Pet owners worry about leaving their dogs home alone.
No dog should be left at home by themselves for long periods, but it’s especially important not to leave puppies alone for too long without checking in on them.
Any training progress can be lost, and you can kiss goodbye to that brand new sofa if they get particularly anxious and agitated.
Keep reading to learn if dogs miss their owners when they go to work, and find out what the most common signs a dog is missing their owner are (and how to prevent them).
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Do Dogs Miss You When You Go to Work?
Any dog owner knows that dogs miss their owners when they’re gone, but if there’s any doubt, studies have been conducted that support the assumption.
They also found that dogs greeted their owners more vigorously after being left alone for two hours compared with being left alone for 30 minutes, suggesting that dogs miss you more the longer you’re away.
However, it’s unclear whether dogs can tell the difference between being away for 2 hours compared to 8 hours.
How Do You Tell If Your Dog Misses You? 5 Telltale Signs
Some of the signs that a dog misses you are more obvious than others. Here’s how to tell if your dog misses you while you’re away from home.
1. They whimper while you’re away
The most obvious sign your dog misses you is whimpering.
2. They watch the door
When a dog misses you, they often sit by the door and wait for you to come home. They can do this for hours at a time or periodically throughout the day.
While this is cute and kind of endearing, it can be bad for your dog’s health. They may not drink or eat throughout the day, or not exercise enough.
You’ll only know your dog does this if you have a pet camera to keep an eye on your dog while you’re away.
3. They act excited when you get home
Another clear sign your dog has missed you is how excited they are when you get home, since the intensity of their greeting may be linked to how lonely they get.
If, when you return, your dog can’t handle the excitement, starts jumping around, rubbing against your legs, and wagging their tail profusely, they have missed you.
They may also follow you around the house all evening once you’re home.
4. They chew or destroy items
Dogs with separation anxiety will usually try to communicate it the only way they can—by making a mess of the house.
When a dog is missing you, they may start destroying things in the house out of frustration or to send a message.
For example, some dogs may destroy toilet rolls in the bathroom and scatter them around the house.
They may also chew your belongings, like couch cushions, chair legs, or shoes.
5. They cuddle your stuff
Some dogs take the opposite approach to destroying anything and everything in their sight.
If you notice your dog cuddling your possessions on your pet camera while you’re away, or spot your stuff in their basket when you get home, this is a clear sign that they miss you.
Your dog loves and recognizes your scent, so cuddling things that smell of you makes them feel happier and closer to you.
How to Stop Dogs From Missing You
Once you’ve identified the behaviors associated with dog separation anxiety, there are ways to help them become more comfortable and confident when left alone.
Here’s how to stop dogs from missing you when you’re away from home.
1. Get a pet camera
Pet cameras are increasingly popular among dog and cat owners, particularly for remote workers who go into the office one or two days a week.
Because pets are used to their owners being around during working-from-home days, being left alone one or two days a week can spark separation anxiety.
This can make your dog feel like you’re in the home, and reduce the sense of being away for as long as you have.
Aside from that, pet cams make it easier to know what your pet is up to day-to-day, including how much they eat and drink.
2. Leave a TV or radio on
Another way to make your pet feel less anxious by being alone for long periods is by leaving a TV or radio on.
The constant sound of people speaking can make it seem like someone is home with them, which can prevent and ease separation anxiety.
Pets are likely to get used to the noise of a TV or radio and understand that it’s not real, potentially reducing its effectiveness over time.
3. Gradually increase time away
If a dog is suffering badly from separation anxiety, ease them into your absence slowly. Start with leaving them for 15-30 minutes at a time, and use Two-Way Talk to make the process easier.
Continue this for several days or weeks if the separation anxiety is severe.
Then, gradually increase the time away to several hours. This can help a dog get used to being separated from you and increase their independence and confidence.
Most dogs miss their owners when they leave the house, regardless of how long it’s been since their owner left.
While some dogs are okay with being alone for a few hours, other dogs experience separation anxiety. When this happens, they can act distressed and even destroy belongings in the home.
Getting a pet cam can ease them into more time spent alone, and offers owners reassurance that their dog is safe and settled.