Do Dogs Miss Their Owners When They're Away? (2024)

Ever left your house only to look back and see your dog’s face peeking through the window with those big, soulful eyes? Dog owners everywhere know that feeling …

It makes you wonder, do our four-legged pals really miss us when we’re gone?

Dogs are not just about wagging tails and fetching balls; they’re creatures of habit and deep emotion.

They form strong bonds with their owners, and yes, they do feel our absence if left at home alone, which is why owners opt for doggy daycare.

While they might not understand the concept of time like we do, they definitely notice when their favorite human isn’t around.

From moping around to joyous reunions, dog behavior when we’re not home speaks volumes about how they feel.

So, let’s dive into the tail-wagging world of dogs and discover just how much they miss us when we step out.

Do Dogs Miss Their Owners When They’re Away from Home?

Dogs do miss their owners when they’re away. It’s not just a hunch; there’s science behind it!

When you’re the apple of your dog’s eye, they tend to show it in everything they do. The way your dog acts when you grab your keys or put on your shoes can be a big giveaway.

Some might give you the saddest puppy eyes, as if they’re auditioning for a drama movie, while others might jump around in a fuss, trying to convince you to stay.

Then there’s the dog’s behavior when you’re actually gone. Some dogs might lounge around, snoozing more than usual, or they might not eat as eagerly as they do when you’re around. It’s their way of saying, “Things just aren’t the same without you.”

Others might go on a little adventure around the house, perhaps leaving you a surprise (like a chewed-up slipper or scratched couch) as a welcome-back gift.

And let’s not forget the grand welcome you receive when you walk back through the door. Many dog owners return home to a fanfare of tail wags and excited barks. This display of affection is a pretty clear sign that your dog missed you.

But why do dogs miss their owners? Well, dogs are pack animals by nature, and to them, you’re a key member of their pack.

Your absence is noticed, and it can make them feel a bit out of sorts; some dogs even wind up with separation anxiety. They’re not just missing the extra treats or belly rubs; they miss the companionship, love, and routine you provide.

6 Signs Your Furry Friend Misses Your Company

Do Dogs Miss Their Owners When They're Away? (1)

  • Whining or Barking as You Leave: If your dog throws a vocal protest with whining, barking, or howling as you’re heading out, it’s like they’re saying, “Hey, where do you think you’re going without me?”
  • Destructive Behavior: Ever come home to a chewed-up shoe or a toppled trash can? This can be your dog’s way of coping with the stress of you being away. It’s not that they suddenly forgot their manners; they might just be missing you a lot and aren’t quite sure what to do with all their pent-up negative emotions.
  • Lack of Appetite: Some dogs might not eat much or at all when you’re not around. They’re too busy worrying about when you’ll be back to bother with their food.
  • Overexcitement When You Return: If your dog greets you like you’ve been gone for years, even if it was just a quick trip to the store, it’s a clear sign they’ve been missing you. The “smiling” facial expressions, jumping, barking, and tail-wagging extravaganza are all their way of celebrating your return.
  • Clinginess: After you get back, if your dog sticks to you like glue, afraid you might vanish again, that’s a sign they really felt your absence.
  • Change in Toilet Habits: Sometimes, dogs might have accidents indoors when they’re feeling anxious about you being away. It’s like their worry is just too overwhelming.

Do Dogs Miss Their Previous Owners After Adoption?

When an adopted dog trots into their new home, tail wagging and eyes full of hope, you might wonder if they’re also carrying a suitcase of memories from their time with their previous owner. Do they miss them? It’s a question that can tug at your heartstrings.

The world of a dog is filled with scents, routines, and the people they’ve bonded with. So, when they move to a new home, it’s as big of a change for them as it is for you.

Imagine switching schools or moving to a new town; it’s exciting but also a bit daunting. For dogs, the scent of their previous owner, the sound of their voice, and the routine they had – all leave an impression.

Now, whether a dog misses their previous owner after being adopted can depend on several factors. The length of time they spent with their previous owner, the nature of their relationship, and even the dog’s personality play a role.

Some dogs might show signs of missing their previous owner, like searching around the house, being less active, or showing less interest in food or play. They’re trying to figure out where their old friend has gone.

But here’s the heartwarming part: dogs are incredibly adaptable and loving creatures. Given time, patience, and lots of love in their new home, they can form strong, new bonds.

