28 May Kennel Questions: Does my dog miss me when I travel?
For us dog lovers, leaving our poochy friends is always the hardest part of our day.
We wish we could take them everywhere with us, but there will always be times where it’s more convenient, and better for Fido’s wellbeing, for him to stay put.
While we’re sure you’ve been struck by your pet’s puppy-eyed stare when you drop him off at our Brisbane pet boarding facility, is it accurate to stake the claim that your pet actually misses you when you’re gone? Let’s investigate.
What does the research say?
A study published in Psychology Today revealed that dogs do miss their owners when they’re gone.
The study, conducted by Gregory S. Burns, had fully awake dogs enter an MRI and be exposed to familiar and unfamiliar scents of people and other dogs.
Burns claims that the evidence spoke for itself, with dogs reacting more positively to the scent of their owners than any of the other stimuli.
But, isn’t ‘missing’ directly related to time? And what does time mean in the mind of your dog?
How do dogs perceive time?
In 2011, a study was conducted to investigate how dogs perceive time.
The results? After being left for two hours, dogs greeted their parents with more intensity than their reunion after only 30 minutes of being left alone. However, the study also notes that there was no difference between 2 and 4 hours.
This indicates that dogs can tell the difference between 30 minutes and 2 hours, but beyond that it is unclear.
However, this is only one study, and while it’s gained serious momentum over the years, it’s important to recognise that the perception of time is an incredibly complex and abstract idea.
According to How Stuff Works, dogs rely on internal biological indicators to remember what time regular daily events happen.
It’s very likely that when these regular daily events don’t occur, your dog will notice the absence of these key ‘markers’.
So, what does this mean for whether your dog can miss you?
Unlike humans, who tend to miss our friends more and more over time, dogs are wired a little differently.
Of course, they miss you when you’re gone, but it seems uncertain as to whether they continually miss you more and more, over extra large stretches of time (months vs. years).
But for shorter term periods of separation (days or weeks), it seems undeniable that your dog will miss you and their daily routine.
But don’t let this discourage you from travelling.
By choosing a Brisbane pet boarding facility run by diehard animal lovers, you know your pet will be cared for with all the creature comforts they require.
Exercise, playing and lots of pats will keep your dog occupied, happy and safe while you’re gone.
And the best part about leaving? Is coming back for a paws-itively beautiful reunion.