How your dog tells you when he’s lonely: licking is a sign

Bodri Melissza

2023. April 25 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

In the hectic, busy everyday life, it may happen that there is not enough time for the dog. If the pup turns being lonely, it can have many signs. If you pay enough attention to your pet, the problem can be solved.


If your four-legged friend is lonely, you may not immediately notice the telltale signs. Some people can easily turn a blind eye to a small change in behavior. Maybe they say that there is nothing special if, for example, he ate less that night. However, the animal can also feel bad in its own skin, which can change its habits and have countless consequences. But what are the typical behavioral differences that may indicate dog loneliness?

The reasons

What can make a dog feel alone? Many people who want to be good owners can ask the question. It is important to point out that our four-legged friend is a social creature, and like a wolf that feels good in a pack, it also needs company. If you haven’t moved with your pet, hasn’t been a death in the family, a baby hasn’t been born or a new relative or pet has not arrived, then your pet’s loneliness have other cause.

It doesn’t hurt to know that the latter events are experienced as mental trauma, and they can even lead to depression. As a result of several factors, the dog may even suffer from separation anxiety. Loneliness can also be caused by leaving your pet alone, not playing with him enough, and not having company. It is worth paying extra attention to the mental health of your dog. The feeling of being alone can easily lead to the aforementioned depressive and separation anxiety disorders.

Symptoms of loneliness

If you leave home or spend too much time locked in your room in home office, you should take care of your dog so he doesn’t get lonely. The following symptoms can easily reveal the dog’s condition.


If you don’t pay attention to it for a while or you go somewhere, it’s possible that he damaged the furniture or chewed up the carpet during his absence. Damage to the equipment may indicate that he cannot do anything on his own.

Excessive attachment

If the four-legged one does not like to be left alone, then the sad, worried look and the inveterate attachment to the owner can also be a sign. In such cases, the dog does not leave you, or if you go somewhere, he definitely wants to follow you.


Loud barking and whining can be annoying for you, but think about whether this behavior is not indicative of the animal’s loneliness. The dog may bark excessively, for example, when you leave home or when you arrive. This can often convey his frustration. This behavior may mean that he does not want to be separated from you or that he does not want to be left alone.


It may happen that if you call the animal by its name, it will not come to you, but rather avoid your company. Running away and hiding can reflect the four-legged’s confused mental state. Basically, dogs always want company, so keeping a distance from the owner can indicate mental problems.

Loss of appetite

If the animal, which otherwise has a good appetite, hardly wants to eat or at least eats less, doesn’t hurt to pay more attention to it. Although many diseases can be behind the lack of appetite, it may simply be loneliness that triggers this cause.

Licking body parts

If you see that your pet licks his paws or legs more than usual, it can clearly be a sign of boredom. The signal is clear, this is how the dog lets you know that it needs more attention.

What can be done about loneliness?

If you find that the dog is lonely, then it is worth fixing the problem as soon as possible. Socialization, the company of other dogs, and sufficient exercise are important. If you don’t have time for longer walks, even introducing a new toy can help. It is also worth showing the dog to a doctor to rule out the existence of physical diseases. The main thing is patience and consistency. Try to spend time with the dog as much as possible, because mental health cannot be neglected!

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