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Do Dogs Get Lonely? The Fascinating Truth Behind Canine Depression

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Do dogs get lonely? Dog owners have long suspected that their furry friends get lonely for a variety of different reasons.

Some dog owners report lonely dogs when they have to leave their dogs home alone for too long, their dog is the only dog in the household, or their dog isn’t getting enough mental stimulation. Other dog owners report that their dogs are always happy and don’t seem to get lonely no matter what.

So which is it? Do dogs really get lonely or not?

The answer, like with most things related to canine behavior, is complicated, but definitely not impossible.

DO DOGS GET LONELY?

Feeling lonely is a normal feeling that most dogs will experience during their lifetime.

Since dogs evolved from wolves which are pack animals, they are social animals that require regular interaction with other dogs and humans.

Without this social interaction, dogs can start to feel lonely, which can lead to a wide range of behavioral problems such as:

  1. Destructive behavior
  2. Excessive barking
  3. Withdrawal from normal activities
  4. Lethargy
  5. Depression
THE BEST TOYS
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YOUR DOG IS BORED

COMMON REASONS FOR LONELY DOGS

Being a dog owner is one of the most rewarding things you can do. You have a furry friend that is always happy to see you, whether you’ve been gone for two minutes or two weeks. But sometimes, even the most well-meaning dog owners can inadvertently make their dogs feel lonely. Here are six common reasons for lonely dogs, along with some tips on how to avoid them. 

SEPARATION ANXIETY

One of the most common reasons for a lonely dog is separation anxiety. This happens when your dog becomes anxious or stressed when you leave them alone. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to ease your dog’s separation anxiety, including providing them with a cozy bed to sleep in, leaving them with a favorite toy, and establishing a daily routine. 

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NOT BEING AROUND OTHER ANIMALS OR PETS

Another common reason for a lonely dog is not being around other animals. If your dog is the only pet in the house, they may feel isolated and bored when they’re left alone. To avoid this, try taking your dog to a local park or animal cafe where they can socialize with other furry friends. 

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NOT SEEING THEIR PET PARENTS ENOUGH

It’s no secret that dogs are social creatures. They thrive on human interaction and need plenty of it to be happy and healthy. If you work long hours or travel frequently, your dog may feel neglected and become lonely as a result. To prevent this, try setting aside time each day to play with your pup or take them on a long walk. Even if it’s just 10 minutes, your dog will appreciate the quality time spent together. 

BEING THE ONLY DOG

As we mentioned before, dogs are social creatures and need regular interaction with other dogs to stay happy and healthy. If you only have one dog in the house, they may start feeling bored and lonely after awhile. To avoid this, consider taking your dog to a local puppy play group or doggie daycare center or getting pet care where your dog can interact with other dogs and form outside pack members. where they can interact with other pups their own age. 

NOT GETTING ANY MENTAL OR PHYSICAL STIMULATION

Just like humans, dogs need both mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and balanced. If your dog isn’t getting enough exercise or isn’t being challenged mentally, they may start feeling restless and bored. To avoid this, make sure you’re taking your dog on regular walks/runs and incorporating some type of mental stimulation into their daily routine (e.g., puzzle toys filled with treats). 

5 WAYS TO HELP A BORED DOG

Dogs are social creatures that need plenty of human interaction to stay happy and healthy. If you think your dog may be feeling lonely, there are a number of things you can do to ease their loneliness, including providing them with a cozy bed to sleep in, taking them to a local park or animal cafe where they can socialize with other furry friends, and setting aside time each day to play with your pup or take them on a long walk.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR DOG IS BORED

SIGNS THAT YOUR DOG MAY BE FEELING LONELY

Just like humans, dogs are social creatures that need companionship from their dog parents or other pets. If you have a busy schedule or travel often, your dog may start to feel lonely. Here are some signs to look out for that may indicate your dog is feeling lonely.

POTTY ACCIDENTS

One sign that your dog may be feeling lonely is if they start having potty accidents in the house even though they are fully house trained. This is usually a sign that they are not getting enough attention and are trying to get your attention by being naughty. If you notice this behavior, try to make more time for your dog or consider hiring a dog walker to help them get the exercise and companionship they need.

