12 Signs Of A Lonely Pet That Needs A Friend

By Aaron Love 10 months ago

They're Being Very Noisy

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If your favourite four-legged friend is being excessively louder than they usually are then it might be sign that they're struggling to put up with being alone for much longer. I'm thinking about them barking or whining as they do this in order to communicate to you what it is that they want. Have you ever noticed that your dog is going a little crazy at absolutely nothing? It might be a sign that they're trying to communicate to you that they want a friend in the household. And how could you say no to them?

They're Chewing Things

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Not only can dogs become louder when they're trying to show you that they're lonely, they can also begin to start becoming more destructive in and around the house. You might have seen instances of dogs chewing or scratching things like sofas, rugs and tables and this might be them showing you that they're feeling separated from you or they want to have another friend in the house. Just like you don't want to be alone for a full day, your dog also needs a good friend every now and then, don't they!

They Keep Digging In The Garden

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Dogs won't just be destroying things within your home, although they might actually choose to start digging in and around your front and back lawn instead. All of this digging can become quite frustrating for us humans, especially when we put a lot of work into making them look presentable for our own personal enjoyment. The destruction of our precious gardens can actually be them showing us that they feel anxious about being alone and they might stop if you introduce a new little one to your family.

Dogs Are Licking Everything

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We all appreciate it deep down when our dogs come over to us and give us a load of affection and although it does feel kind of gross, its cute when they come and lick our faces. For a dog, licking is something that they do in order to make themselves feel better, and they'd probably enjoy having a friend to lick instead of always coming and licking you instead. After all, dogs are some of the most social animals out there in the world and who are you to force them to keep to themselves for entire days at a time!

Licking Themselves Too Much

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Not only can dogs choose to lick other beings or other objects within a household, sometimes they even choose to lick themselves so much to the point that they can cause themselves damage to the skin or to their hair. This leads to things called 'skin granulomas' which are actually common instances in dogs who are bored or feeling anxious, something a dog who feels lonely would definitely be going through. Although they're just little sores, if it isn't sorted quickly enough it could get much worse than these little red areas.

Dogs Are Being Needy

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If you're noticing that your dog is always trying to get your attention to do things, they would probably feel a lot better off if they had the option of spending time with a fellow four-legged friend instead. If you notice they're constantly trying to go on a walk or they always want to be outside or they always want to be playing they're probably feeling so bored that they have nothing better to do than try and make you understand how they're feeling. This could likely all be stopped if you found them a friend to play with.

They're Being Clingy

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Having a dog that feels a little isolated can be quite disheartening to watch, you might feel as though you aren't doing enough to keep them happy whilst they live with you! It can be quite nice to have a little friend following you step for step, it shows that they obviously love you and trust you with their lives. Despite this, we should always be able to offer our dogs the opportunity to spend time with there own kind instead of forcing them to stick to us as if their lives depend on it. You'll get a little space to yourself as well.

Dogs Aren't Eating

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Dogs are actually a lot more like us humans than we often tend to think and this becomes even more obvious when you see the way they act whilst they're feeling upset or angry. Just like us, they can actually lose their appetite when it comes to feeling a little under the weather and so they might end up changing the way their appetite works. You might notice that they're leaving the food bowl full despite going over to it, they might sniff it, but they could choose to not eat. They just want a friend to spend with guys!

Eating Too Much

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Just like dogs can be like us in losing their appetite during periods of depression and general sadness, they can also increase the amount of food they eat or want to eat as a result of the way they're feeling. Picture the image of a stereotypical woman who's going through a break-up, they're feeling alone and sad, so they choose to sit on the sofa and eat a load of unhealthy treats for themselves like ice-cream. Dogs can do the exact same thing, they want to eat a lot of food to cure the sadness and isolation that they feel.

Being A Bad Dog

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One of the most common ways that a dog can begin showing that they're feeling alone is by playing up and choosing to act out of turn in order to try and get more attention. Let's be honest, they're a lot smarter than some of us give them credit for (and some of them don't make the best case for being a smart animal either). This can come in the form of a whole range of things, including all of the individual things we've already discussed. Basically, what I'm saying is that they KNOW they're being bad and they're doing it co communicate with you.

