2018-01-17 / Front Page

Do dogs get lonely?

Dogs are social animals, and generally don’t tolerate long periods of being alone. Signs that being alone is stressful to the dog are behavior like barking, chewing furniture, excessive self-licking and soiling the house. Different breeds have different tolerance for being alone.

Border Collies and other dogs bred to be on high alert are likely to be the most sensitive. Also, younger dogs or dogs accustomed to spending most of their time with others, won’t likely respond as well to long periods of being alone.

While quitting your job is not a viable option, many people have found these strategies useful:

Wear them out. A dog worn out from a healthy morning exercise session is more calm and happier throughout the day.

Entertain them. Dogs do better alone when they have something to do. Interactive toys, like the red rubber Kongs, that allow you to hide food inside them, for the dog to find.

If a mid-day walker is in your budget, it’s a good option for the lonely dog. Just twenty minutes of interaction with the dog walker, and others they meet on the street, can go a long way toward improving the dog’s mood.

And finally, make the most of your time together when you are able to be together. Toss a ball, give him a good brushing, or even just watch television together. Dogs are happy just to sit on the couch with you.

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