How Long Can a Maltese Be Left Alone?

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How Long Can a Maltese Be Left Alone?Maltese dogs are loyal and affectionate. One of their best traits is their “velcro” dog behavior – but this can easily turn into a disadvantage if you have an active lifestyle.

Your dog wants to follow you everywhere and be with you at all times. However, sometimes this is simply impossible. How long can a Maltese be left alone and what should you consider if you need to leave for longer?

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Can You Leave a Maltese Home Alone?

As long as you train your Maltese before spending time on its own, you can safely leave it home alone. However, this should not be for a long time – for instance, if you need to go to work every day for 8-10 hours and leave your pooch alone, this breed may not be suitable for you.

In addition to this, your home must be safe for your unsupervised dog. If you have a puppy, make sure the place is puppy-proofed. For example, there should not be any household items that could potentially fall and hurt your dog, so make sure you place all hazardous items behind closed doors, such as medication, human food, cleaning supplies, and rubbish bins.

Maltese dogs are quite small, so they could easily fall down the stairs, causing serious injury. It’s important to block all stairs with a gate to keep your pooch safe while you’re away.

How Long Can a Maltese Be Left Alone?

A Maltese puppy should not be left alone for more than two hours at a time, while adult dogs, with proper training, can stay up to 4-6 hours at a time.

6 Ways to Make Your Maltese Comfortable Staying Home Alone

Even if you don’t leave for long, the alone time can be excruciating for your little buddy – who won’t know that you will be back soon. Each departure is as difficult as the next, so it’s important to make your Maltese comfortable staying home alone regardless of whether you leave for 10 minutes or for four hours.

1. Exercise Your Maltese

A tired dog is a happy dog. It’s quite likely that your pooch will go for a nap as soon as you leave, and wake up when you return. This way, they won’t have time to feel lonely while you’re out. Exercising can be going out for a walk, but may also be in the form of playtime indoors.

2. Leave Your Dog in Its Personal Space

Before leaving your dog home alone, you should create a personal space for it. Your home can be quite large and frightening for a Maltese when it is on its own, regardless of the size of your house. It’s important to crate train your puppy as soon as possible, and you should start introducing the crate while you are still there, creating a personal space where it feels safe.

Pet owners who get their puppies used to sleeping in bed with them at night or during the daytime will find it more difficult to crate train the pet or get them used to spending time alone. It’s recommended to get your pup to sleep in its own bed and crate every night, so they are already used to this experience when you need to leave.

3. Leave Plenty of Treats and Toys

Your dog suffers when it’s left alone because of loneliness and boredom. Before leaving, make sure you leave some treats and interesting toys around. You can also give your puppy a piece of your clothing that smells like you, which will help calm anxiety while you are away.

If your dog does not like crates, you could opt for hiding the treats and toys around the home, so it stays busy hunting them down while you are away.

4. Play Some Music

A quiet home can be quite frightening for your little buddy. To make them feel less lonely, consider turning on some background music. Nature sounds are a great way to soothe your furry friend while you are out of the house.

5. Increase Alone Time Gradually

If you are always home with your Maltese pooch, you shouldn’t leave for a long time straight away. Some puppies, especially those that do not spend enough time with their mothers, heavily depend on their owners.

Once you get a Maltese puppy, you should start crate training right away and teach your dog to stay on its own in a separate room. You need to get them used to being alone for a longer time gradually – first starting with 5-10 minutes, then expanding for as long as you need, but no more than 4-6 hours at a time.

6. Dial Down on Goodbyes and Hellos

You should never overreact when leaving or returning. It’s best to avoid goodbyes altogether, as they will create panic and fear. If you offer a big goodbye to your pooch before leaving, seeing the door close behind you will most likely induce panic.

Similarly, if you shower your dog with attention when coming back, your pooch will get the idea that your absence was absolutely a disaster and your return is the miracle it’s been waiting for. This could lead to anxiety the next time you leave. To make your pooch feel comfortable on its own, you should act normally or simply ignore it before you leave or when you come back.

4 Things to Consider If You Need to Leave Your Maltese Alone for Longer

You should never leave your dog alone for more than 4-6 hours at a time. Here are some additional tips if you need to leave for longer:

1. Consider a Pet Sitter

If you need to leave for longer, you may consider a doggy daycare service or hiring a pet sitter to come and take care of your Maltese pooch. This way, you will enjoy peace of mind knowing that your pooch is safe and well taken care of.

2. Have a Friend Over

An alternative is to ask a friend or family member to come and look after your puppy while you are away. You should make sure to leave plenty of food, water, and other toys they may need, along with the potty schedule.

Depending on how long you are away, they may just need to come in every few hours to make sure your puppy is safe, take them for a bathroom break, and even let them run around the yard for a bit.

3. Use a Pet Camera

If for any reason you don’t want to get a pet sitter or someone to stay the entire time with your puppy, you can get a pet camera. This way, you can keep an eye on your puppy and make sure it is not panicking while you are away.

However, if you leave for more than 4 hours, you should still have someone come around for potty breaks and to make sure your Maltese is well-nourished and has access to clean water.

4. Going Potty

If you are out for 4-6 hours or more, make sure you set up a safe place where they can go potty without getting in trouble, such as a pee pad. This is even more important if the pooch doesn’t go potty outdoors right before you leave, as they may need to go shortly after.

What Will Happen If You Leave Your Maltese Alone for Too Long?

If you leave your Maltese alone for too long, or even for a short time without preparing them, your dog will suffer from separation anxiety. Symptoms include destroying your belongings, crying, pacing, barking, scratching, going potty all over the house (while otherwise house-trained), and may even lead to coprophagia (eating its own poo).

If your dog starts acting differently when you get ready to leave, it’s a sign that they already suffer from separation anxiety, so you should consider making it comfortable using the tips above. If you return and you notice any separation anxiety symptoms, do not punish your dog. This will only increase their fear and anxiety the next time you leave.

In addition to this, if your puppy experiences bad feelings or symptoms while you’re away, it may start getting fearful as soon as you put your shoes on or get ready. Make sure your puppy is ready to spend time alone before you leave.


All in all, you can leave your Maltese puppy alone for a maximum of two hours and up to 4-6 hours if it is an adult. However, this should happen gradually, not suddenly. Your Maltese pooch needs to be trained to stay on its own, and you need to provide plenty of entertainment before you leave.

Physical exercise right before you leave also makes the whole experience easier since it’s quite likely that your pup will just go right for a nap and wake up when you’re back home.

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