does not give you a free pass to not be with your pooch for hours at stretch. Pugs are social animals. They crave human attention. So, not being with their human parents makes them feel lonely. But, like all pets, pugs also need to learn to be alone. So, yes a bit of training on being alone is not a bad idea. You have to go for your jobs and do your errands, you cannot be attentive to your pug all the time. Training them at a nascent age makes pugs adaptive. It means that at a very young age they learn the trick to be happy when being alone. After growing up you won’t find this to be an issue for pugs.


How Long Can You Leave Your Pugs Alone?


Well, the time frame for you to leave your pug alone comes with many factors. Some major questions include:

  • How young or old is your pug?
  • How much training does your pug have?
  • How anxious can your pug get?
  • What is his/her regular anxiety level?

As far as PSDA is concerned, you should not be leaving your pug for more than 4 hours. No working person can stay this long with their pet. In this case, you can tweak the recommendation a bit. And, judge for yourself if your pug is capable of handling more alone time. If they can, you are good to go. Usually, you can aim for 6 hours. An adult pug can be left alone for 6-8 hours. If you have an average working hour schedule, then you are better off lowering the alone time a bit by being with them for a longer time.


Can You Leave Your Pug Puppies Alone?


Puppies cannot be left alone, they have their issues. They do not have control over their bowel movements till 5 or 6 months of age. As per their age potty breaks can be more frequent. Let’s look into this in more detail:

  • Pug puppies that are 8-10 weeks old have no control over their bladders. They can poop within an hour. So you cannot leave them for more than 1 hour.
  • Pug puppies 2-3 months old poop after every 2 hours.
  • Pug puppies who are 4 months old cannot hold their bladder for 4 hours at stretch.
  • Pug puppies 18 months or older can hold their poop for as long as 6 hours. But, they can stop pooping for 8 hours during nighttime as they need assistance from their human parents to take them for a poop session in the morning.

Pug puppies as recommended should not be left alone for 4 hours. If your pug puppy is small, make that 1 hour if he/she is 5-6 months old. Pug puppies can get scared and this will make them pee all over your carpet. So how long exactly can you leave your pug alone as per their age:

Age of pug

Adequate alone time

8-10 weeks Not more than 1 hour
2-3 months Not more than 2 hours
4 + months Not more than 4 hours
18 + months Between 6-8 hours depending on other factors

How Long Can be too Long?


More than 8 hours leaving your pug is too long.  You can leave your pug alone while going to work or do your errands. But, it is also essential to understand how long is too long for your pug to be kept alone. Looking at a job which can be 8 hours or longer, that’s a lot of alone time for your pugs. If your pug is properly trained, frankly speaking, you are good to go. But if they are not adaptive, you might want to train them further. To keep them busy, you can leave a water paddle for them to play on. Some chew to keep them engaged.

Photo Credit: Pexels

But, regardless if you are one of those people who can leave their pooch for as long as 10-12 hours, it can be an issue. Your pooch requires quality time from you. Swap places with them and see if you can live in a situation where you have no place to go and you are stuck in your home. You will be sick by the end of the day and slam the door and go for a car ride. 

With having a pug comes great responsibilities. You have to manage your time efficiently to be good human parents for your pug. Love them with all your heart but also take care of them. 


What Do the Pugs Do When Left Alone?


What they do alone is according to their moods. Pugs have varied personalities. As per their personality type, you can determine what their schedule will be like once they are left alone.

But as far as common behaviours are concerned they usually do the following things:

Sleeping

Pugs like to sleep a lot. Adult pugs can sleep up to 16 hours a day, and pups even more. While you are working it is more likely that your pug is enjoying his nap. Pug puppies can sleep for 18 hours a day.

Eating

Pugs are gobblers and we all know it. It feels like pugs sniff food while they eat. There is a good chance that your pug will finish his meal as soon as you step out of your door. Some pugs can also suffer from intense separation anxiety. They might not eat food due to it. To make the eating process more fun, make sure that you use a dispenser toy. Bowls can be a bit boring and your pug requires some fun in his life. You can make it more interesting with a dispenser toy. 

