Ellen Britt for CNT #wooftips
Almost every dog owner without exception wants the best for their dog. And that includes wondering if your “only dog” is lonely and if so, should you get another dog to keep him company?
The short answer is yes, your dog can get lonely. They are by nature pack animals and function best with humans and/or other dogs around them. Sometimes circumstances prevent owners being with their dogs as much as they would like, such as having to be away for work for hours at a time.
And even with working from home, you may not be able to spend as much time with your dog as you would like.
Signs that your dog could be lonely are:
One – the sudden appearance of destructive behavior like chewing the furniture or tearing up things.
Two – Loss of interest in food or treats with a decreased appetite.
Three – A formerly well behaved canine suddenly starting to relieve himself in the house.
Four – A loss of interest in things he used to enjoy like going for walks.
Just One Caution
Before you chalk these signs up to loneliness, you should consult your veterinarian for a check up to be sure there is no underlying medical condition.
And before you rush out to get a companion dog, be sure you have the time and resources to spend. Another dog can help but there are other ways to assist your dog if you do not wish to get another one.
This is especially true if your dog suffers from separation anxiety. In this case, bringing in another dog can make the situation worse. If you do bring in another dog, they should be introduced slowly on neutral ground such as a park and brought into the household gradually.
Other solutions are to hire a dog walker to come in while you are at work or busy at home. You can also consider doggy daycare as an option.
Be sure to provide your dog with plenty of stimulating toys, such as food puzzles, to keep him entertained and mentally stimulated while you are away.
By Ellen Britt
Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.