About the Author: Emma loves to have dogs as her pets and with so much knowledge about dogs, she started MyPetDoggie.com to share it with other dog lovers and parents. She is a Pet Specialist and Pet Behavior Analyst, who studied at the University of South Dakota.
Research has shown that the dog has a positive relationship with his owner or with some favorite people. Therefore, they find it very hard to separate from their loving person. It’s always very hard to say goodbye to them. Leaving their sad little behind faces is not easy to bear. It seems like we are leaving our piece of heart at home behind.
But do they miss us too? How can they handle their alone time? We have covered 12 signs your dog misses you when you’re gone in this little piece of blogpost. Some people think that they will be enjoying themselves as pets in one of the most top-rated movies “THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS”.
On the other hand, some owners show anxiety for them wondering what they will be doing this time. Will he be fine? What will he be thinking about me? Will he think I abandoned him again like his previous owner?
Different dogs show different signs, because of variations in breed type, age, and lifestyle. But, if you have other family members then the missing %age may be somewhere low because sometimes they launch on other family members. Let’s uncover some of their thoughts by recognizing the different signs they express.
12 Signs Your Dog Misses You When You’re Gone
1- Dog’s Excited Greetings
Dogs are super intelligent species that predict from some small clues that you might be leaving. Your moments towards the purse or gym bag, putting on your jacket or coat, wearing shoes, and hearing the horn of the car increase the anxiety of your dog.
But, if you return home and they get over-excited and lean with you. That means they were missing you all day.
If you are a working person then they will be used to it and sometimes don’t show the same greetings, but if you leave him at home for some time, the greetings will always be the same and memorable. They may run around you and want your love and hugs.
2- Sleeping in Your Spot or Destructive Behavior
Dogs and cats are attracted to their loved ones’ scent. We mostly find our dogs sleeping with our shoes or pillows, etc. If your pooch is doing the same you are the luckiest person on the Earth.
But sometimes when we leave our furry friend for a long time he may start showing his destructive behavior. This is because of the anxiety due to the separation from the owner and can sometimes become extremely detrimental. This type of behavior not only damages the household items, but there is a risk to their life too, especially when they eat objects they shouldn’t.
3- They May Start Following You
When the pooch is addicted to your presence then they may start following you if you are going somewhere, or returning from outside, they sometimes follow you even if you are at home and do not, like going somewhere.
Most people think that maybe they are demanding something or are hungry, but the real reason is they are demanding your love, hugs, and kisses.
Some dogs start following their owner, if they sense that the owner is soon leaving him. They don’t want to let them out of their sight.
4- Increased Affection
Increased affection is a sign which indicates that the dog misses his owner when he’s gone. Dogs are considered the most loyal and faithful animals, when they feel our absence they may seek comfort through the increased affection behavior. They can show this behavior in various ways, like licking, leaning against their owner, and frequent cuddling.
Affection can also be noticed in a way when they are doing stupid things to catch attention and closeness.
Dogs are social animals and are addicted to human love. When they feel their owner is not present they may feel lonely, emerging with a desire for physical contact and affection.
5- Loss of Interest
If your dog is not showing any interest while you are leaving, it does not mean that he is not missing you. He may be used to your work routine. Or he might be busy licking his paws nervously chewing his toy or doing something else that is distracting him.
Some dogs are mature enough that they do not show their feelings. If he does not pay any attention take a chill pill and when returns home from work, play with him for some time.
6- Waiting by the Door
Nothing is more heartwarming than a scene of a dog staring at the door waiting for their favorite person to come home. He might be thinking while staring that you’ll be coming back soon through it.
Some pups like to sit in the window to watch the passers and amuse themselves with what is happening outside, sometimes barking at the outdoor incidents with no logic and reason, they think every fight is their own fight.
Some dogs have their specific designated room, which they consider as their waiting area for their loved ones. This routine is for daily workers.
But if someone is away from the pooch for a long time, they may sit staring out the window with their glazing eyes over, waiting for their companion to come. They need some time to get through it but some pooches need weeks to realize that the owner is out of station.
Restlessness is another factor or sign that dogs show when they miss you when you are gone. Dogs are social animals and have a strong bond with their owner. When separated from the owners, they may face the symptoms of anxiety, and loneliness.
When they express behavior like pacing, whining, or excessive barking., it means they are missing their owner. They may constantly run from room to room, unable to settle down.
