We all want our dogs to live full, happy lives, but sometimes our jam-packed schedules and busy routines can sadly result in our pups feeling lonely and isolated.
Dogs’ personalities are as individual as humans’, so their reasons for feeling lonely may vary depending on their different circumstances. While it’s not always easy to identify just how our pups are feeling, some of the tell-tale signs your dog may be lonely include…
1. Your dog following you around the house
If your pup is feeling lonely you may notice they follow you around in order to get the companionship they crave.
2. They aren’t as playful as they once were
Something else you might notice is that your pet isn’t wanting to play as much as usual. Sometimes, due to inconsistent companionship, they may lack the social skills they once had – and withdraw themselves from wanting to play. Dogs are incredibly social animals, so if they pull back from group activities it could be a sign of loneliness.
3. They may lick their own fur more regularly
According to research conducted by INSIDER, lonely dogs may bite at their own fur more often, resulting in patches of lost fur. One expert said: “L**k granulomas are a common manifestation of boredom or anxiety in dogs, and present as small circular sores that are often on the dog’s carpus or wrist.”
4. Sleeping more often
Similar to the behaviour of humans, many dogs that are lonely or sad may turn to sleep as a form of distraction. If your dog begins sleeping more than normal, it could be a tell-tale sign they are feeling lonely.
5. Destructive behaviour
Another sign your dog could be feeling lonely is if they are becoming destructive at home, destroying things or chewing furniture. If dogs are regularly left on their own, this could be a sign of boredom, as well as a way to get their owner’s attention.
What should you do if your dog is lonely?
The surest cure for loneliness is, of course, togetherness. But if you can’t be with them physically, some of the ways you can help a lonely dog include…
- Putting on the radio or background music
- If you can, get another dog so they have a companion
- Take your dog with you if you go on runs or head out to see friends
- Try to head home on lunch breaks if possible