Playing

Pugs also love to play in their fun time. Make sure to leave them some toys and chews. That will keep them engaged and make them happy. Make sure that the toy is interactive. 

Guards of home

Pugs can be a lot cuter when they try doing things like guarding the home. When you leave your home for work there is a good chance pugs are acting as guards defending your home. Despite their less menacing look without a baby gate, they will roam from one room to another. 

Making noises

There is a chance that if your pug is suddenly whining, crying, growling, or barking they might have separation anxiety. If this turns out to be a medical issue make sure you take guidance from an animal behaviourist. Take them to a vet and have them checked if there is a physical problem to the issue.

Explore

A pug will roam here and there when you are not in the home. Make sure you have a pug gate or a crate or a concrete division that does not let your pug wander that much. They can cause hazards if left out alone.


What Kind of Risks Do Pugs Face When You Leave Them Alone?


Some pugs are okay when they are left alone while some others are not. There is a good chance that your pug might develop separation anxiety. And, it’s not a laughing matter as this issue can have severe consequences for your pooch. Pugs are highly social animals and leaving them for longer durations can cause mental distress. Especially when you leave your pug for more than 8-12 hours alone in a day. The separation syndrome is more common in pugs than in other breeds. As it’s in pug’s DNA to have issues like that. 

Signs and symptoms of separation anxiety that you should look out for:

  • Barking, making noises
  • Chewing random items vigorously
  • Crying and whining
  • Depressed mood
  • Panic when you leave
  • Eliminating wastes (Urination, passage of bowel)

As far as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is concerned, separation anxiety is a big problem for all pugs. As many as 20-40% of pugs face this problem

Some things you can do to make it easier for pugs when they suffer from separation anxiety:

spend time with your pug
Photo Credit: Pexels
  • Make sure that the pug is not spending too much time alone by themselves.
  • Give your pugs plenty of exercises to do in the morning, that way they would be too tired and sleep the entire day rather than being sad while left alone.
  • Mark their area, demarcate them with a crate. This will act as their area where they can play. 
  • You can also give them plenty of toys to keep them engaged.

Can You Leave Your Pug Alone for 8 Hours?


No, you must not leave your pug alone for 8 hours because this much duration is considered a long time for any pug to remain alone. In general, the time that a pug can be alone directly depends on its behavioural responses. Their personalities and temperaments determine their ability to be alone. But 8 hours generally is a long time even for adult pugs. Make sure that you are with your pug for more than 6 hours. If that’s not possible then train them. Training will surely help them to be emotionally okay when you leave them alone for longer than 8 hours. 

For puppies, it’s a strict no-no. They do not have control over their bowel movements. You should either hire a dog walker or come home mid-day from work to keep a check on pug puppies. Make sure you leave enough water and food for your pug puppies.


Tips to Keeping Your Pug Safe While Being Alone


Leaving your pug at home is a reality that you need to accept. You cannot change the situation. You can make the home environment safer however for your pug.

Dog proof living rooms

First and foremost, dog proofing your home is the most crucial step for a pug owner. This ensures the prolonged safety of your pooch and it’s very important as well. Pugs can be very curious. This curiosity can be a curse as well. There is a likelihood that they may get into an ugly situation. The only solution is keeping your pug from anything dangerous. These are some tips regarding how you can babyproof your living space.

  • Baby gates should be used to keep pugs away from other rooms and stairs.
  • Cover the electrical outlets present in your room.
  • All cables should be hidden behind desks and furniture.
  • Lock your cabinets in bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Doors should be closed which your pug can access.
  • Anything that has the potential to be broken should not be in pug’s reach.
  • Keep all cleaning products away from your pug’s reach.

Training your pug to deal with loneliness

Pugs should be trained to remain calm and confident. The training should make them peaceful and composed and also make them aware that you will come back after some hours. They do not need to feel sadness. You can start the training by letting your pug be in a confined space. The idea is to increase it little by little. Do not leave them for 8 hours at once. Make sure you are there watching them while you lock them inside a room. They should not know about you but you watch them sneakily. See how they are handling it. Start with 5 minutes then build it to 20 minutes. 

