Do Dogs Miss Us When We Leave The House?

Every dog owner knows the feeling.

You’re about to head out the door, and those puppy-dog eyes watch you with a mix of curiosity and longing.

But do dogs really miss us when we leave the house?

In this article, we’ll answer the question “Do dogs miss us when we leave the house?”

Join us as we explore the science and stories that reveal the depth of the bond between dogs and their human companions, answering the age-old question: do our dogs truly miss us when we’re away?

What Happens When You Leave – Through A Dog’s Eyes

Imagine a day from your dog’s viewpoint: you leave the house, and they’re left with their toys and bed, but without their favorite person.

It’s a bit sad, isn’t it?

Dogs might snuggle with your shoe, wait by the window, or even engage in naughty behaviors like tipping the trash can when we’re gone, not to be mean, but as their unique way of saying they really miss you and express it the only way they can – through actions.

Understanding how dogs perceive time is a bit like trying to nail jelly to a wall; it’s tricky!

Dogs don’t really read time like we do with clocks and watches.

For them, it’s all about routines and scents.

When you leave, your scent starts fading away from the home, and that’s one way they can tell time in their own special way.

So, after a while, they notice your scent fading and start missing you more and more.

Some experts say that after about five hours or so, your pup might think you’re not coming back.

But once they hear that key in the door, oh boy, it’s like the sun bursting through the clouds!

Pure joy!

Stories Of Dogs Missing Their Owners

Let’s talk about Hachiko, a name that every dog lover probably knows.

Hachiko’s story is a symbol of unwavering loyalty.

Every day, without fail, he waited at the train station for his owner to return from work.

Even when his owner unexpectedly passed away and never came back, Hachiko waited, every day, for nine years, hoping to see his beloved human again.

His dedication and undying love are immortalized with a statue in Japan, reminding us all about the incredible bond between dogs and humans.

We know it’s not just famous dogs in stories.

We’ve talked to lots of people who shared super sweet stories about their pets showing love and faithfulness.

Take Max, for example, who waited by the window every day, looking outside until his family got back, even from short trips like going to the store.

Signs Your Dog Missed You

Sudden Behavior Changes

Ever noticed some chewed-up pillows or an inexplicably toppled plant upon your return?

These could be more than naughty doggy antics!

When dogs miss us, they might delve into some unexpected or unusual behaviors as a way to cope with the absence of their favorite humans.

It’s like they’re saying, “Hey, I didn’t know where you went and I was worried!”

The “Guilty” Look

You know that adorable yet somewhat pitiful look they give, eyes wide, ears back, and maybe even a little pout?

It’s not always guilt but can be their way of saying, “I missed you, where were you?”

This expression often melts our hearts and sometimes, gets them out of trouble too!

Overexcitement Upon Your Return

And ah, the classic, joyful explosion when you walk through the door!

The wagging tail, the leaps, and those happy barks – it’s a clear sign your pup missed you.

Their excitement level goes through the woof, I mean, roof, demonstrating how much they value your presence.

Clinginess Before Departure And After Return

When it’s time to say goodbye, does your dog transform into your four-legged shadow, sticking to you like velcro?

Or maybe after you return, they seem to be stuck to you for a while?

That clinginess can be a clear sign that they find comfort in being near you and missed you when you were away.

Licking And Nuzzling

Licking and nuzzling are like doggy kisses and hugs!

When your dog licks and snuggles against you, they’re saying, “I missed you and I love you!”

It’s their way of showing affection and happiness upon seeing you after a while.

Following You Wherever You Go

When dogs follow you around, they’re trying to be close to their favorite person: you!

It’s like they’re saying, “Don’t leave again; I want to stay with you!”

They love being part of everything you do because they see you as their family.

Bringing You A Toy

When your dog brings you a toy, it’s like offering a little gift of friendship and love.

They share their toy because they enjoy playing with it and want to share that joy with you.

It’s their way of including you in their fun.

Eyes Light Up

Keeping with the playful spirit, our pups have one more heartwarming trick up their furry sleeves!

Ever seen your dog’s eyes light up like sparklers when you walk in?

Your dog’s bright eyes and happy face say a lot about how they feel!

When they light up and “smile” upon seeing you, it’s their way of saying, “Yay, you’re back! I’m so happy!”

Dogs communicate a lot of joy and love with their expressive faces.

How To Help Your Dog To Feel Better

Creating A Consistent Goodbye Ritual

A stable routine creates a sense of security for dogs.

Establish a simple, calm goodbye ritual, whether it’s a gentle pat, a special treat, or a particular phrase.

This signals to them that you will be back, making the separation smoother.

There’s a little secret that can keep a piece of you with your pup even when you’re gone, and it’s something you might not have thought of!

Leaving Behind Comfort Objects

Consider leaving a piece of you, like a worn shirt, with them.

Your scent can provide comfort and help curb their anxiety, sort of like having a piece of you even when you’re not around.

Keeping Them Occupied

Toys and Activities Offer distraction with toys, treats, or puzzle activities.

Keeping their minds and bodies active can redirect their attention from your absence to the fun time they can have while you’re away.

Implement Gradual Desensitization To Separation

Gradually getting them used to you being away can be beneficial.

Start with short departures, gradually increasing the time you’re away, reinforcing the idea that you’ll always come back.

Love And Attention

Upon your return, ensure to shower them with love and attention, reinforcing the positive aspect of your comeback.

But remember, keeping greetings low-key can also aid in minimizing anxiety related to your comings and goings.

Even with all that love showered upon their return, our pups need a cozy corner that belongs just to them, especially when we’re not around.

When you have to leave, ensuring your dog has a safe, cozy space can help them feel more secure.

This might be a crate or a particular room where they feel comfortable and have access to their favorite toys and bed.

Proven Science

Did you know that researchers have dived into the emotional whirlpool of dogs to understand how they tick?

One such study involved observing dogs and their reactions when their owners left them alone.

The pooches showed signs of stress, like pacing, whining, and even some destructive behaviors.

This gave researchers a peek into the emotional lives of dogs, revealing that yes, they do experience something that’s pretty close to human emotions when they miss someone.

Here’s a noteworthy experiment on dogs’ separation anxiety: Researchers set up cameras to observe dogs while their owners were away.

What they found was both heartbreaking and fascinating.

Many of the dogs exhibited clear signs of stress and anxiety, like howling, barking, and restlessness.

Some even waited by the door the entire time, refusing to budge in the hope that their beloved owner would walk through any moment.

In all this science and stories, one thing stands out clear as day: the undeniable bond, unfathomable depth of emotions, and the boundless love our canine pals have for us.

Whether it’s waiting by the door, holding onto a piece of us, or simply lighting up when we return, these four-legged bundles of joy and love have a special place in our hearts, and we in theirs.

And when we understand and appreciate this beautiful connection, we understand the silent language of love and loyalty spoken in woofs, wags, and waiting by the window.

Thus, recognizing the depth of their emotional capacities, it becomes imperative for us as responsible pet parents to ensure that our dogs are provided with the care and assurance needed to mitigate their stress, especially during our absences from home.

Before You Go…

You now know if dogs miss us when we leave them alone.

If you want to learn more, read the following article too!

Or watch this video:

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.