Lately, I’ve been receiving quite a lot of e-mails with questions like:
Can Chihuahuas be left alone?
Or can Chihuahuas stay home alone?
In this article you’ll find out the the truth. Keep reading to discover:
- Exactly how long your Chi can be left alone.
- How stinky socks or old clothes can help your Chi.
- 11 tips when leaving your Chihuahua home alone.
- The biggest health risk you expose your Chi to by leaving them alone.
- And more…
Table of contents
Can Chihuahuas be left alone?
Adult Chihuahuas can be left alone for around 8-10 hours. If you let your Chihuahua stay home alone, you should make sure their basic needs are met. This includes walking and feeding them prior to leaving, playing with them, providing enough water that can’t be spilled, and ensuring a potty place.
Can Chihuahua puppies be left alone?
Chihuahua puppies shouldn’t be left alone for more than 2 hours a day. Before you do that you should make sure they have a confinement area and provide all the necessary supplies. These are water, puppy pads, and toys. If you need to be away for a longer period of time, find a puppy sitter.
5 dangers when leaving your Chihuahua home alone
You might be thinking that if you start leaving your Chi home alone, this could cause some issues.
I’d rather not sugarcoat it, so let’s jump to the possible dangers:
#1: Excessive barking
Some Chis will need time to adjust to being alone. Especially if it’s the first time they experience being on their own for a longer period of time.
Not knowing how to deal with this new situation, could be frustrating for them.
And if they lack a better activity to put their mind to, they could start bothering the neighbors by barking non-stop.
#2: Destructive chewing
A Chi that’s bothered by their owner’s absence will try to calm themselves down.
One way to do that is by chewing on something. The problem comes when your Chi picks a household item to chew on.
Think – electricity cables, furniture, pillows and so on.
#3: Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Chihuahuas are small dogs with small bladders.
What you should know is that leaving them alone for a long time could lead to a urinary tract infection.
#4: Turning over the water bowl
Chihuahuas often have ‘fiery’ personalities.
When a Chi is home alone and bored or mad, they might start tossing objects around.
One of these could be their water bowl. Once they do so, they’ll remain without water until you come back.
And this might lead to dehydration.
#5: Hurting themselves in an attempt to escape
If your Chihuahua develops separation anxiety, they will most likely attempt to flee the house. With the idea to find you that is.
Hence they could try digging a hole in the wall, door, or floor.
This could lead to hurt paws and nails.
Such things would be the result of too much free time, a lot of worries, and lack of stimulation.
11 tips when leaving your Chihuahua home alone
After I’ve covered 5 common dangers of leaving your Chi home alone, it’d only be fair to give you some tips. Here’s what you can do to ensure a better experience for yourself, your Chi and the neighbors:
#1: Spend your lunch break with your Chi (if possible)
That will either sound weird or resonate immediately with you.
So, why I am saying it?
While I worked in the outsourcing field (before I dedicated my days entirely to dogs), my office was at a distance of 3 bus stops away from home.
Some days, I’d take all of my breaks – the lunch and two small ones altogether.
On these days, I’d check the bus schedule so I could catch the next one immediately upon walking out of the building.
Then, I’d walk my dog for around 30 to 40 minutes.
There’s nothing more relaxing for me than spending my lunchtime with my favorite furry creature.
But I understand that you could be in a different situation.
Still, if you work from home, you could afford to play with your Chi or take them for a nice walk under the shade.
Or, if your workplace is several steps away from your home.
#2: Take home office days
Some corporations allow their employees to work from home several days per month.
If you have that possibility, speak to the responsible people and make it happen.
Your Chi will be grateful and you’ll probably feel happier at work 🙂
#3: Benefit from National Take Your Dog to Work Day
Okay, I get ya – you’re probably thinking this is only once a year. Leading to the question ‘So what?’
By using the National Take Your Dog to Work Day you could pitch an idea such as having a ‘Bring a puppy to the office’ day once a week.