Create a safe zone for your pug

The safe zone essentially means that you are creating a space that will be safe for the pug. As a means to eliminate all the possible dangerous situations, your pug can encounter you create it. Some features of the safe zone include:

  • A zone that has no physical risks for your pug.
  • Training your dog to be alone and also be good in handling separation.
  • When you leave your pug in the zone, he feels secure.
  • Pugs know when to go to the zone when you provide them with a clue.
  • It exists to keep you free from worries when you are not with your pug.
  • It creates a sense of security when a dog walker cares for your pooch.

Safe zones are spaces that limit your pug’s movement but also give them space to move. It’s a secure zone but enough for a pug to roam around. Make sure pugs have playing items when they are in the safe zone. You can train the pug to make him realise the time bounds when he/she is in the safe zone. Don’t lock your pug in a single place for too long as you know pugs are social animals and they don’t like to be alone.

Tire your pug before going to work

This is also an idea for you. Make sure your baby pooch is so into his playing routine in the morning. He will most probably be tired and sleep for the entire day. He may not even know that you left. This is the best way to kill his sadness and keep his mood upbeat.

Don’t take extra time with your goodbyes

Do not make your pug realise that you are leaving. If they know about it, they will feel bad and anxious. Anxiety and stress can cause a lot of panic in them. Instead, exit without letting your pug know you are exiting. But make sure that your pug has almost all the amenities that they require. 

Provide your pug with a lot of toys

As far as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is concerned, dogs don’t want to be left alone because of the following reasons:

  • They can face loneliness.
  • They do not find stimulation.

Behavioural problems are most common when dogs do not find that mental stimulation. It can create problems like:

  • Boredom
  • Chewing
  • Over exciting behaviour
  • Depression
  • Laziness
  • Unnecessary barking
  • Digging or trying to escape

Some toys that your pug can have to help them remain upbeat:

  • Seek a treat puzzle: This game is both exciting and intellectually challenging for your pooch. Your pooch has to sniff and find treats with nose and paws.
  • Dog puzzle: It’s a big box of compartments, and one of its compartments has food. Your pug has to find the right compartment that contains food and treats with the help of his/her paws and nose.
  • A treat ball toy: This is a chasing play. Your pooch can chase the ball until they find a treat to feed on.
  • Dispenser toys: These are just alternative bowls. It creates an added surprise for your pug to eat from a different type of solid object. 
  • Rubber bones: Rubber bones are amazing alternatives for your pooch. Consider providing your pooch healthy ones. These rubber bones also come in many flavours which make the chewing part amazing.

Keep an Eye on Your Pug

Well, it is important to keep an eye on your pug. There are many cameras available on the internet that you can use. You can simply connect those cameras to the safe zone you have created. And some camera companies have alternative applications that let you access voice functions and even send you notifications when your pug barks. Technology will help you to keep track of your pooch. 


Ways to Lower Your Pug’s Anxiety


  • Anxiety can cause a lot of distress in your pug’s behaviour. There are a lot of things you can do to keep your pooch happy and feel good. 
  • Play songs to your pug. Some studies have indicated that your pooch loves music. And, if you know how to play music, play classical music to keep your pugs calm.
  • Use white noise if our canine friends are in distress. It is known that white noise will make our furry friends sleep better. 
  • You can use thunder jackets in case your pug feels anxious especially when there is a calamity situation like a thunderstorm.
  • You can use the fragrance of lavender oil to calm your dog’s nerves. Use it in your pug’s collar or use it in his bedding, that way he will remain calm.
  • You can also use adaptil which is an alternative to lavender. It curbs stress-related problems for you. It has an odourless pheromone that creates calmness in a very stressful environment. 

Tips to making pugs alone time easier


I think nobody wants to keep their pugs alone. But with the challenging time schedules we have, we cannot give our pugs all the attention. But, it is also true that leaving a pug for as long as 8 hours can cause problems. Pugs require a lot of emotional support. Let’s discuss some of the key things that can be done to help a pug when left alone.  

