Do Dogs Miss Their Owners When They Leave?

Do Dogs Miss Their Owners When They Leave?

Every dog owner who treats their pooches like family will likely say they miss their dogs when they leave their homes. Whether they go to work, go for a night out, or take an extended vacation overseas, it’s never easy to say goodbye to their cuddly furbabies. However, families with pets may wonder if their pups feel that same way. Do dogs suffer separation anxiety when their masters leave? 

Since these adorable pets cannot speak and verbalize their emotions, people can only look into their behaviors for clues. And it’s normal for people to wonder and worry about the dogs they leave behind since canines are naturally social creatures that love affectionate touches and enjoy companionship. 

Some puppies may look heartbroken when family members step out the door because they share an unbreakable bond. Dogs also experience stress akin to high school students who are in a mad rush to find the best admission essay writing service to assist them in entering the college of their dreams. But the question is, do dogs think of their humans when they’re not together? 

Do Dogs Miss Their Person?

A recent study discussed in Psychology Today shared that dogs miss their owners more extensively when they have been apart for long periods. Dogs are dubbed as man’s best friends, so it’s not surprising that canines are intelligent and grasp time’s concept well. These fur friends tend to greet their owners more enthusiastically when they have been away for 2 hours and 30 minutes. However, this study also discovered that after the four-hour mark, there was no significant difference in their longing and sad feelings.  

This means dogs begin missing their owners when they part ways and the pet parent leaves the house. And the separation anxiety increases as time goes by. The intensity by which canines miss their owners keeps rising for two hours. But beyond that time frame, feelings of melancholia plateau until they see their beloved humans again. Notably, these cute balls of energy will still be happy to see their beloved family members when they arrive, even if their longing no longer increases beyond two hours. 

Do Canines Really Miss Their Owners or The Sense of Companionship?

If the feelings of missing their owners wane after two hours, does this mean dogs really miss their humans, or do they just miss the company of people in general? Fortunately, dog parents will be happy to know that their fiercely loyal pets truly miss people they’re familiar with. One research focusing on attachments through scents experimented by providing canines with three different smells, namely:

  • The scent of the owner
  • The scent of someone familiar to them
  • The fragrance of a total stranger

As expected, all dogs reacted positively to the scent of their owners. These cute puppies willingly waited by the door until they could no longer smell their favorite individual’s unique scent. This reaction doesn’t hold true for the two other scents. However, puppies showed more interest in scents that seemed familiar to them. This could mean it would be prudent to leave pet dogs with family members or friends they are familiar with, especially for extended periods. 

Telltale Signs That Dogs Miss Their Owners

Though most canines will miss their owners and stress out over their absence, some breeds cope better with separation anxiety than others. Here are some signs that tell people that their beloved fur baby struggled without their presence:

  • Chewing on things around the home, from shoes to cushions
  • Crying when any family member leaves 
  • Staring longingly at the door or window
  • Incessant barking
  • Pacing non-stop
  • Not touching their food 
  • Soiling the house, even if they are trained
  • Raid the home’s trash can
  • Collecting pillows and shoes to keep the owner’s scent close by

Pooches who miss their family members may also make a big fuss when these people return home. They could lean on their human’s legs, circle round and round in happiness, and follow their humans wherever they go while wagging their tails. Some breeds even accidentally urinate because of over-excitement upon seeing their fave humans after a long separation.

What Can Fur Parents Do If They Leave Often

No responsible dog lover wishes for their pet to be miserable while they are away. But the reality is humans cannot always be with their beloved fur babies. People need to work, and not all workplaces are pet–friendly. At the same time, people take vacations or have emergencies that don’t welcome pets. No matter the reason, no one wants their dog to feel miserable and forlorn in their absence. 

To avoid this, owners often find ways to take their furry friends along wherever they go. They like to read more about emotional support animals from Pettable and how this solution can help them. Dogs who have received certification for emotional support animals are allowed to accompany their owners in public transport and housing despite the strict no-pet policies enforced by some landlords. Another solution people opt for is boarding their dogs to ensure that they receive adequate care if left alone. Lastly, dog owners can leave their pets with family, and friends, or hire a pet sitter.

Remember, not all dogs enjoy being alone. So for furry friends who get left behind, their owners may wish to take the following steps to help them adjust to being alone or away from one another: 

  • Train pets and gradually build up their alone time
  • Create a safe space in the home for the pet with comfy beds and toys
  • Use aromatherapy with a calming scent to help dogs settle down 
  • Take animals for a run or walk so they’re tired and can rest while people are not in the house 
  • Help the fur baby feel comforted with a routine where the people they’re closest to leave and come back (to set expectations)
  • Make sure to leave toys to keep canines engaged in their absence
  • Reward fur babies for being calm upon the owner’s departure and arrival

As the study above shared, though dogs prefer to spend time with the people who live in the same house, they are still open to familiar faces. Leaving furry friends to someone trustworthy can be the healing salve that may help canines cope with their owners’ absence. 

Final Thoughts

The simple answer to this question is – yes. After all, dogs can recognize people through their faces, gestures, scents, and voices, so it’s but natural to miss the owners who shower them with love, cuddles, and treats. Concerned dog lovers who frequently leave their homes for work and travel will benefit from finding out what can be done to assuage their cute doggies’ feelings.  


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