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Hi all,

I am hoping to adopt a 4 year old staffie cross, but my partner has had a change in his work circumstances so that the dog could be left up to 7 hours alone several days a week, as opposed to the four hours we thought it would be when deciding to get a dog. We could afford to get a dog walker some days but not every day a week, but could try to keep it entertained with kongs etc. Ultimately we want what's best for the dog. What's everyone's views on leaving a dog home alone, and how long do you think is ok to leave a dog alone at home?

Thanks!
 

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Most adult dogs (provided they have no separation anxiety or destructive tendencies) can easily be left alone for 7 or 8 hours a day. Growing up our lab-mix was left alone until the first one of us got home from school, so usually 7.5 - 8 hours. Nothing tragic ever happened. In fact, if we ever got to stay home for a snow day, we were pretty disappointed to find she was happy to continue her normal schedule - which was basically sleeping all day.
She got play time and walks in the morning and evening and was a perfectly happy dog.
 

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I definitely feel guilty leaving single dogs home alone for too long, but realistically I think 7 hours is a totally acceptable amount of time to leave an adult dog alone. I'd say up to 8 hours is totally fine, and longer if a dog walker comes in the middle of the day.

Dogs really do sleep quite a lot, and depending on the energy level and age a lot of dogs will even sleep most of the day with a person home.

I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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We waited until we were both retired before adopting Samantha, so we would not have to leave her alone all day every day. We have a general guideline, that we will not leave her for more than six hours, which only happens occasionally, and she does just fine. She could, I'm sure make it another two or three hours if it became necessary, but in our case, maybe because we enjoy spending time with her, the separation anxiety may be stronger on our part, then for Samantha, so we are always anxious to get home to her.
 
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