Our dogs and cats cannot verbally tell us what they need, so they often send subtle signals to clue us in to their current condition and emotional state. Lonely pets might start to behave differently, but pet owners may not initially consider loneliness as the reason for those behavioral changes. OVRS is here with some of the top signs your dog or cat is lonely so that you can find the best way to cure it:

Sign: Sudden Clinginess

Dogs and cats who are not typically clingy might try to get as close to you as possible if they are feeling lonely. If you have a pet that is typically stand-offish who suddenly wants to be your shadow, it could be an indicator that he or she is in need of extra attention. 

Lonely pets might also follow their owners from room to room just to get time together. Try to carve out more time for your pet to see if this eases the clinginess. If your pet starts to act more like himself, it might be time to think about adding another pet to your family so he doesn’t spend so much time alone.

Sign: Lethargy

Just like humans, pets can experience depressive episodes that affect their personalities. Loneliness can definitely trigger an episode like this, and might lead your furry friend to become lethargic and uninterested in playtime or food. Lonely pets may start sleeping much more than they normally do. Pets who are demonstrating depressive traits like this might need to visit a behavior specialist to determine how to get them back to their normal, happy selves.

Sign: Physical Changes

Loneliness can induce anxiety in pets, which could trigger them to pull or lick at their fur. Sometimes lonely pets will have damaged fur or even spots of missing hair. Sometimes emotional distress can even change the texture of your pet’s fur. Pay close attention to the hair because changes to fur could also be signs of a health issue. If you see any physical changes like this, you should schedule a veterinary visit. A veterinarian will be able to narrow down the reason so that you can find the best way to help your pet.

Sign: Destructive Behavior

Another indicator that your dog or cat is lonely is a sudden emergence of destructive behavior. If you have a dog that has never chewed a shoe in her life that is suddenly destroying parts of your home, she is definitely trying to tell you something. Lonely pets might also howl when left alone, which can be annoying for your neighbors. If you think your pet is lonely, it might be time to get him a companion that will be with him all the time.

At OVRS, we have veterinary specialists here to help you diagnose and treat your pet. From behavior specialists to cardiologists, we are here to care for your pet’s emotional and physical heart. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, please call (248) 334-6877.