How to tell if your pet is lonely
We all want our beloved fur friends to be happy. Unfortunately for most of us pawrents, a packed schedule can keep us away from our precious critters longer than we wish for, which in turn causes our pets to feel sad and lonely.
To save your pet from this terrible feeling, here are some telltale signs that you can look out for and tips on how to keep the loneliness at bay!
Signs of a lonely pet:
- Destructive behaviour – chewed or clawed furniture, dirty floors, the works
- Changes in behaviour – a sudden increase in aggression and agitation when interacting with other people or animals
- Drop in appetite and energy level
- Lost of interest in favourite activities
- Excessive barking
Ways to help:
1. Keep your pet occupied
Mentally-stimulating or interactive toys work as a great distraction for pets who might be lonely, especially ones that can hide and store treats inside, as well as scratching posts and automated gadgets that you can easily purchase off the internet.
By providing such a toy, you not only make sure that your pet doesn’t have time to think about how alone he/she is, but also help to reinforce the idea that you leaving is not a bad thing. This way, you’ll naturally have a tider home and a happier pet!
2. Get a furry companion
While this is only recommended if you have the means to look after another pet, getting an animal companion for your existing furkid can greatly ease its loneliness. They will become each other’s support and highly likely bond for life, so make sure to keep that in mind and avoid separating them as much as possible in the future.
To learn how to properly introduce a new pet into the household, click here.
3. Exercise them before you leave
Kill two birds with one stone by exercising your pet before you leave your home! Not only will you clock in some exercise for yourself, but you’ll also – hopefully – tire your pet out enough so that he/she has less energy to be restless and anxious when you’re gone.
It’s also a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your pet, and we won’t be surprised if he/she starts looking forward to these workout sessions and learn to associate you leaving the house with positive experiences.
4. Create a cosy corner near a window
Like us, our pets are visual creatures, so having a spot to call its own near a window where it can look out and watch the world go by can help to ease its loneliness when you’re not around. Make sure the ‘lookout point’ has an unobstructed view of the outside and decorate it with your pet’s favourite blankets, cushions, and toys!
5. Play music
Music also helps to keep your pet company and its mood up because sounds are just as comforting and distracting as sights, so if possible, keep a playlist on repeat whenever you’re away from home!
While every pet might have their own music preferences, cats tend to prefer violins and classical music while dogs often enjoy some ambient noise with people talking or dogs barking in the background.
While it’s safe to say that all of us love our pets dearly, we need to remember that although we have various commitments, hobbies, friends, and family, our pet only has us. We are our pet’s entire world, and we have a duty to ensure that it’s the best world our pet has, so if we simply cannot find any more time from our schedule to spend with our fur buddy, then it’s best to help them cope as much as possible with these tips.
Note: If your pet continues to display signs of loneliness and inappetance, please consult your local veterinarian.