They start picking up on the new scents, routines, and affection of their new family. Slowly but surely, they begin to feel at home.

It’s important to remember that if an adopted dog seems a bit sad or distant at first, it doesn’t mean they’re not happy to be with their new family. It’s just their way of adjusting to a big change.

With each passing day, as they get used to their new surroundings and their new human buddies, the memories of their previous owner gently blend into the background of their new, happy life.

Do Dogs Experience Grief After Their Owners’ Passing?

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When we talk about dogs and their feelings, we’re stepping into a world where actions speak louder than words. You see, dogs may not understand everything we say, but they sure do feel a lot. So, when it comes to the big question—do dogs experience grief after their owners’ passing? The answer is yes.

Dogs form deep bonds with their owners. They’re not just hanging around for the treats and belly rubs; there’s real affection there. It’s the kind of bond where they sense your moods and even your health. So, when an owner passes away, it’s not just the absence of a person for them; their world has changed.

In these situations, dogs can show signs that are pretty similar to a grieving period of sorts. They might lose their appetite or sleep more than usual. You might find them being less playful, more lethargic, or even looking for their owner around the house.

Unlike humans, who understand the concept of death, dogs process it differently. They sense that someone they were attached to is no longer around. Their routine changes, the familiar scents and sounds are gone, and that can leave them feeling unsettled or confused.

But most dogs are incredibly resilient. With time, care, and a new routine, they often find a way to adjust to their new life. They might start bonding more with other family members or find new ways to enjoy their days, settling into a new normal after a big change.

If you’re ever around a dog who’s lost their owner, the best thing you can do is offer them stability and lots of love. Keep their routine as consistent as possible, give them plenty of attention, and be patient as they go through their process of adjusting.

8 Ways to Help Your Dog Cope with Your Absence

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  • Start with Short Absences: Begin by leaving your dog alone for just a short time. Gradually increase the time you’re away. This helps your dog understand that it’s okay because you always come back.
  • Create a Cozy Space: Set up a comfy area for your dog with their favorite blanket or bed.
  • Leave Behind Some Entertainment: Toys can be a real game-changer. Puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys keep them busy. It’s a fun project to focus on while you’re away.
  • Keep the Goodbyes and Hellos Low-Key: When you leave and return, keep it chill. Over-the-top goodbyes or hellos can make your dog more anxious for the next time it may happen.
  • Consider Background Noise: Leaving a radio or TV on can provide some comforting background noise, which makes being alone less noticeable.
  • Try a Dog Sitter or Doggy Daycare: If your dog struggles, consider a dog sitter or daycare.
  • Exercise before Leaving: A good walk or play session before you go can tire your dog out. They might just spend most of their alone time napping.
  • Stay Calm and Confident: Dogs are great at picking up on our feelings. If you’re calm and positive about leaving, it can help them feel more secure. Show them there’s nothing to worry about.

Paws for Thought: How Our Furry Friends Miss Us When We’re Away!

Call us at (866) 592-2742 or, if you live in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, or New York, visit us at 131 Kenilworth Road, Marlton, New Jersey 08053, to learn more about our obedience training classes.

Also, browse our blog and social media for various topics about dogs and their lives with us!

Do Dogs Miss Their Owners When They're Away? (2024)


Do Dogs Miss Their Owners When They're Away? ›

They form strong bonds with their owners, and yes, they do feel our absence if left at home alone, which is why owners opt for doggy daycare

doggy daycare
Dog boarding, also known as dog sitting, refers to overnight care for dogs. It is offered through various establishments, including dog kennels, professional boarding facilities, dog hotels, dog resorts, private dog sitters' homes, or the homes of dog owners. › wiki › Dog_boarding
. While they might not understand the concept of time like we do, they definitely notice when their favorite human isn't around.

Do dogs miss their owners when away? ›

The answer is yes, dogs miss their owners when they're gone! A study published in Psychology Today found that the longer the dog was left, the more they missed their owners (as demonstrated by the intensity of the greeting when owners returned home).

Do dogs feel abandoned when you give them away? ›

Yes, your dog will miss you when you give them away. But dogs are incredibly resilient, and they live in the moment. It is normal for a dog to grieve the loss of their previous family and go through an acclimation period in their new home.

