Considering that beagles are one of the kindest and friendliest dog breeds, many beagle owners may be wondering how long they can safely leave their beagle alone?
Beagles are social dogs that should not be left alone for long periods. Puppies younger than six months no longer than two hours). Beagles older than six months no longer than four to eight hours. Furthermore, beagles that are left alone for long periods can develop separation anxiety.
To better understand why beagles shouldn’t be left alone for long periods, we will explore the nature and history of the breed in greater detail below, whereafter we will look at how to deal with issues surrounding separation anxiety in beagles:
Why Don’t Beagles Like To Be Left Alone?
Although beagles are very intelligent, curious, and confident dogs, because they were initially bred as hunting dogs, they are very friendly pack animals that enjoy the company of others.
Consequently, beagles do not like to be left alone for long periods, as it causes them to become upset, anxious, and/or destructive.
How Long Can Beagles Be Left Alone?
While beagles can be left alone for different periods depending on their individual training, exercise routines, and demeanor; the general rule is that beagles of different ages can be left alone for different periods:
- Beagles puppies younger than six months should not be left alone for longer than two hours,
- Beagle adults should not be left alone longer than four to eight hours a day,
- Beagles seniors should not be left alone more than four to eight hours a day (however, depending on their health needs, this can be as short as two hours a day!)
Can Beagles Develop Separation Anxiety?
Although any dog breed is at risk of developing separation anxiety, beagles are prone to separation anxiety if they have not been trained or conditioned correctly.
What Are The Signs Of Separation Anxiety In Beagles?
Separation anxiety in beagles can manifest in various different ways, including but not limited to:
- Excessive barking, whining, or howling when left alone,
- Urinating or defecating in your home as a result of high-stress levels,
- Engaging in destructive behavior like chewing or scratching furniture,
- Frantically scratching at doors and windows,
- Excessive drooling, panting, or pacing,
- Loss of appetite and/or binge eating,
- Needy behavior and lack of spatial awareness,
- Subdued body language before departure, such as limp tail or bowed head,
- Reduced energy and playfulness before departure.
What Are The Dangers Of Separation Anxiety In Beagles?
Along with the destruction and mess that beagles can cause as a result of separation anxiety, separation anxiety can manifest itself into physiological and psychological damage to your beagle.
The reason is that there is a clear link between separation anxiety and stress/depression, which is well documented as a leading cause of reduced mental and physical well-being for people and animals.
Furthermore, separation anxiety can cause beagles to act against their docile nature and become overprotective of others. Consequently, dogs that are overprotective can display aggressive behavior to other people and animals (whereby they may be a particular threat/danger around young children!)
In conclusion, it is essential for owners to observe their beagle’s behavior closely and take the necessary steps to improve their well-being and assist them with separation anxiety.
How To Help Beagles With Separation Anxiety?
While separation anxiety can be stressful and concerning to both beagles and their owners, there are numerous steps one can take to overcome separation anxiety.
1. Separation Training
While it may be endearing to have your beagle follow you around the home constantly and want to snuggle/play with you at all times, this behavior can lead to codependency and overreliance on their owners.
Therefore, owners should make an effort to give beagles their own space and encourage them to be comfortable with themselves and to keep themselves happy/entertained in the absence of their owners.
2. Mock Departures
Mock departures are a way to teach your beagle that you leaving home is not a significant event and that they can care for themselves in your absence.
Mock departures involve a beagle owner pretending as if they are leaving home to go to work, go to the shops, visit friends, etc. Meanwhile, the owner is simply leaving the house for a concise space of time and re-entering it.
Consequently, this teaches beagles that you leaving home is a temporary and regular daily event that they shouldn’t fear/get upset over.
3. Exercising Before Departure
Because beagles are very energetic and inquisitive dogs, they can quickly become restless if they are not given ample exercise and new spaces to explore/activities to do.
Therefore, exercising before you leave allows beagles to enjoy more exercise while also creating a positive association with your departure.
4. Give Your Beagle Company
As pack animals, beagles enjoy the company of other animals and people. Therefore, you should consider getting another pet or hiring a dog sitter to keep your beagles company when you know you will be away from them for long periods.
5. Improved Mental Stimulation
Because beagles are intelligent, inquisitive, and curious dogs, they enjoy being in an environment that feeds their curiosity.
Therefore, you should invest in a dog door that allows your beagle to explore your yard during good weather and give them ample toys to play with inside when they can’t explore the yard.
6. Anti-Anxiety Medication
Finally, despite your best efforts t train your beagle and improve their home environment, some beagles may need professional help and assistance with social anxiety.
Therefore, it is worth taking your beagle to the vet in case there is an underlying medical cause for their social anxiety, which may require medical treatment like anti-anxiety medication.
In conclusion, while beagles are confident dogs, their pack nature makes them prone to separation anxiety if they are left alone for long periods.
It is the responsibility of beagle owners to mitigate the risk of their dog developing separation anxiety by engaging in training, fostering a welcome/stimulating home environment, and consulting with professionals.