Do you know what your dog is thinking? It is hard to tell sometimes, but there are some definite signs that he might be feeling lonely. Dogs have been domesticated for a long time now, and they crave companionship just like humans do. If your dog is left alone all day while you are at work or school, they can feel really sad and isolated. Read on for tips about how to keep dogs from getting lonely!
Dogs are Pack Animals
Dogs are pack animals and will do well with other dogs or even cats. Keeping a dog cooped up in your home all day long is not going to solve the problem of loneliness, it is just going to make him more stressed out than he was before because now he does not have anything else to occupy his time. Consider getting another dog or getting a dog walker to come in and walk your dog once or twice a day while you are away.
Why Do Dogs Get Lonely?
It is important to understand that there are a few different types of loneliness. There is physical separation from their pack, emotional disconnection due to past trauma, and just the average kind we all feel when left alone too long.
How to Tell if Your Dog is Lonely
The most telling sign of emotional disconnection is when your dog starts to show signs of depression. You can tell they are unhappy if their tail droops down, and they are not as active or outgoing around people as usual.
Here are some other signs your dog is lonely or stressed:
- Excessive barking and howling
- Excessive licking of themselves or objects in the house, which can often be a sign they are anxious. Dogs will lick their paws excessively when left alone if it is cold outside.
- Unprovoked aggression towards other animals or humans
- Lying on hard surfaces instead of in their bed
- Destructive behavior, like chewing up furniture or housewares
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
- Playtime is no longer satisfying, and they are more likely to run away from you when playing
If this sounds familiar, it’s time for some changes!
Tips on How to Help Your Dog Feel Less Lonely
Here are some ideas to help you get your dog out of its funk.
Get Out of House & Mental Stimulation
Give your dog plenty of attention, including a walk outside to explore new scents. Play with them regularly and make sure they have toys to keep their mind occupied during the day. This can include puzzle games or Kongs filled with peanut butter that requires mental work for dogs in order to access the treat inside.
Get Another Pet
An easy way to make your dog feel less lonely is by getting another pet in the house! This can be as simple as a fish for an aquatic companion or even a bird that will chirp and sing, keeping your dogs’ interest.
Hire a Dog Walker
A dog walker can come to your house and take your dog for a walk when you are not able. This is especially helpful for dogs that need more exercise than an average dog would or if you work long hours during the day and cannot be home with them.
Take Your Dog to Daycare
Another way to keep your dog from feeling lonely is to take them to daycare! Daycares offer more than just socialization, but also activities and training. At dog daycares, your pup is often put in a group with other dogs to play, run, and socialize.
Health Benefits of a Happy Dog
Your dog will be happier if you meet their needs. Good health is not just about food and shelter. It is about emotional health. A healthy dog is more likely to have a happy, enthusiastic personality.
The truth is that dogs are social animals, and they need contact with other people and pets to be truly happy. That is why it is so important that we keep our dogs well exercised, healthy, mentally stimulated through games or training sessions, and able to enjoy the company of others.
So, keep your dog happy and healthy by preventing loneliness and boredom.