Is it okay to leave dog home alone overnight in crate when house/pet sitting?

I was asked by a couple that is friends with my aunt to house/pet sit for them for the next 4 weeks as they will be going on vacation, camping. The dog is fairly young but definitely not a puppy. I’d say he’s about 2 or 3? I’m not sure.

They told me that he can either be put in his crate at night or left to sleep in the dog bed in the living room. They also have 2 cats that they said could either be left loose at night or put in their cage. I live about 10 minutes away, and I really don’t feel completely comfortable staying the night at their house as it is in a really remote area of town and kind of a creepy older house. I’m a 19 year old female and just don’t like the idea of it.

I don’t have a dog, so I was wondering if it would be okay if, after feeding him and giving him water and letting him outside to do his business, I put him in his crate and went to spend the night at my own house and then returned in the morning to let him out and feed him again? I don’t see what the necessity is of having me stay there overnight if he is left in his crate at night usually anyways.

They also never really specified if they wanted me to stay overnight or not, they just said that I was welcome to sleep in the guest bedroom. I have no problem staying at the house for the whole day, just as long as I can go home and sleep and then come back. I also am being paid per day plus extra to mow their lawn once every couple weeks. They also told me that they don’t lock the doors when they leave the house, but gave me a key if I wanted to lock them. This indicates to me that they’re not very worried about safety in their neighborhood, and probably don’t count on me being there to make the house seem occupied for security reasons.

Also, they left very little food for me but gave me about half of my money upfront so that I could buy groceries. As a broke college student, I’d much rather eat at my own house for free.

I just need to know if this is okay, or if I really need to stay at their house overnight.


The reason I would crate him is because they told me to crate him whenever I am not there, because otherwise he will tear up the house. They also told me that he is fed twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. And he is also taken out to go to the bathroom about 3 times a day including once right before bed. So because of this….I don’t think its necessary to stick food and water in the crate with him? I’m not stupid and I’m not cruel. It’s not like I’m going to let him starve or die of thirst. Plus there’s really not room in the crate for a bowl of food and water.
They told me he is also used to being in the crate for extended periods of time while they are at work or in bed.

I understand that different pet owners have different routines. However, this dog is left in his crate most nights while the owners are sleeping. It is fed and let out to go to the bathroom rightbefore bed and first thing in the morning so why would you say that he would be holding in his pee? These people are animal lovers, trust me, and would not tell me to do something that seems cruel to them. This is their routine. This would not be the issue, as this would be the same routine whether I stayed the night at the house or not. It is ridiculous for anyone to wake up in the middle of the night to let their dog out to go to the bathroom anyways.

Unfortunately, as like I said I am a college student trying to save money, I am staying at my parents house for the summer. They’ve never had pets and honestly don’t like them, and I just know that taking them to my house is not an option. If it was my own house I wouldn’t mind at all, but being here I have to respect my parents wishes.

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9 Responses to Is it okay to leave dog home alone overnight in crate when house/pet sitting?

  1. munchkin says:

    you are 19 not 9 so why the childish fear to sleep away from home … why are you afraid to sleep at someones house when you agreed to care for their pets … if i came back from vacation and my dog had been crated and left alone overnight, you would need to be scared because i would freak out … i would freak out on you, i would go to your home and freak out on your parents and it would be all i could do not to grab you by the throat … give me a break, you are the pet sitter, stay there and sit the stupid pets … they hired you to do that, and if you are too immature or scared to sleep away from home, why would you even agree to do the job … because you are self-absorbed and greedy, all you could think about is the money (and how sad is that, 15 dollars a day you sell out for) and not about the pets and you give real pet sitters a bad name … what if something happens overnight when you are not there ??? if only the people who hired you could see the drivel you have typed … you really should be ashamed of yourself … a work ethic is a work ethic whether you are a pet sitter or a rocket scientist, and you, sweetie pie, lack work ethic and you are pretty immature for a 19 year old …

  2. JaCoy E says:

    Ya just let them be if you wanna put them away for the night go ahead but i wouldn’t sleep at thier house either. Just go home and check on them when you wake up.

  3. waldoroja says:

    well he/she needs adequate food and WATER.

    I would hope you’d stay with him and let him sleep in the living room, but iuderstand if you feel scared. I’d feed him/her walk them for an hour or so aso they get good exercise then be there first thing in the morning to let them out and do it again.