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DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR

Another sign that your dog may be feeling lonely is destructive behavior such as chewing on furniture or barking excessively. This is usually a sign that they are bored and are looking for something to do. If you notice this behavior, try to make more time for your dog or consider enrolling them in a dog daycare where they can socialize with other dogs.

DEPRESSIVE BEHAVIORS

Another sign that your dog may be feeling lonely is if they become withdrawn and stop participating in activities they once enjoyed. This is usually a sign that they are depressed and need more companionship. If you notice this behavior with your dog, try to make more time for your dog or consider hiring a dog walker to help them get the exercise and companionship they need.

SEVERE SEPARATION ANXIETY

Another sign that your dog may be feeling lonely is if they experience severe separation anxiety when you leave them alone. This is usually a sign that they are very attached to you and become anxious when you’re not around. If you notice this behavior, try to make more time for your dog or consider enrolling them in a dog daycare where they can socialize with other dogs. 

BARKING EXCESSIVELY 

Another sign that your dog may be feeling lonely is if they start barking excessively when you’re not home. This is usually a sign that they’re bored and are looking for something to do. If you notice this behavior, try to make more time for your dog or consider enrolling them in a dog daycare where they can socialize with other dogs. 

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If you notice any of these behaviors in your dog, it may be a sign that they are feeling lonely. Try to make more time for your pet or consider hiring a professional dog walker to help them get the exercise and companionship they need.

HOW DO YOU HELP A LONELY DOG?

Do Dogs Get Lonely?

Dogs are social animals that need companionship, but sometimes their owners can’t provide the constant company that they crave. If your dog is feeling lonely, there are a number of things you can do to help ease their anxiety and make them feel more comfortable. 

BRAIN WORK AND MENTAL STIMULATION

One way to help a lonely dog is to keep them occupied with brain work. This could involve teaching them tricks, playing interactive games, or even just giving them a puzzle toy to figure out. Something as simple as a Kong toy filled with peanut butter can keep a dog entertained for hours. 

Chew toys, treat dispensing toys and even making your own devices out of cardboard or recycled items can help the well being of a dogs mental health.

ENGAGEMENT TOYS FOR DOGS

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DOGS REQUIRE EXERCISE: A TIRED DOG WILL HAVE LESS DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOUR

Another way to help a lonely dog is to make sure they get plenty of exercise. A tired dog is a happy dog, and a tired dog is also less likely to be anxious and destructive. If your dog has pent-up energy, they may start chewing on furniture or barking excessively. Getting them out for a walk or run will help burn off some of that energy and hopefully make them more calm and relaxed when they’re home alone. 

HIRE AN ANIMAL BEHAVIORIST WHO HELPS DOGS WITH ANXIETY

If your dog’s loneliness is severe, you may want to consider getting a dog trainer to help them with anxiety. A trained professional will be able to assess your dog’s needs and come up with a tailored plan to help them feel more comfortable when they’re by themselves. 

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KENNEL TRAINING IS A TOOL TO HELP DOGS COMPLEX EMOTIONS

Crate training can also be helpful for dogs who get anxious when left alone. Having a safe space that they can retreat to when they’re feeling overwhelmed can make all the difference in the world. Just make sure that you only use the crate as a positive space – never punish your dog by putting them in there. 

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KEEP YOUR DOG OCCUPIED WITH TIME SPENT MAKING RELATIONSHIPS WITH EXTENDED PACKS

Finally, one of the best things you can do for a lonely dog is to spend time with other dogs. If your schedule allows, take them to the dog park or set up playdates with friends’ dogs. Seeing other dogs enjoying themselves will hopefully remind your dog that being alone doesn’t have to be so bad. 

There are a number of things you can do to help ease your lonely dog’s anxiety. From keeping them occupied with brain work to getting them out for exercise, there are plenty of options available. If your dog’s loneliness is severe, you may want to consider getting help from a professional trainer or crate training. Spending time with other dogs can also be beneficial. By taking some extra steps, you can help make your lonely dog feel comfortable and loved.

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IS IT OKAY TO ONLY HAVE ONE DOG?

Do Dogs Get Lonely?

For dog lovers, it’s hard to imagine life without a furry friend by their side. But not every pet will have another dog in the home. Here’s everything you need to know about living happily with just one dog.

