Should I Leave My Dog Alone Outside?


Many dog owners might think their dogs are fine spending time outside in the garden by themselves. But is this really true? If you have ever wondered – ‘should I leave me dog unattended in the garden’ – read our Holidays4Dogs to find out more.

There are many problems to leaving dogs alone outside in the garden. If left alone for long periods, dogs may engage in barking, howling, digging, chewing, or eating dangerous items, or substances. They are also at risk of escaping or being stolen if left alone in the garden.

Therefore, Holidays4Dogs recommends never leaving your dog outside unattended. Indeed, this is something our approved UK carers will never do. Read on to find out more on keeping your pooch safe (and out of trouble!) at home.


A dog barking continuously in the garden, is bound to irritate neighbours. If nothing is done to curb excessive barking, neighbours may complain to the local authority.

When dogs are left unattended in the garden, they have ample opportunity to practise and hone barking. Furthermore, if their are dogs in adjacent gardens it can initiate fence fighting.

Fence running.

dog sitting, pet sittingWhen dogs are left outdoors for long periods they can very often get into the habit of fence running. This involves the dog reacting to something beyond the boundary which creates excitement, anxiety or frustration.

Certain breeds are typically more prone to this behaviour where the dog runs constantly back and forth along a fence line.

Border collies, and other herding breeds, commonly engage in this type of behaviour, but any dog can develop this habit. It can be very hard to eradicate once established.


Dogs left alone for long periods in the garden may be tempted to find ways to escape due to boredom, or frustration – (see fence running, above). Some dogs will find a way to escape even in the most seemingly secure gardens.

Where gardens are adjacent to open countryside, it is possible the dog will be encouraged to escape due to the sight, or sound, of wildlife or livestock. For dogs in urban gardens, escape could result in a road traffic accident or, a trip to the dog pound.


Dog theft has been on the increase in recent years and there have been many cases of dogs being stolen from their own back gardens. There can be nothing more devastating than having a much-loved pet stolen. Sadly, dog theft is a very real risk for dogs left unattended in the garden.

Tips for keeping your dog safe in the garden.

Make sure gates, fences and other boundaries are secure and high enough. Some dogs can become quite expert at opening gates. Loose fitting, or flimsy gates, can blow open in gusts of wind.

Fit locks to your access gates. Gates that do not have bolts, or locks, means anyone can come and go and accidentally allow the dog to escape, or steal your dog.

Always ensure your dog is wearing a collar and identification, just in case.

If your dog is liable to bite someone that has access to your garden, this could land you in trouble. It is an offence for your dog to be dangerously out of control and this includes on your own private property. Defence is not an excuse, even if your dog bites an intruder, or trespasser.

All guest dogs stayingdog sitting, pet sitting with carers wear their usual collars and tags in addition to Holidays4Dogs identification. This indicates the dog is staying with an approved carer.

A bored dog or lonely dog is much more likely to dig holes and wreck gardens. They can do this in a surprisingly short space of time. Puppies, especially, can quickly get up to mischief if left unsupervised for extended periods in the garden. In addition, you puppies need direction when they are learning to be clean in the house.


Dogs in the main enjoy human company and will always happily ‘help’ their owners, or carers, do the gardening, or hang out the washing. Many dogs are more than happy to join their owners for a snooze in the sun, play with a toy, or potter gently around taking in the sights and smells. However, do be aware of your dog’s character and habits and for peace of mind, never leave your dog alone outside.

dog sitting, pet sitting