Survival Guide: Preparing Your Dog for a Safe 72-hour Home Alone Stay

As a dog owner, you’ve probably been faced with the dilemma: can you leave your furry friend home alone for an extended period? Specifically, is it okay to leave a dog home alone for three days? It’s a question that’s been debated by pet owners and experts alike. Either you’re planning a weekend getaway or dealing with an unexpected absence, it’s crucial to understand the implications of leaving your dog unattended. Read on to learn more about this important aspect of pet ownership.

Leaving Dog Home Alone for 3 Days

Physical Health Concerns

Long periods of solitude can critically impact a dog’s physical well-being. Their bodies require daily exercise, not just to burn energy but also to maintain optimal health. In the absence of physical activity for 72 hours, they may experience stiffness or muscle atrophy. Another critical aspect is their sustenance. Dogs must consume food and fresh water daily. Though auto-feeders and water dispensers exist, there’s always a risk of malfunction or depletion.

Additionally, dogs need regular access to a bathroom. Hours of confinement without bathroom breaks can cause discomfort and possibly lead to the development of health issues like urinary tract infections.

Mental Health Concerns

Inherent social creatures, dogs feel acute loneliness and boredom when isolated. The stress of prolonged solitude might cause destructive behavior, manifested in ruined furniture or excessive barking.

More severe are symptoms of separation anxiety, which can include incessant howling, increased aggression, or depressive behaviors.

Preparing Your Home for Your Dog’s Long Stay Alone

Food and Water Considerations

Planning meals for a three-day absence requires precision. Pet owners ought to use automatic feeders, efficient resources that ensure regular servings of food while eliminating the risks of overeating. Standard feeders can accommodate dry food, but there are specialized options for wet food if that’s your pet’s preference. Still, the vet’s approval for the switch-over to such feeders is paramount, especially for dogs with dietary restrictions.

Water supply, vital for a dog’s health, demands equal attention. Multiple bowls of water, strategically placed around the house, ensure access at all times. However, the use of self-refilling water bowls presents an efficient alternative, safeguarding your pet from dehydration risks.

Safety Measures in the Home

Preparations extend to making the home environment as secure as possible for your dog’s well-being. Clearing potential hazards forms a crucial step. The removal of toxic houseplants, harmful chemicals, and small, swallowable objects prevents accidents from happening. High-risk areas such as the kitchen should be cordoned off to avoid incidents like accidental burner switches or access to unsafe food items.

Dog-proofing the house includes creating a comfy, familiar zone for the dog to rest and play. Comfortable bedding, favorite toys, and some old clothing with your scent can provide a sense of warmth and security.

Environmental control is vital too. Maintaining a consistent, comfortable temperature throughout your absence is beneficial, particularly in extreme weather conditions. Automatic thermostats ensure optimal temperatures, eliminating the risk of overheating or chilling.

Finally, ensuring your dog has access to a designated bathroom area, be it pee pads, indoor dog potties, or an accessible garden area, helps in maintaining cleanliness and the dog’s bathroom schedule. Yet, a trusted neighbor or pet-sitter performing daily check-ins to assist with this task optimizes the solution.


Leaving a dog home alone for 3 days isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. It’s crucial to put in the time and effort to prepare thoroughly, ensuring the dog’s comfort and safety. From automatic feeders to pet cams, technology can play a pivotal role in maintaining a secure environment. Yet, it’s equally important to seek help from neighbors or professional pet-sitters. They can provide much-needed companionship and be there for any emergencies. Remember, responsible pet ownership is about more than just meeting your dog’s basic needs. It’s about considering their emotional well-being too. So, always plan meticulously when you have to be away, and make sure your furry friend is well-cared for, even in your absence.