NOT EVERY PET WILL HAVE ANOTHER DOG IN THE HOME

There are a number of reasons why some dog owners choose to only have one pet. Maybe they live in a small apartment and can’t have more than one dog. Or maybe they already have their hands full with one pooch and don’t think they could handle more. Whatever the reason, there’s nothing wrong with only having one dog.

YOUR DOG CAN FORM AN EXTENDED PACK WITH ANOTHER DOG OUTSIDE THE HOME

Just because a dog doesn’t have another canine friend in the house doesn’t mean she can’t socialize with other dogs. If you only have one dog, make sure to take her to the dog park or on group walks so she can interact with other pups. Many dog owners find that their dogs actually prefer spending time with humans over other dogs anyway. So if you’re the only person in your home, your pup will likely be just as happy snuggling up with you on the couch as she would be playing with another doggy friend.

SOME DOGS DON’T ACTUALLY WANT ANOTHER DOG IN THE HOME

Contrary to popular belief, many dogs don’t actually want another canine companion in the family. In fact, some dogs may even get jealous or anxious when a new puppy comes into the home. If you’re considering getting another dog, make sure to do your research first to see if it’s truly what’s best for your pup. 

GETTING ANOTHER DOG IS NOT ALWAYS THE SOLUTION IF YOUR DOG IS LONELY

If your dog is feeling lonely, getting another pup is not always the solution. Dogs are individuals with their own personalities, just like humans, and some may do better as an only child while others enjoy being part of a pack. If your dog is feeling isolated, try giving her more attention and walks throughout the day rather than adding another pet to the family. 

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding how many dogs to have in the family. It ultimately comes down to what works best for you and your pup (or pups). If you only have one dog, make sure she still has opportunities to socialize with other animals and humans so she doesn’t feel isolated. And if you’re thinking about getting another dog, be sure to do your research first to ensure it’s truly what’s best for everyone involved.

DO DOGS FEEL LONELINESS WHEN THEIR PET OWNERS ARE GONE, AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT?

We all know what it feels like to be lonely. That feeling of being isolated, unknown, and worthless. It can be hard to cope with those emotions as humans, so just imagine how tough it must be for dogs who cannot tell us that they’re feeling that way. As pet parents, it’s our responsibility to make sure our furry friends are never feeling lonely. But how can you tell if your dog is suffering from loneliness? And what can you do about it? 

IF YOU ARE SEEING DOG LONELINESS, CONSIDER METHODS OF HELPING THEM COPE

If your dog is having a hard time adjusting to their new home, the first thing you should do is consult with your veterinarian or a certified animal behaviorist. They will be able to help you create a plan specifically for your dog that will help reduce their anxiety and loneliness. At-home remedies such as pheromone diffusers, Thundershirts, or even something as simple as playing soft music while you’re gone can also help soothe your dog’s emotions. 

PET SITTERS, DOG WALKERS, AND HIRING A DOG TRAINER

Another solution to help alleviate your dog’s loneliness is hiring a professional dog walker or pet sitter. This way, your dog will have somebody to spend time with during the day while you’re at work or running errands. If you choose to go this route, make sure you take the time to interview several different companies or individuals before making your decision. You want to make sure whoever you hire is qualified and capable of providing the best possible care for your four-legged friend. 

GETTING A SECOND DOG COULD WORK, BUT IT MAY NOT BE THE ANSWER

Depending on your work schedule or lifestyle, another option could be getting a second dog. This way, your dogs will always have each other for company when you’re not around. However, this solution isn’t right for every pet parent or every dog out there. Some people simply don’t have the time or energy to properly care for two dogs and sometimes two dogs just don’t get along regardless of how much time you spend training them to do so. If you do decide that getting a second dog is right for you and your furry friend, welcome them into the family with open arms! They’ll need all the love they can get during this big transition in their lives too! 

Do Dogs Get Lonely?

Loneliness is a tough emotion for anyone—human or canine—to deal with on their own. As pet parents, it’s our responsibility to make sure our furry friends are never feeling lonely by being present when we’re with them and considering professional help when we’re not able to be there ourselves. Dogs are social creatures by nature so spending quality time with them should always be one of our top priorities!

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Dane lover and believer in ethical breeding, training and rescue practices. Positive + Balanced trainer, owner of rescue dogs and dogs from breeders. Love the dog in front of you.

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