Leaving Your Chihuahua Home Alone

I Love Chihuahuas
6 min readJul 17, 2023
Leaving Your Chihuahua Home Alone — Chihuacorner.com
Leaving Your Chihuahua Home Alone — Chihuacorner.com

Leaving your Chihuahua home alone can be a challenge for both you and your pup. But, just how long can Chihuahuas be left alone or made to hold it? Learn how to make this process easy for your four-legged sweetheart in just a few steps!

How Long Can a Chihuahua Be Left at Home?

For the well-being of your Chihuahua, you should not leave him alone for too long. However, the matter of how long can a Chihuahua be left at home depends on your pup’s age, behavior, and habits. Here are some general recommendations:

Chihuahua Puppies

When asked how long can a Chihuahua puppy be left alone, most experts agree on a two-hour daily limit. As tiny pups, they are not used to being home alone, which will cause major problems with their behavior if you decide to indulge in this behavior.

Chihuahua puppies need to pee more and are more prone to developing separation anxiety, which is why you should be extra careful during this time.

Adult Chihuahuas

An adult Chihuahua can be left alone for four to six hours a day unless they exhibit major separation anxiety and destructive behavior.

These Chihuahuas are used to being home alone, especially if you have a hectic work-life balance. As independent pups, they will have hopefully learned to sleep when you are not home, being more relaxed in the process.

Senior Chihuahuas

Senior Chihuahuas can be left alone for two to six hours within a day, mainly because they require more tender care than adult Chihuahuas.

As they grow older, they are typically more prone to Chihuahua health issues, which may include more frequent urination and more sleeping time.

Leaving your Chihuahua home alone, illustrated by a senior pup
Leaving your Chihuahua home alone, illustrated by a senior pup

Leaving your Chihuahua Home Alone

When left home alone, they can develop a range of Chihuahua separation anxiety symptoms that may include scratching, biting, chewing on furniture and clothes, binge eating, getting lost, and howling or barking at random things.

While furniture and clothes can be replaced, the risk of your Chihuahua getting lost is a serious concern. When a Chihuahua becomes lost, they are vulnerable to various dangers such as traffic accidents, exposure to extreme weather conditions, and encounters with aggressive animals or individuals.

Additionally, the pup’s emotional distress and worry experienced by owners can be overwhelming. Therefore, it is crucial to take preventive measures to ensure the safety and well-being of your Chihuahua while you are away.

5 Tips to Prevent Chihuahuas from Being Lost

To prevent your Chihuahua from getting lost, consider the following steps:

1. Secure Your Home

Ensure that all doors, windows, and gates are securely closed before leaving. Use childproof locks or pet gates to restrict access to certain areas of the house to prevent them from escaping.

2. Use Identification Tags

Make sure your Chihuahua wears a collar with identification tags that include your contact information. In case they do get lost, it increases the chances of a safe return if someone finds them.

3. Microchip Your Chihuahua

Consider having your Chihuahua microchipped. A microchip is a small electronic device implanted under the skin that contains your contact information. It serves as a permanent form of identification and can greatly assist in reuniting you with your Chihuahua if they are found by a shelter or a veterinarian.

4. Provide Mental Stimulation

Boredom and anxiety can contribute to escape attempts. Keep your Chihuahua happy and mentally stimulated by providing toys, puzzles, and interactive games. This helps to divert their attention and keep them occupied while you are away.

5. Consider a Dog Sitter or Doggy Daycare

If you are concerned about leaving your Chihuahua alone for long periods, hiring a dog sitter or enrolling them in a reputable doggy daycare facility can provide them with companionship and supervision while you are away.

By taking these precautions, you can minimize the risk of your Chihuahua getting lost and experiencing the associated dangers and distress. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to ensuring the safety and well-being of your beloved Chihuahua.

A cozy Chihuahua home alone sleeping on a chair
A cozy Chihuahua home alone sleeping on a chair

Training your Chihuahua to be Home Alone

Proper Chihuahua training is essential in teaching your pup to be home alone. Therefore, from the moment you get a Chi, start practicing the “Leave & Return” scenario.

Teach your pup that being home alone is absolutely OK and that you will eventually return.

Training can be conducted as follows:

Put your shoes on and go to the exit. If you notice your Chihuahua panicking, try to ignore it, so he gets used to it. Repeat this action at least 3 times every day.

As soon as you normally arrive home, avoid giving your Chi a warm welcome immediately at the door. Doing this will communicate to your puppy that coming home is a normal happening, not a special event, that he needs to strongly celebrate.

After arriving home, command your pup to his bed. After he listens to your command and settles down, welcome him calmly and let him feel your affection.

When leaving home, if I say goodbye to my dogs, they want to come with me. So I just leave without saying anything and they are ok with it.

Marina S. — Dog Trainer

What to Do Before Leaving Your Chi Alone

When you leave the house for work or leisure without your pooch, you should:

Avoid giving your Chihuahua free rein: Especially, in the beginning, try to leave your Chihuahua in an area where he is comfortable. Once your Chi gets more accustomed to being left alone at home, he can then be on his own. And if you need to know how to calm Chihuahua anxiety, check out online resources to help you out.

Tire out your Chihuahua: The best thing you can do before you leave your Chihuahua home alone is give him some morning exercise. Start with learning how to walk your Chihuahua to benefit both you and your Chi. When you take your Chihuahua for a morning walk or exercise, it’s likely that your Chihuahua will pass out asleep right afterward! This gives you the chance to leave the house without trouble.

How long can a Chihuahua be left at home? Illustrated by a Chi being petted
How long can a Chihuahua be left at home? Illustrated by a Chi being petted

Make sure your Chihuahua has fun ways to occupy his time.

A good way to keep your pup busy when he’s alone can be to use food-dispensing toys instead of the classic food bowl. Some of these toys offer variable difficulty levels so you can make it a long-lasting project and keep your Chihuahua active and engaged during the time you’re away.

In general, by leaving your dog small tasks and fun toys to play with when you’re not around, you can avoid unwanted boredom behavior (like biting and peeing in inappropriate places). However, never leave your Chihuahua alone with a toy that could be chewed apart and swallowed.

What to Do When You Come Back Home

Dedicating quality time to your Chihuahua is essential for their overall well-being. Here are a few suggestions on how to show them love and attention:

Regular walks provide exercise, mental stimulation, and an opportunity for socialization. It’s a great way for them to explore the world and expend their energy, so don’t bother asking yourself if can Chihuahuas walk far, because when they’re tired — you’ll know.

Engage in interactive playtime by throwing a ball or toy for your Chihuahua to retrieve. This activity helps them exercise and stimulates their natural instincts.

Treat your Chihuahua to a spa day, where they can receive grooming, massage, and relaxation treatments. It’s a special way to pamper them and promote their physical and emotional well-being.

Remember, while spending time with your Chihuahua, avoid reinforcing excessive dependence or separation anxiety. Avoid creating a habit where they expect treats every time you leave and return.

Instead, establish a routine that includes designated times of independence, helping them understand that it’s normal to be alone at times during the day.

By incorporating these activities into your daily routine, you’ll strengthen the bond with your Chihuahua and ensure they receive the love, attention, and exercise they need for a happy and healthy life.

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