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Leave light on for dog?

Species: Dog
Breed: French Bulldog
Age: 2-5 years
Is it necessary to leave the lights on for your dog when you go out in the evening for a few hours?

My boyfriend insists that you need to because dogs get anxious when left alone in the dark. However, this is his first dog, and I've owned many throughout my life, and none have ever seemed phased by being in the dark for a few hours (some even seemed to like it).

I'm a student studying Environmental Science/ Sustainability so I would really like to know if it is necessary to leave these lights on. However, if leaving them off is bad for our dog, I obviously would not mind leaving them on.

Thank you for your time.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This is an interesting question. I'm not sure if anyone really knows the answer to this!

My personal preference is to leave some kind of light on as it seems to make intuitive sense to me that the dog would like to have some sort of vision. We do know that when dogs go suddenly blind it can often cause anxiety. So, I would imagine that if it is extremely dark this could cause anxiety as well.

With that said, if you leave the light off and your dog does not seem to get upset (i.e. no panting, barking, pacing) then it is probably perfectly ok to leave the light off.

I wish I could point you to a more scientific answer, but I don't think any studies have been done on this.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.