Doggie Daycare

This is a great thing to do especially if you are out of home for substantial hours. The only caution is to look for a daycare that keeps interactive sessions with other dogs. And it’s not like one of those places where daycare means locking your dog in another kennel. Make sure your pug is interacting well with other dogs. That way his emotional well-being will improve.

When you have taken your pug to daycare, it’s important to have insurance. Make sure to protect your pooch when he’s around other dogs.

Eat lunch at home

This is by far the best thing you can do. The time schedules are packed when we work. We come home from work late evenings, it’s too late. Maybe for a mid jubilant session, come during noon and have lunch and leave. That’s a far better way of letting your pug come with you outside for a bit and they can stretch their legs, do their potty etc. 

Hire a dog walker

This is the best advice for a person who wants to hire a dog walker to take your pooch outside for a walk. It’s important for a healthy emotional being of your pooch that they walk outside. There are many dog walking websites like Hover where you can pay a person for this service. Make sure that the website is credible before booking it. 

Take your dog to work

This is also one solution that you might think of in regards to helping your dog not to be alone. Many companies are okay if you bring your dog to work. But, it is also true that many companies won’t allow this. There can be a situation where employers might allow you to come with your dog. You never know.

Ask your neighbour or a friend to check up on your dog

There is no issue asking for help from a friend if you need them. If one of your friends or neighbours you feel are trustworthy then ask for help from them, do not shy away. If you can find someone trustworthy make sure they are taking good care of your pooch.

Ask if you can work from home

Yes, this looks a tad bit far fetched. Not all companies have policies to let you work from home. But, there is no harm in asking. If you are allowed to work from home, your pug will be at much peace. You can take good care of him while working. But, it is also true that in this day and age of the internet, you have more freedom. So, a lot of work can be accomplished from home itself. 

You can also plan to work on alternate days. But make sure the days that you work from home, you invest the time in training your pug. Once you have accomplished the training aspect, there is not much of an issue. That way in the office working days your pooch won’t feel sad and would be prepared to be alone.

Get a car seat

This is also a viable option, getting a car seat. Getting a seat assures you that you can come to work along with your pets. You don’t face severe issues. Your pug is with you and can also accompany you when you visit your friends and family.

You do not have to worry much about time to prepare your pug while you leave him/her alone. Pugs love car rides. Make sure you have enough pug diapers packed. That way you can be stress-free while your pug is outside with you. 

Make sure you have another pet

Well, your pugs can get bored. But what if you had another pet to help them with this boredom. Even a cat as a companion can keep your pooch busy. More than one pet can help your pug to be energetic and playful when you are not around. Make sure that you provide equal attention to both the pets. That way each of them won’t feel left out. 

Provide a lot of distraction.

Make sure that while you leave your home, pugs have ample distractions. Pugs are social creatures and they tend to feel lonely very soon. So, as a parent, you need to make sure that their emotional safety is there. After you leave the home, make sure your pug has enough distraction to not feel bad in the day. They can be sad for being lonely. 


FAQ’s


Do pugs bark when left alone?

There is no sure-shot answer for this. Pugs have different temperaments and different personalities. We cannot pinpoint any reason that has caused your pug to bark. You can use a camera to monitor your pug’s reactions. In case the behavior of barking is not part of your pug’s normal behavior then you should visit an animal behaviorist. Make sure to take an appointment and know more about it.

Do pugs need a lot of attention?

Pugs do require a lot of attention. Especially when you leave them alone for your work. Make sure you have established a safe zone for your pug. And, remember pugs are social dogs. If you do not pay attention to them they will be depressed. So, try to keep them happy and train them how to be alone. That way change won’t affect their mental health. Keep adequate food, water and chews to keep them engaged throughout the day.

Final Thoughts

You can leave your pug alone, but make sure you have made the entire place secure before leaving them alone in an empty home. Make sure your pug does not go to any room that has hazardous substances. Keep your pug away from the stairs. If they fall, that can be life-threatening. In case there is a problem, hire a dog walker. More care is needed for their emotional health. Make sure to take them to an animal behaviourist if they suffer from separation anxiety. But lastly, even if you leave them alone for few hours, come and shower them with all the love later.