Do dogs think about their owners when they're gone? ›

Dogs miss us.

For some dogs, whether it is 10 minutes or two hours that you're gone, it's irrelevant to them, and they think about how much they miss you – by jumping, wagging, spinning or licking – and, for others, those short trips get just a happy nod on your return.

How long before dogs miss their owners? ›

Dogs can actually start missing their owners from the moment they part ways, and keep missing them more up until two hours. Beyond two hours, the melancholy stays about the same until they're reunited with us.

Do dogs notice how long you're gone? ›

While your dog may remember you leaving the house, they cannot gauge the lengths of time you've been gone. This absence can trigger stress, often linked to separation anxiety, suggesting some level of time awareness. Dogs, though, don't grasp the abstract concept of time as humans do.

How can you tell if your dog misses you? ›

One of the best indicators that your dog misses you is his reaction when you return. Dogs will exhibit extreme excitement when their owner walks in – varying from jumping, excessive licking or running around in circles. Did your dog miss you? Their excitement is directly tied to their happiness to have you home.

Will my dog forget me after 2 weeks? ›

So as long as a dog can smell, has healthy eyes, and can hear, they will most likely remember you no matter how long you've been out of their life. If you are wondering if your dog misses you while you're gone they don't have any knowledge of time but can experience separation anxiety.

Does my dog think I'm never coming back? ›

Some dogs might indeed feel left behind. They might associate your packed bags with prolonged absence. Their whining, the pacing, or even the destruction of home items is their way of coping. It's heartbreaking to think they might see our vacation as abandonment.

Do dogs feel sad when they are given away? ›

YES! It's a fact, dogs can definitely get the blues. Studies suggest that your pup can actually feel the same emotions as a human toddler.

Does my dog know I love him? ›

Yes, your dog knows how much you love him! Dogs and humans have a very special relationship, where dogs have hijacked the human oxytocin bonding pathway normally reserved for our babies. When you stare at your dog, both your oxytocin levels go up, the same as when you pet them and play with them.

Do dogs know when humans are sleeping? ›

Since our hounds' hearing is much more sensitive than ours, they can detect when you're asleep from sounds. Perhaps the most obvious indicator of sleep is when the house is completely silent, and the working day is over. However, if your dog sleeps next to you, they'll notice the subtle shifts in your breathing.

What do dogs think when you kiss them? ›

When you kiss your dog, you might notice signs suggesting they recognize a kiss as a sign of affection. However, as puppies, this is not something they would understand. But, as dogs age they may associate kisses and cuddles with their owners being happy with them — as petting and treats often follow.

Will my dog miss me if I give him away? ›

Dogs do miss their human counterparts, thanks to the time you've spent creating positive associations with them. But dogs don't define “miss” the same way humans do. Rather than “longing” for us, dogs notice our absence. So when we return, they display many signs of happiness.

Do dogs have a favorite person? ›

Bonding Occurs Naturally

It's okay when dogs choose a favorite person. In fact, it's natural! As social animals, dogs choose the person or people who give them plenty of love, attention, and positive experiences.

Does my dog think I'm his mom? ›

If your dog shadows you from room to room, it's a clear sign of their attachment. Dogs who view their owners as a maternal figure. often exhibit Velcro behaviour, wanting to be near you at all times. as a child would with their mother.

Do dogs really miss us when we're gone? ›

Your absence is noticed, and it can make them feel a bit out of sorts; some dogs even wind up with separation anxiety. They're not just missing the extra treats or belly rubs; they miss the companionship, love, and routine you provide.

Do dogs remember you when you go away? ›

Dogs also have associated memory which mean they can in fact remember people based on their experiences associated with them. Your dog may have a memory of you leaving the house and due to the strong positive association with you mean they'll celebrate when you get home.

Is it normal to miss your dog on vacation? ›

As Lopez points out, it's all about finding a healthy balance and learning that leaving your pet—and all the anxiety that goes along with it—is completely normal. “It's not unhealthy to be separated [from your pet] and it's not unhealthy to feel anxious,” she says.

Will my dog be ok if I leave him for a week? ›

Leaving Your Dog for a Week or Longer. When you know you'll be out of the house for a week or more, dog care becomes a little more complicated. You'll need someone to look after your dog every day, providing him or her with the necessary food, water, attention and affection during your absence.

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