    I think its ok, but make sure the dog gets plenty of outside play time, food and water

  4. monique.watson says:

    Sleeping at someone else’s house even its your best friend’s house is also hard and uncomfortable. Here’s a better idea
    Why not take the dog & cat and let them stay at YOUR house, coz its also important for them to have exercise (i.e. run, walk) and putting them inside the crate its just too cruel because what if they need to pee and how can they speak comfortably if they are cramped in a small crate. Since you are a relatively young female it also serves as protection for you to have the dog around even at your place as it can bark if there is an intruder eventhough you are not its master.
    Besides if you stay at their house you won’t get good sleep because its not your bed and worst if something goes missing you are definitely to be blamed since you slept there
    Just lock all the windows and doors and go to your place to sleep
    If the owners find out and are not comfortable you doing this then its time to quit (what other choice do you have)?

  5. rainbow b says:

    Are you able to reach the owner and ask them? I think that would be best. If you could just make sure there is no miscommunication and they are aware of your intentions and that you will be there all day even, do a last feeding, walk, potty and crate the dog before you go home and come back first thing next morning to do it again everyday. That’s what I’d do. Then you won’t have to worry. They would know as well. Honestly, you’re not getting paid a typical petsitting/housesitting fee, so maybe that’s all they expected, but it’s best to be sure!

  6. J says:

    I don’t know that I would be happy with leaving the dog, even if it is in a crate just in case he became ill or wanted to go out during the night. This can happen from time to time.
    Is it not possible to ask the people to make clear what their expectations of you are?

  7. Blue.Nose.Pitbulls says:

    It seems a bit cruel just to leave him in a crate locked up all night with no food or water? how would you feel if that was you!? honestly i would stay the night or take the dogs to your own house? how ever, if you have any other animals make sure they get along with other animals? hope i helped you and not trying to make you feel bad at all this is jusy my opinion. Byee[= Oh and if a dog holds his pee over night he could get serious kidney damage. [like humans]

  8. Bunny says:

    my first reaction would be that it’s okay to crate him, but only if you’re there with him. Our dog can be left alone for short bursts of time in his crate, but whenever he’s locked in his crate overnight my dad is always with him. It’s just good to have someone there to supervise him in case something happens.

    I’m gonna second the other answerer who said to call the owners of the dog and ask their opinion. I totally understand being uncomfortable as a young woman staying alone in a big house in a neighborhood you don’t know well. On the other hand, if the dog is as destructive as you say, his bark would probably scare off anyone who tried to break into the house. 🙂 My dad has a great dog story about our now-elderly golden scaring burglars off.

    You ARE being paid for dogsitting (though the money you’re getting isn’t much,) though, and I think that people who hire dogsitters tend to include house-sitting in the equation unless they expect you to keep the dog at your house. (I can understand being hesitant to do this, too.) If you have a car, why not bring the dog and crate with you to your house? Naturally, you should let the owners know whatever you do with the dog (to create no miscommunication, as another answerer said.)

    It’s not really cool of them to leave you for dead foodwise, but if you were considering going back to your house anyway you could grab some food while you’re at it. Why not grab soup cans or whatnot that won’t go bad (or produce if they’re letting you use your fridge) so that you can eat your own stuff for free?

  9. MamaBas says:

    If this is his routine, to be crated overnight, I’d say that’s fine. However, I am concerned about you not being within earshot, or sight, of his home. What if the place catches fire, or perhaps if somebody gets wind of them being away and breaks in?

    I can tell you I used to sit for my neighbours when they took off around the world. This was usually for 3+ weeks once a year. They had two dogs and three cats (who came and went and were not locked in – cat flat). Their dogs were crated overnight, with the house locked up. And I didn’t sleep there. HOWEVER, we lived literally steps away across a quiet road. One of us used to spend the evening in there with them before settling them down for the night and during the day, when I was up and around (not sitting watching TV in the afternoon, or out), their back door was open so they could all come and go. If anything happened, I’d have been able to be there in minutes. Plus my own gang would have sounded the alarm had anybody been prowling around.

    Apart from the distance away you will be from this house, I’d say it’s perfectly okay to keep to their normal routine, as you’ve described. Especially if the owners are happy for you to do this.

    Alternatively I suppose you could bring him and his crate to your house overnight?

    ps Get them to leave you the name and address/phone number of their vet, and also a note for you to take with you saying you have their permission to present their dog for treatment, if needed. And if they have a contact number, you’d need that too. Just in case

    Add There is always the possibility for the dog to be ill in his crate overnight (thinking bloat here!) but that could happen with you upstairs asleep too much as I’d hear if one of mine was in trouble, in their crate, at night. Also to the comment about food and water for him – no need overnight in his crate!! Also, you could try this idea at least to begin with, and if you have problems with him, switch to sleeping there? I am thinking about whether he might realise he’s alone, and bark – all night = neighbour problems?

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