Can Yorkies Be Left Alone During the Day?

In a perfect world, you’d get to spend the whole day with your Yorkie. But sometimes we will need to leave our Yorkie. Can Yorkies be left alone during the day?

can you leave a yorkie alone`
Can you leave a Yorkie alone? For how long?

For most of us going to work is a necessity. How else are we going to buy treats and toys for our Yorkies? 

Can you leave your Yorkie home alone while you’re working, shopping, or socializing? It’s a question every Yorkie owner has considered at some point. Oodle Life offers this advice on whether to leave your Yorkie alone during the day. 

When is a Yorkie Old Enough to be Home Alone? 

black and gold yorkie
A classic Black and Gold Yorkie

Puppies are babies, after all. They aren’t prepared to be alone during the day for long periods and enjoy being around others. Puppies also need to be taken outside for bathroom breaks more often than adult dogs. They also like to play and have energy that needs to be burned off. 

For all these reasons, it’s best not to leave Yorkie puppies home alone for more than two to three hours at a time. As Yorkie puppies grow up, they can be alone longer on their own while you’re away. 

How Long Can I Leave My Yorkie Alone During the Day? 

Adult Yorkies that are at least a year and a half old can be left alone for four to six hours a day. Senior Yorkies can be home alone for about two to six hours a day, depending on their health. A Yorkie should have learned to sleep while you’re working and shouldn’t become distressed by this time. 

Yorkies shouldn’t be alone for longer periods than that as they need exercise, bathroom breaks, and play. 

Signs My Yorkie Isn’t Doing Well Alone 

chocolate yorkie
A Chocolate Yorkie (aka a brown coat Yorkie)

Yorkies who are left alone for too long during the day can develop separation anxiety. About 20 percent of all dogs can exhibit signs of separation anxiety, so this is something to watch for when leaving your Yorkshire Terrier alone during your workday. Separation anxiety signs include: 

Excessive Barking 

Anxious barking in a Yorkie sounds more high-pitched and frantic than normal barking. For a Yorkie, this is a cry for help.  

Bathroom Accidents 

A Yorkie with separation anxiety due to being left indoors too long without a bathroom break will have accidents in the house as a symptom. 

Destructive Behavior 

Separation anxiety can also manifest as destructive behaviors such as chewing items around the house and scratching at or near doors. 

Is My Yorkie Depressed? 

golden yorkie
A truly Golden Yorkie coat. So beautiful!

Another sign your Yorkie is spending too much time alone is if it is showing signs of depression. Here are some of the symptoms of depression to watch for: 

Excessive Sleeping 

A Yorkshire Terrier sleeping while left alone is normal, but if your Yorkie sleeps for long periods after you return home, it might be depressed. 

Weight Loss 

A depressed dog will eat less, resulting in weight loss. If you notice weight loss in your Yorkie, talk with your veterinarian to rule out other health issues. 

How Should I Prepare My Yorkie for Being Home Alone?  

Don’t go from letting your Yorkie be alone for an hour or two to leaving them home alone all day. Instead, gradually let your Yorkie spend longer periods alone during the day, so it gets used to it. 

As you leave your Yorkie home alone longer, prepare so your pet is less likely to become anxious. [Minimizing separation anxiety when returning to work]

Spend Extra Time with Your Yorkie in the Morning 

Before you leave for the day, play with your Yorkie at breakfast and take it for a long morning walk. This lets your pet expend some energy and have plenty of time for bathroom needs. 

Leave Food and Water 

Bowls that dispense food and water as needed can keep your pet happy while you’re away. A self dispensing water fountain can be perfect.

yorkie playing tug of war
Yorkies are strong minded and intelligent. They thrive when trained correctly. You can safely play tug with your Yorkie!

Favorite Toys 

Chews and other toys can give your Yorkie an outlet for energy while you’re away. Familiar favorites can keep them calm.  

Interactive Options 

Some interactive toys can give your Yorkie a treat when they chew it the right way. Another idea is to put a favorite channel on TV – YouTube and other platforms and channels even have videos filmed with dogs in mind.  

Crate Training 

Not all dogs are comfortable roaming the house freely while left alone. If you are crate training your Yorkie, letting it be in a large, roomy crate with a favorite blanket, toys and treats can make time alone less stressful.  

Open the Blinds 

Being able to see outside can make your Yorkie happier during your workday. Sunshine brightens everyone’s day. 

What if I Have a Long Workday? 

a black yorkie
A Yorkie with a predominantly black coat stands on a wooden floor.

If you are working long hours or traveling for work, you might want to reconsider getting a Yorkshire Terrier or any dog. Dogs thrive on interaction with their owners and need attention, walks, and playtime. If you can’t provide that regularly, owning a dog might not be suitable for you. 

Long workdays do happen sometimes, so here are some options for helping your Yorkie deal with your schedule. 

Enlist Help from Family 

If you have a partner or older children who arrive home earlier than you, ask them to play with the family pet and take your Yorkie on a walk. 

Hire a Pet Sitter 

Professional pet sitters can keep your Yorkie entertained while you’re away working or running errands. If you live near a university or know a teenager in your neighborhood, they might be thrilled to be paid to play with and walk your adorable Yorkie. 

Stop in to Visit 

If you have a lunch break and work close to home, make taking your Yorkie for a walk part of your lunchtime routine. Your Yorkie will be happy, and you’ll both be healthier. 

black and tan yorkie
How is this for a pose! A black and tan Yorkie

Doggie Daycare 

Another option for long workdays is to let your Yorkie go to doggie daycare. Canine daycare centers allow dogs have the interactions they need during the day while you work. 

Bring Your Dog to Work 

Unfortunately, this isn’t an option for most workplaces, but ask if this perk is available. Your coworkers might love seeing your Yorkie during the day. 

Hybrid Schedules 

Working from home part of the week can ease anxiety for your pet and maybe for you as well. 

Exercise your Yorkie first thing in the morning before a long day out. Yorkies love to walk, and can even do some running.

Keep Your Yorkie Happy and Healthy 

Yorkshire Terriers love spending time with their owners, which is why these adorable dogs make great pets. However, Yorkies do require love, care, and attention during the day. Playtime, walks, bathroom breaks and plenty of petting keep your Yorkie at its best. 

Working is a fact of life for most of us, but you can leave your Yorkie alone for part of the day. Consideration and preparation can make workdays easier for you and your Yorkie.