Dogs Won't Stop Moving

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Have you ever spotted your dog constantly running or walking around inside or outside of your house? Although watching them get the zoomies can be quite a hilarious thing to watch, it can actually be a sign that they're feeling bored. What they really want is to be able keep themselves stimulated and the best way for them to do that is to have some fellow canine friends to help keep them occupied. At least if they had a friend (or more than one) they'd be able to run around together instead of on their own.

Not Enjoying Their Walks

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We've all seen the excitement hit our favourite dogs little faces when we say that special word, the 'W-A-L-K' word! There's certain words they begin to understand as they grow up and the words they remember tend to be ones that result in them getting something that they enjoy. So if you're getting ready for a walk or you're already outside and you're noticing that your dog isn't feeling up for it, it might be a sign that they're feeling a little lonely. They'd probably prefer getting out there with another dog instead.

Not Playing Anymore

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Just as our dogs might not be enjoying their walks they can actually also begin to show that they're uninterested in playing with their favourite toys when they feel alone too! You probably know what your dogs favourite toy is so if they don't want to play with it anymore, it might show that they're feeling as though they're bored of spending time without a fellow four-legged friend. You can try getting them a couple new toys, but what you really need to think about is getting them some well-needed time with their own species.

Barking At Other Dogs On Walks

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People often choose to take dogs barking at one another as a way for them to show that they're being protective of their owners or that they're trying to assert some dominance over some fellow members of the same species. In reality, this could be true, but in some scenarios it can actually be them attempting to show that they're pining to spend some more time with their own species. They might be trying to communicate with the other dogs to get them to come over and play with them too!

They're Sleeping More

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We've all seen our dogs sleeping in the most uncomfortable positions and often at all types of times throughout the day. They can be quite sleepy little things and often sleep when they know we're out the house and they don't need to be watching over us. But if you notice that they're beginning to sleep a lot more than usual it might be that they're feeling lonely as they have nothing to distract them. You might also notice that them sleeping a lot during the day might be making them restless at other times during the night!

Cats Can Lose Hair

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Just as dogs might end up causing themselves harm by licking themselves too much, cats can do pretty much the same things to themselves too! Cats are known to be less dependent than dogs and enjoy exploring the world, but some (house cats particularly) can take looking after themselves to a whole other level. We've all seen cats cleaning themselves, but apparently when left alone this can get much more common and lead to them licking so much that they physically end up ripping their own hair out!

An Old Dog Died

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If you previously owned a number of dogs but one or more have them have died or no longer live with you then you might notice your dog pining for their return. You have to think, it's just like us losing a friend of our own, it's a devastating thing to have to actually go through and some dogs can become incredibly upset when they realise that they aren't going to be seeing their friends again. You might see them sniffing around the areas they used to sit in or playing with their favourite toys. Maybe think about introducing a new friend if you can!

Spending Time Near Dead People's Stuff

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Dogs aren't always lonely in terms of being separated from their own species, they also look at us humans as being their friends too. If someone that they lived with and loved has recently passed away then you might notice that they're spending a lot of time around the belongings that this person might have left behind. It's actually a very touching thing to see and it shows that they're aware of what's going on around them, more than we might give them credit for. There's little you can do for them other than be there for them like they are for you.

Cats Keep Trembling

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House Cats tend to display signs of loneliness much more than cats that are allowed to roam the streets around your home. They can become even more obviously isolated or worried in the moments around you leaving your home; trust me, they know when you're about to leave the house for long periods at a time. A shaking or trembling cat can be a sure-fire sign that they're worried about being left alone and although cats can struggle to get along with one another, at least they won't be alone!

Dogs Being More Aggressive

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If you're starting to notice that your favourite four-legged friend isn't acting like their usual selves anymore, it might be a sign that they're going through something that's bothering them. You have to understand however, that dogs can be signalling a whole range of things and they aren't always related to their emotional health but their physical health too. Aggression is something that we never want to see our dogs displaying, especially towards us, but it might be them showing us they feel isolated and alone.