Why do it?
Well, Chihuahuas are so small and cute, that taking them to the office will be:
- A piece of cake.
- Practical for increasing productivity levels.
- A great way to show off your priceless Chi.
- Stress-relieving for you and your colleagues.
- Beneficial for the happiness levels of the employees.
- A chance to network with dog-loving colleagues who would dogsit your Chi sometimes.
- An ice-breaker for you and colleagues or bosses you haven’t gotten the chance to talk to yet.
Too good to be true?
Not at all, and the best part is that it’s backed up by science. A study conducted in 2017 concluded that employees with dogs at work experience less stress while compared to workers who weren’t in contact with canines at the workplace.
#4: Do not engage with your Chihuahua
You might be tempted to cuddle with your Chihuahua before you go. Add to that some talking to consolidate them…
If this is a common scenario in your home, you might want to think twice before you continue doing so.
Because by talking, looking at and touching your Chihuahua, you might be making it harder for them with being home alone.
Instead, act as if nothing out of the ordinary is going on. Because if you act as if it’s a big deal, they’ll start thinking that it is.
#5: Occupy their attention with something while you’re gone
The best thing would be to provide a puzzle toy such as a Stuffed Kong.
You could choose an appropriate one for the size of your Chi. For a teacup Chihuahua, a XS size should do just fine.
For all the other types of Chihuahuas, S is an appropriate size.
After you supply the Kong, make sure to fill it with tasty dog treats. You could use Kong paste to glue the content of the treats to the inside of the Kong.
Here’s a video that shows you how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBP3xvt-hnc
#6: Give your Chi a sock or a worn cloth
Your odor could soothe your Chi while you’re away.
According to an experiment done with three groups of dogs, the dogs who were most likely to be troubled by the owner’s absence were those who weren’t exposed to the owner’s odor or voice.
Take a T-shirt that you’ve recently been wearing and give it to your Chi.
It’s not at all uncommon that you’ll find the Chi lying down on it when you come back home.
#7: Make a recording of yourself reading a book
Considering what I’ve said above, take some time to record yourself reading a book. Choose a favorite book and enjoy reading out loud.
Put the recording on repeat or just let it play until it’s finished (if it’s longer).
This is likely to make your Chi calmer while you’re away.
#8: Monitor your Chi with a pet camera
Today it’s a common thing to buy a pet camera to keep an eye on your beloved furry friend.
The best thing is that some pet cameras have treat dispensers and microphones.
This way you will not only monitor your Chi but you’ll also be able to interact with them. It’s another possibility to soothe your Chi by using your tone of voice 🙂
Caution: Some pet camera robots could scare anxious Chis so before you get one, consider the individual needs of your dog. Evaluate the pros and cons of the device and choose accordingly.
#9: Hire a dog walker
Luckily, there are dog walking services. These ensure your Chihuahua stays active during the day.
Plus, this way you meet the needs of your Chi to poo and pee without having to hold it for too long.
You might not engage a dog walker for each workday of the week. As long as you book a dog walker 2 or 3 times a week, it should be fine.
Chihuahuas are medium-energy dogs. What that means for you is that having a trusted person to walk them during the day, you’ll prevent pent-up energy in your Chi.
And by doing so, you’ll avoid any possible behavioral issues.
#10: Secure a no-tip bowl fo your Chi
Such water and food bowls have silicone under the bottom.
That’s how your Chi is unable to turn them over and spill the content.
#11: Leave one or two puppy pads at home.
Your Chihuahua could be fully house-trained.
But if you suspect that you’re going to be away for a long time, better leave them with the option to relieve themselves.
Remember – you’re doing it to provide maximum comfort for your dog and keep their health intact.
My long-haired Chihuahua – Lissa, would often pee on a puppy pad if she gets no more than 2 walks a day.
This, of course, depends on how much water she drank on that day but I’d rather not risk her feeling any kind of discomfort.