Pugs are typically clingy “velcro dogs” and they often struggle with separation anxiety. If you’re considering getting a pug you may find yourself wondering how long is reasonable to leave them home alone. Especially if your entire household works outside of the home.
Can Pugs Be Left Home Alone All Day?
Adult pugs should be physically fine if left home alone all day. Emotionally, it’s likely to be tough on them. Pugs were bred to be lapdogs, and prefer to be with people as often as possible. Pugs are much happier if they have consistent contact with people.
Pug puppies will need to be able to go to the bathroom more frequently, so they’ll need a puppy pee pad, litter box, or some other way to go to the bathroom if they will be left alone for several hours.
Will pugs bark if left home alone?
Pugs are prone to separation anxiety. As a result of that anxiety, they might bark when left alone.
My pugs Frank and Beans were not bad about barking a lot. They didn’t bark at the mailman or UPS person, or when people came over to visit. About the only time they did bark, was when we left them home alone. Beans in particular, would bark almost non-stop the entire time she was left home alone. We didn’t realize this until after we had her for a couple of years, and got a new neighbor who let us know that she would bark for hours on end sometimes. Of course, this barking can cause a problem if you live in an apartment complex, condo, etc.
In some cases, you may find your pug acting distant after you get back home.
Can Pugs Be Taken To Work?
Pugs have a pretty good temperament and would do okay in work settings that allow employees to bring their pets to work. Once they are past the puppy stage, pugs are pretty low energy. They aren’t usually prone to barking much, either. If you have an office job where you can set up a dog bed and let your pug be near you while you are on your computer most of the day? Your pug would likely do well to come to work with you.
The temperature of your work environment is something else to consider. Pugs don’t do well in high heat or humidity.
How much space should pugs have when left home alone?
What is needed to keep your pug safe while home alone will depend somewhat on their energy level and whether they still are chewing things that they shouldn’t. Pug puppies may need to be kept in a very limited area with access to almost nothing. More mature pugs may be capable of being left home alone with free range of the house.
To some degree, you have to know your dog. If you aren’t sure what is reasonable to expect of your dog, err on the cautious side. Some different possibilities that may work for keeping your pug safe while you leave them home alone, whether it’s while you get groceries or while you’re at work all day.
My pugs Frank and Beans were well beyond the puppy chewing phase when we got them. They never tried to eat anything that wasn’t edible, so we didn’t have to worry about them destroying anything in our house. We could leave them alone with free range of the house if we wanted and they would be safe and wouldn’t harm anything. The only exception to this would be if food packaging was left in their reach. We once had a snack bag left on the floor which they found, chewed through and ate. So, keeping food packaging from being accessible was important. I 100% view this as our failure though, not theirs!
When we lived with roommates, we chose to confine them to our portion of the house. We would put up a baby gate or pet gate at the entrance of our bedroom or kitchen to keep them in just that room. I liked this option because it kept our dog out of our roommate’s stuff. Even though I never really worried bout our dog being destructive while we were gone, it just felt the most respectful to keep our dogs in our space even while we weren’t home.
When we first got our pugs, we had been told they were kennel trained, and used to sharing a single large kennel. When we first got them, we left them in the kennel when we left the house. This worked fine, and was a reasonable option. We just found that they did fine without needing to be confined to such a small space.
Getting your pug companionship if you have to work away from home
If you have to be away from home 8+ hours a day, you may not be able to be with your pug as much as you’d like. In that case, you may seek out other ways to get your pug companionship while you work. Some options:
Doggy daycare. Some people leave their pugs at doggy daycares during the work day so that they get socialization and more physical activity in.
Dog walkers. You could hire a dog walker to come mid-day to take your dog out for a walk and play with them a bit.
Come home for lunch. If you don’t have too long of a commute, perhaps you can come home to have lunch with your pug and let them outside briefly.
How To Make Alone Time Easier On Your Pug
If your pug struggles with separation anxiety, you’re likely to need ways to assist them with being home alone. None of us can be with our dogs 24/7. So what can you do to help soothe your pug when they do have to be left at home?
- Keep their environment safe. Makes sure they can’t access anything that may harm them if they were to chew on it. Separation anxiety can lead dogs to chewing things they shouldn’t. Keeping your pug away from electric cords, household cleaners or other dangerous items is important.
- Give them a cozy spot. Some pugs may take great comfort in their dog crate. Others may have a favorite stuffed toy, blanket or dog bed. Try to give them access to whatever brings them comfort (as long as it is safe).
- Leave them something that smells like you. Leaving them with a t-shirt you’ve worn, or a blanket you’ve slept with, may bring them comfort as they can smell you.
- Make sure your pug has had enough exercise. If left alone without having had any exercise, your dog is more likely to go ‘stir crazy’. Leaving them home alone after you’ve tired them out a bit is more likely to result in a successful experience.