Solo Adventures: Is It Cruel to Leave One Dog at Home?

Solo Adventures: Is It Cruel to Leave One Dog at Home?

When you have multiple dogs, it's not always practical or possible to take them all out together every time. But the question remains: is it cruel to take one dog on an outing while leaving the other at home?

Understanding Your Dogs' Needs and Personalities

Each dog has its own set of needs and personality traits:

  • Energy Levels: Some dogs may enjoy or require more physical activity than their companions. Taking a more energetic dog out for a hike could actually benefit both pets by keeping the household calm.
  • Health and Age Considerations: Older dogs or those with health issues might prefer a quiet day at home instead of a stressful outing. Younger or more active dogs might benefit more from outdoor activities.

The Benefits of Individual Attention

Solo outings can be beneficial for both you and your pets:

  • Quality Time: Spending one-on-one time with each dog can strengthen your individual bond with them.
  • Training Opportunities: Individual outings can be great opportunities to focus on training without distractions from other pets. Consider bringing a few pieces of our VetSmart Formulas Dog Food to give your dog a small treat for good behavior.

Potential Downsides and How to Mitigate Them

While there are benefits, leaving a dog at home can sometimes lead to issues:

  • Separation Anxiety: If one dog is particularly bonded to the other, leaving them alone might cause anxiety. Providing a comfortable space and leaving toys or an item with your scent can help alleviate stress.
  • Jealousy or Behavioral Issues: Some dogs might feel left out or act out if they notice they're being left behind. Consistently rotating which dog goes on outings can help keep feelings of jealousy in check.

Tips for Balancing Outings

Here are some strategies to ensure both your dogs feel happy and included:

  • Rotate Your Outings: Make sure both dogs get their turn to go on adventures with you. This helps prevent any feelings of neglect or favoritism.
  • Special Activities at Home: For the dog staying behind, consider special toys or treat-dispensing puzzles that are only available when you're out with the other dog.
  • Quality Time at Home: When you return, spend some quality time with the dog that stayed home to reassure them of your love and attention.


Taking one dog on an outing while leaving another at home isn't inherently cruel, but it requires thoughtful consideration of each dog's needs and feelings. By providing both dogs with individual attention and care, you can ensure that each pet feels valued and loved. Balancing solo and group activities can lead to a harmonious household where every pet feels included and cared for.

Remember, the key is to observe and respond to the unique dynamics and needs of your pets. Each dog is an individual, and what works best for one might not suit another. Always aim to make decisions that promote the well-being and happiness of all your furry family members. Remember to maintain your pets’ health and nutrition with proper food and quality supplements, like veterinary-strength supplements from VetSmart Formulas

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Pet Wellness Direct does not intend to provide veterinary advice. We help pet owners to better understand their pets; however, all content on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice, care, diagnosis, or treatment. If you suspect that your pet needs medical assistance, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.