They Won't Communicate With Other Animals

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Although this seems a little backwards, like, why would you think your pet is lonely if they're choosing to avoid spending time with other animals that they see on walks or out and about? Some experts have suggested that if an animal isn't introduced to others of the same species of a young age then they can actually develop a sort of social anxiety that means they can't interact in the way that such a socially reliant animal should. They'll get used to other animals eventually and would feel better for it too!

They Look Sad

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This is one of the most obvious signs that our dog is feeling a little lonely, you might have realised that their cute little face is looking a little down heartened in comparison to how it is that they're usually looking. To be fair, some dogs do have a pretty natural sad-looking face, they're just born with it and can't help the way they look. There's humans who have the same problem remember! But if they're usually a happy and energetic looking dog and this has changed it might be a sign they're feeling ill or a little lonely.

Lonely Horses Won't React

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Not all of our favourite pets are animals that we keep in the house! Horses are another popular choice of animal here in the US and around the world and they're also another animal that can display symptoms of loneliness at times. Some studies have shown that horses who are kept alone can actually become disinterested in what's going on around them and will no longer react to their owners talking to them, nor will they even show any signs like their ears pricking up that they're even listening.

Horses Pacing

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Not only do our smaller four-legged friends become restless and continue pacing up and down the house, but horses might do the same thing in their field. Horses that are kept alone in their own field can often be found sticking to the fence around their field often out of boredom and also maybe some hope that someone or something might come along and talk to them. The problem for horses is that if they continue pacing back and forth too much then they might cause themselves some muscle and joint pains unnecessarily.

Guinea Pigs Are Always Lonely

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If you didn't already know, Guinea Pigs are extremely social animals and 100% require a cage buddy at all times in order to keep themselves from becoming isolated and depressed. You'll notice some of the symptoms of loneliness that other animals display like being uninterested in their surroundings, refusing to eat sleeping a lot. They can even try and chew their way out of the cage you're keeping them in! You'll notice this a lot more if you keep them in your bedroom at night too, trust me!

Horses Kicking

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In the same way that dogs can become aggressive towards humans and other dogs when they feel alone, the same thing can happen to horses. They're just as social as dogs and need to have another horse around them to avoid becoming too sad or aggressive. They obviously have to display their aggression differently to dogs as they're probably not going to bite someone, but instead you might notice that your horse is instead choosing to kick out their hooves either at you or towards the wall of the barn they're being kept in!

Arrange Some Dog Playdates!

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If you're not in the position to get yourself another dog to live in your home, maybe its too expensive or you don't have the room, then there are a load of ways that you can allow your dog to spend time with some other canines. One of these is by using play dates for your dog, maybe you have a friend with a lone canine or you wish to use the range of companies who help match single dogs with another. Either way, you might want to consider finding a way for your four-legged friend to spend some alone time with another.

Adopt Another Dog

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You might want to just simply consider adopting another dog if you're noticing that your current little friend is struggling to behave for long periods of time. If they're displaying symptoms that they're feeling lonely then you need to find some form of way to help the get back into a positive mindset and, as we've discovered, this might all be fixed if they can spend a little more time with another dog. There's a load of places you can adopt from too and you can even take your current dog with you to visit!

Doggy Day Care

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If your dog isn't just feeling lonely as a result of them not having a friend at home whilst you're there, but also that they're alone throughout the day when you're at work, you might want to find a way for them to have some friends. If that adopting a second dog is out of the question then one technique or possible solution you might want to have a look at is seeing if you can sort out some doggy day care appointments for your little friend to go to. They can spend the workday with other dogs instead of being alone at home!

Hire A Pet-Sitter

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Another way that you can curb any form of loneliness for your dogs or housecats is by hiring someone like a pet-sitter to look after your home for periods where you might be away for some extended periods of time. You'll obviously want to choose someone you trust well enough, but they'll be able to provide your animal with the social attention that they require whilst also making sure that they're fed properly as well as ensuring they're generally healthy whilst you're away. Your little pals will appreciate it too!