Restlessness can also be expressed in a form like they are searching for your scent in your belongings, which gives them a feeling they are close to you.
For dogs to express their anxiety and seek an owner. When a pooch misses its owner, he may vocalize to communicate to attract attention or to distress. This type of behavior can be noticed when his favorite person is missing. But, remember all dogs are not mature enough to show this type of behavior. If your pooch is not vocalizing with someone, that does not mean he is not missing you.
9- Searching for the Owner
Just like us, Dogs are also very sensitive and feel loneliness when we leave them alone. Sometimes, they think the owner is hiding from them and they start searching for him. This search goes on for hours, in the belief that my favorite person is somewhere. There, someone has to tell them that the person isn’t coming today.
Then the next day the same scenario will happen until the owner really gets in the house. If your pooch is doing the same thing, then you are the luckiest person.
10- Change in Eating Habits
The Food-motivated dogs, Like human beings, are sad or in tension, and do not eat properly. The dogs have the same attitude. They don’t eat food as a way to express their sadness.
Loss of Appetite
They might lose weight and become weak, due to distraction and depression. They will regain the weight after uniting with the owner.
11- Depressed Demeanor
Dogs act depressed when you’re gone, dogs can’t hide their emotions and often put them out on display.
Signs of Depression;
- Sleeping whole day
- Slinking around
If he is showing any of the above behaviors then it means he is missing you.
Study shows that dogs cannot tell the difference between the amount of time they have been left alone. They will probably make the difference of only a few minutes or hours. But a longer amount of time increases the depression amount in them.
One of the studies says;
“Although this study cannot distinguish between whether dogs were aware of the length of time. They were left alone (but did not signal it) or whether they were unaware until reminded of it by the return of their owner, it does confirm that dogs are affected by the duration of time at home alone.”
12- Change in behavior
Change in behavior is true and the most dominant sign that he is really missing you. If your dog is one who loves to play all the time and suddenly he is sitting at one designated place and not doing any activity, then he misses you very badly.
What type of behavior can they show?
Different dog breeds show different types of behavior, The most noticed behaviors are;
- Excessive Barking
Separation from the favorite person changes the personality of the pooch very deeply Like Human beings because of intolerance of being alone or away from the favorite person.
10 Tips to Help Your Dog Feel Less Lonely When You Leave
Some owners are worried about leaving their furry friends alone in the home, but the smartest one will always make some arrangements for them.
Here I have explored 10 of the best and verified tips to help your dog feel comfortable when you leave him alone.
1- Establish a Routine
Establishing a routine is one of the most genuine actions to help your pooch feel less lonely when you are not at home. Dogs thrive on structure and predictability, so having a regular daily routine may be helpful. Some of the established routines from many owners are;
A Balanced Feeding/Walking Routine
Feeding and bringing him for a walk at the same time every day will establish a consistent routine.
Reward him every time
Whenever you are not at home and he shows good behavior, reward him immediately.
Leave him for Short Periods
Leave him at home for short periods, and gradually increase the amount of time, so he gets used to it.
2- Interactive Toys
Bring him his favorite toy. Do you know some owners hide food in the toy, they believe this type of activity will distract them from feeling alone and they spend a lot of time playing with the toy.
Another way of distracting them is to hide the toy somewhere and ask them to find it until you return. But keep in mind that you are hiding the toy in a safe place.
3- Comfortable Space
Some owners leave their pooches in the yard or backyard alone. But that’s not a good idea. You don’t know which circumstances your dog is facing when you are not with him. So providing him with a comfortable space is important. It’s not only good for the pooch but also for you because it will relax you from anxiety.
4- Leave Familiar Scents
Leaving familiar scents is one of the most tried techniques to comfort the pooch. Dogs have a strong sense of smell and familiar fragrances can provide them comfort. Leaving a blanket or a piece of clothing that has your scent can relax him and you both can create a strong bond even when you are not physically with each other.
What scents can actually do?
Familiar scents reduce anxiety and relax him when you are not with him. It is a simple but effective method to help your dog feel less lonely when you leave.
5- Background Noise
If your dog is getting bored some distraction is necessary and this silence can be filled up with some music noise. You will definitely know which type of music your dog likes. Set the station, make a noise, and leave a dancing dog when you leave.
Many owners apply the same music formula when they leave to help their dogs not to feel alone.
6- Pre-Departure Calmness
Pre-departure calmness of many pets is a full belly and before leaving do some activities like a morning walk with him. Go ahead and give your pooch a meal and wait for some time before leaving. A pooch with a loaded belly is much more likely to sleep.
