8 Signs That Your Pet Is Feeling Lonely

Updated on October 19, 2017
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Michelle is a professional freelance writer who loves music, poetry, pets, and the arts. She is a techno-geek as well.

A lonely dog at a park
A lonely dog at a park | Source

Don't Let a Wagging Tail Fool You

Your dog won't necessarily show their feelings, so it isn't easy to tell if it's feeling lonely. The idea of your pet feeling alone may make you raise your eyebrows, but it happens. You'll want to know what signs to look for if your dog is lonely, and how you can offer them love and support.

Dogs Do Get Lonely

You might raise an eyebrow or both if someone told you to take your dog out because it feels alone. Pets emote, sometimes in a big way.

Dogs are social creatures, and like humans, they need a community. They thrive on companionship and love the company of people and other pets.

That's the reason you'll notice your dog looking outside all the time. It enjoys looking out the window at birds and other dogs; it craves their company.

Signs That Your Dog Is Lonely

What tells you that your furry friend needs more attention than you've been giving them? Here are the ways they may vent their frustrations.

  1. You may come home to chewed slippers and wires. You'll be greeted by a dirty floor, and you'll find your sofa in a complete mess.
  2. Your pet may act anxious if you leave it alone for too long.
  3. Your pet may vent its frustrations by barking excessively.
  4. Your dog may also begin to avoid you when you call.
  5. It may lose interest in the activities it usually enjoys, such as long walks or fun at the beach.
  6. Your pet may not eat or drink if it's feeling lonely.


Helping Your Pet Cope With Feeling Lonely

If another family pet just passed away, yours might crave company. It may also spend a lot of time alone. How do you help it beat loneliness?

1. Let your dog look out of the window

First of all, pets are highly visual. They love looking out the window at other animals, so give them the chance to do so. It helps pass the day quickly.

2. Keep your lonely dog occupied

Take steps to keep your little dog occupied. There is a host of games that will keep its mind working.

3. Put on some music

Youtube can come in handy. Loop your favorite playlists, and they'll become Fido's favorite, too. Put them on before you leave your home.

4. Get your dog a friend

Furthermore, your pet may improve its mood if it has a new companion. Only get a new puppy because it will benefit it; don't get a new dog out of guilt. Take note that your pets should get along as well.

5. Socialize your dog

It's time to pause and reflect. Has your dog been getting out enough? Bring it to dog runs. If you haven't the time to do so, take her on daily walks.

6. Go home during lunch

You can do this if you live near your workplace. Take your lunch breaks at home when you can. Your pet will appreciate your company.

7. Exercise your dog

Jog with your dog. It'll start looking forward to the activity and forget about the times when you have to go to work.

8. Have a chat with your vet

Talk to your vet if your pet's situation doesn't improve. It may have cognitive or behavioral issues that only a therapist can solve.


Fun Activities for Your Lonely Dog

There is a host of fun things that your pet can do if it's feeling lonely. Use a little ingenuity, and you'll have yourself a happy companion.

1. Agility

Agility trials help to boost a dog's confidence. Going through hurdles, teeter-totters, and walking on balance beams will also keep it alert. Your pet will get a chance to release its energy. Agility training also raises its spirits.

2. Animal Assisted Activities

Does your dog have a docile temperament? You might consider volunteering it at hospitals. It will bring cheer to patients and become happier as well.

3. Backpacking

Take Fido on a hike. Backpacking helps your dog release energy. Don't forget that you'll get some exercise yourself.

Remember to plan your backpacking trip. Ask the authorities in the area where you're going if they accept pets. Find out how to apply basic first aid should it get injured.

4. Day Trips

Dogs love to stick their heads out of car windows. Of course, you should remember to keep it safe.

5. Dog parks

These are a haven for dogs. The advantage of taking your pet there is that it has a secure fence.

Furthermore, your dog will also get to mix with other pets. Do remember to keep an eye on your pet because a big dog may bite it, albeit unintentionally.

6. Dance

Does your pet love music? If your dog howls along your favorite dance tune, let it do a jig. Take it by the paws and teach it the samba. It will love the chance to release its energy.

7. Flyball

If you've never heard of flyball, it's a relay race, done in teams of four dogs. The dogs have to catch a tennis ball released from a spring-loaded launcher. If your dog loves to chase balls, this sport is perfect for it.

8. Frisbee

Disc Dogs are dogs which love to chase frisbees. Just replace the ball you usually use with a frisbee. Note that your dog will have to jump, so ask your vet if it can do this exercise.

What to Remember

Remember, it isn't difficult to manage a pet that is feeling lonely, but it does take effort. Take the time to care for your companion and show them some love.

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        Tamara Moore 5 months ago

        Excellent information!

      • peachpurple profile image

        peachy 6 months ago from Home Sweet Home

        Great hub, I don't have a dog but have a cat, she does lazy around all day, she only calls me when it is meal time

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 6 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        Pets need time with us just us needing time with others. Sometimes we forget how much our pets need us. Their behaviors shows us and you shared a well-informed hub on this title.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 6 months ago from New Delhi, India

        Great article to understand the behaviour of a lonely pet dog! You have wonderful suggestions that would help people who own dogs or other pets. Nice pictures, very touching!

        Thanks for sharing!

      • heidithorne profile image

        Heidi Thorne 6 months ago from Chicago Area

        Great review of the topic, Michelle! We've always had two dogs in our house for over 25 years. But this last spring, we lost our older girl to lymphoma. She left her little bro behind and we're definitely wondering if we should get another pal for him, even though it might not be the best because he's older now.

        Our little guy has his spot by our big living room window so he can watch "The Neighbor Show." :) Plus, he's still getting his walks each day to keep in touch with his world. So he seems to be handling the loss better than I expected. But he is less energetic than he used to be.

        Thanks for the insight!