It’s always hard to say goodbye to your dog, whether you’re off to work for the day, or leaving them with a sitter for the holiday. We miss those furry little faces while we’re gone. But does your dog miss you back?
Studies show that dogs form positive associations with their favourite people, and they don’t like being separated from you for long. Dogs can handle alone time, but they do miss you when you’re gone.
Here are 9 surefire signs your dog misses you while you’re gone.
1. They cuddle (or chew) your belongings while you’re out
Dogs have incredible senses of smell, and you are one of their favourite scents. When you’re not home, your dog may seek out something extra-scented to remind them of you. That explains why I always come home to find my dog cuddled up to my oldest, dirtiest pair of shoes.
2. They cry when you leave…
If your dog sounds sad to see you go, it’s because they are sad to see you go! Dogs may whine a bit when their people leave to express their discontent to see you go. It means they miss you already (but they’ll probably stop whining soon).
3. …or, they ignore you when you leave
If your dog stays pretty chill when you take off for work, it doesn’t mean they don’t miss you! In fact, it shows how confident they are in your bond. They’ll be happy to see you when you get home.
4. They watch the door for your return
Nothing tugs at the heartstrings like a dog staring at the door, waiting for their favourite person to come home. Your dog might watch the door after you leave in the hopes that you’ll be coming back through it soon.
5. They’re super-excited when you get home
Does your dog get a major case of the zoomies when you walk through the door? They’re so happy to see you, it comes out in a burst of energy. Time for a post-separation play sesh!
6. They smile when they see your face
Dogs respond to your facial expressions and make quite a few expressions of their own. A dog greeting you with raised eyebrows, an open mouth, and soft eyes is showing you how happy they are that you’re home!
7. They lean against you as soon as you get through the door
Oh yeah, the lean. Dogs may lean against their people to get attention or seek comfort. Whatever their reason, the lean shows that they like to be close to you. A dog that comes in for the lean after you get home is saying, “I’m so glad you’re back.”
8. They follow you around the house
Does your dog turn into your shadow after you get home from work? Now that you’re home, they don’t want to let you out of their sight.
9. They make a mess (or two, or three)
Real talk: some dogs really don’t like to be left alone, and they show it by getting into trouble. Perhaps they’re just being opportunistic like going for the cat bowl when you leave! And certainly, a romp through the bin can can be fun. But mess-making can also be a sign of anxiety. It’s one thing for your dog to miss you, but it’s another for them to be distressed by your absence.
If your dog engages in truly destructive behaviour while you’re gone, it may be a sign of separation anxiety. Click here to learn about the signs of separation anxiety, and how to tell the difference between a dog that misses you and a dog that’s upset to be alone.
Most dogs can be left alone for at least part of the day. But if you’re concerned about your dog missing you while you’re gone, hire a dog walker or Rover.com pet sitter who provides dog boarding to keep them company. And remember, it’s okay to miss each other once in a while; it shows how strong your bond is.
Preview image via flickr/merille