According to the research;
“It’s essential to give your dog some type of activity or enrichment before leaving, such as a sniff walk or a find-it game.
It also needs to be a priority when we get home,”
7- Positive Associations
Place a treat dispenser and webcam in your home. These can be controlled electronically and you can see your dog’s activities from the cam directly. If your pooch is showing good behavior while you are absent from home, open a treat dispenser and allow him to enjoy his treat.
What to do if I don’t have a Webcam and a Treat Dispenser?
If there is no webcam in your house then there is no need to worry. While returning you can check. If the home is not messy give him a treat.
8- Calming Aids
Many dogs like DOG TV station, which airs content that is liked by dogs. All the programs are dog-related which please the poochs. The scenes and noise attract the dog’s attention and distract him from feeling alone.
9- Seek Professional Help
If your dog is exhibiting unnatural behavior while you are away. Like eating dangerous things or damaging your household items. Or seeking elements to injure himself. It is a clue that his loneliness is exhausted into a mental issue.
This type of situation can not be handled alone. Here is the need to seek professional help, to take everything under control.
One of my neighbors says;
“Any time we see health changes—less sleeping, less eating—the first stop needs to be our veterinarian.”
10- Doggy Daycare or Dog Walker
The best way to relieve the anxiety of a dog leaving home alone is doggy daycare. Not only does doggy daycare distract them from loneliness but teaches them how to behave as a good pet. They teach them how to adapt to better skill sets and feel less anxious. Most dogs after getting activities from the daycare just need a nap, to prepare for the next day.
If you cannot afford a Doggy daycare, then a dog walker will be a great option. Which helps your pooch to get less anxious while you are not in the home.
Do Our Dogs Miss Us When We’re Away?
Yes, dogs do miss us when we’re away. Many studies have shown that dogs miss their favorite person when they are absent from the home. The signs they mostly show are negative emotions, and not eating properly.
Different breed types have different methods of showing their emotions. For example, a dog breed named poodle is mostly known for its intelligence, attachment, and loyalty to its owner might show strongly negative emotions when left alone in the home as compared to other dog breeds.
How Does Your Dog Miss You?
If a family member noticed that your dog was looking at or sitting near the door while you were out. That means he is missing you. Another sign that they show is they may snuggle or destroy your items. Dogs have an incredible ability to sense any smell, your pooch might be looking for you and smelling your clothes or shoes to cope with your absence. If you notice that your pooch is always sleeping near your dirty clothes or shoes then that means he was missing you.
How do dogs act when they lose an owner?
They sleep the whole day while some suffer from insomnia. Some dogs change the area where they sleep. Most dogs change their vocal patterns, some keep more silent than they were prior to their loss of an owner.
How long is normal to miss a dog?
Missing dogs depend upon the personality of a person. Acute grief symptoms after the death of your pooch can last from a month to 3 months, or some people may miss them more than 6 months.
Do dogs have memories?
Yes, dogs do have memories, research has shown that they can remember their owner for a long time. They remember the actions, and scents of the owner. Dogs form memories all the time and they can recall whenever they need to.
Should I say goodbye to my dog when I leave?
Saying goodbye to the dog is OK. Dogs who playfully say goodbye have a decrease in anxious behavior and a decrease in heart rate over the ten absences that followed.
Do dogs miss humans?
Yes, dogs do miss humans when they are gone. Many studies have shown that many signs like personality changes, snuggling the owner’s dirty clothes, sitting at a door for hours, and searching for him throughout the house are the symptoms that they are missing their favorite person. Dogs greeted their owner more vigorously when they met them after a long time. But, remember if he is not showing any greeting response that does not mean he didn’t miss you. Every dog has a different personality to show his love.
Will my dog forget me after 2 weeks?
Don’t worry if you’ll be gone even for a month he will remember you. The dog will remember your face, scent, your voice, and all the memorable moments that you both enjoy together.
These 12 signs your dog misses you while you’re gone hopefully enable you to understand how much your dog misses you when you are not at home. They experience a range of emotions in our absence, every dog breed has its style of showing its emotion. Recognizing the right one is crucial for us to address loneliness and for making their alone time enjoyable.
Establishing a routine, providing them with mental relaxation, and rewarding them for every good behavior might be a little bit helpful. Remember our dogs are dependent on us for care and love, so make your absence a little easier for them.