When you leave a dog alone, you're left with a lot of questions. Does my pup miss me? Do they know I'm coming back? What do they do when I'm not there? Well, one thing you should never leave wondering is if you gave them a pet before leaving! New studies show that our dogs miss us quite a bit when we leave the house, even if they don't always show it. Eventually, after some hours, they hit a plateau of melancholy. The longer your absence, the more excited they are for your return!
Universities of Pisa and Perugia in Italy have found that giving your pup a quick pat on the head before you leave can help reduce separation anxiety. Maybe not enough to stop their howling, but enough to ease their mind just a tiny bit more. The study was conducted by measuring the heart rates of dogs who did or did not receive additional pets before their owner exited a room.
Once the owners were gone, the dogs' cortisol levels (or stress levels) were measured. The results concluded that there were no cortisol changes in dogs that did or did not have an additional pet. However, dogs who did showed a decreased heart rate, meaning they had just a little bit more calmness about them than those that did not.
Next time you leave in a hurry, make sure your favorite little furry friend gets some extra love!