What Do Dogs Think About When They Are Alone?

What Do Dogs Think About When They Are Alone
3 minutes to read

Dogs don’t like being separated from their owners. When left alone, a dog can develop anxious thoughts that sometimes leads to destructive behavior.

When you are away, your dog is probably thinking of when you will be back. This happens about 10 to 30 minutes after you are gone. Other pups will start worrying immediately when they see you preparing to leave.

 

Separation anxiety

Your dog thinking a lot when you are gone is a sign of separation anxiety. But dogs don’t just sit in a corner and get lost in their thoughts like humans. When they feel anxious or lonely, they act out their frustration.

Common signs of separation anxiety include;

  • Barking
  • Howling
  • Whining
  • Pacing around

 

If it gets worse, a dog can develop weird behavior like defecating in weird places or harassing other pets. Other worrying signs to watch out for include;

  • Excessive salivating
  • Self-harm
  • Vomiting

 

 

Learn More:

How Do Dogs Think Without Language

 

 

Visual cues

Dogs can tell when their favorite human is about to leave them. Through conditioned learning, your pup looks out for those visual cues that say you are leaving.

Common ones include

  • Packing a bag
  • Putting on your shoes
  • Reaching out for your car keys
  • Heading for the door

Interestingly, dogs know when you want to take them out too. They will usually see if you are carrying the leash, their favorite toy, or have the bag with the treats with you.

Smart dogs like the golden retriever will dash for their leash when they see you leaving. Alternatively, your retriever will sleep on your lap to prevent you from leaving.

 

Some dogs worry more than others

Toy breeds as more like to suffer separation anxiety than large dogs. A toy breed like a poodle will develop a barking habit that will annoy everyone; including your neighbors.

Dogs with a calm temperament, like a pitbull, will fuss for a few minutes then go about their day. Toy breeds will bark continuously and only stop when they get tired.

 

How to stop your dog from thinking too much when you are gone

lonely dog

  • Feed, exercise, and take your dog for a potty break before leaving. They are likely to sleep the day through until you come back.
  • Supply your dog with ample toys. Get more of his favorite toys to keep him busy while you are away.
  • If things don’t change, consider getting a pet sitter or pet boarding services for the day.
  • Leave soft music playing while you are gone. Soft music like jazz calms dogs down and prevents anxiety
  • Leave the TV on. The voices of people from the TV assure the dog he is not alone.

 

Some dogs are happy to keep themselves busy when you are gone. But if your dog thinks too much whenever you leave, consider spending more time with him. Also, taking care of your dog’s needs before you leave can help reduce separation anxiety.  A pet sitter or pet boarding services are other ways to keep your pet busy while you are away.

 

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