Dogs are known to be a man’s best friend. These little furry friends are the most loving and reliable companions that anyone could ever ask for. They are loyal to their owners at all times and tend to stick to them for a lifetime. There is no doubt that your pup will love you unconditionally and keep you safe and protected.

Studies have shown that dogs are responsible for reducing anxiety, stress and depression.  Trained dogs can also help elderly people to accomplish certain tasks. Sometimes they are also able to detect diseases and injuries before a diagnosis.

Dogs keep you company in times of need and can understand the changes in your emotions. They also enable you to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep fit. Accompanying them for regular walks also helps to stimulate your social life.

Since these lovely creatures are so helpful, it is your responsibility to give them proper love and affection. They need you as much as you need them. However, in between your work and other errands that you might have to run, it is understandable that you may not be able to be there for them at all times. Hence, you should observe them for any signs that may show that you are not giving them proper attention.

boy with a dog

How to Tell If Your Dog Needs Attention

  • Sleeping all the time

This is the very first observation you should consider to see if your pup needs more attention and care from you. The study shows, dogs sleep more than humans do on a daily basis (approximately 12-14 hours for adult dogs). If he/she tends to sleep throughout the day or more than the usual sleeping hours, it’s a sign that it needs more love and attention. Dozing off to sleep from time to time and absence of mental incitement or playfulness is a major concern.

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  • Showing depressing behavior

Loneliness or a sudden change in routine can be uneasy and depressing for any living creature. Same goes for dogs and any other pet animals that you have. If your dog is home alone for a long period of time it is quite natural for it to be lonely and depressed. However, there are major signs to see if your dog is depressed. For example, showing no interest in eating or drinking. Another example could be, not playing around or showing no excitement or love when you come back home after long hours.

  • Acting out

If your pup starts acting out all of a sudden, it is actually a big deal because it shows that he/she needs more love from you. Scratching on objects, urinating on the floor or bed covers, spilling things on the floor, mudding the house, jumping on delicate objects and in result breaking them; all of these actions show that your dog is needy. He/she is in need of your attention without a doubt.

  • Putting on weight

Out of all the things that you can blame your dog for, putting on weight is not one of them. It is quite possible that you have been spending a lot of time outside working or running errands while your dog is home alone. In such cases, a lot of owners often give their dogs more food or treats out of guilt. This is a very natural reaction coming out of guilt but it does no justice for the dogs. First of all, it is not healthy and these changes in eating habits will make them gain weight. It will require a lot of hard work and patience, for both you and your pup to lose all the body fat to stay healthy.

  • Long nails

If your pup has extremely long nails, it is an unquestionable and obvious sign that you have been ignoring your duty calls towards your dog. Proper grooming is always important for your dog to stay healthy and happy.

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  • Poor appetite

Depression or loneliness can cause your dog to lose its appetite. Not showing any interest in food will result in health issues and changes in behavior.

  • Disobedient behavior

Dogs usually love spending time with their owners. They like seeing you happy and are always ready to do whatever it takes to make you smile. So if your dog is not responding to you in a playful manner or doing the exact opposite of what you are asking for, you should take some time to get to know him and his behavior to keep a healthy relationship with it.

man with a dog

Things You Can do While Away

  • Ask someone to fill in for you

You can always ask a friend or family to spend time with them if you have to work for long hours. Also, there are companies which provide dog sitters for people. You can hire them to feed and watch over your pet when you are away. It is always okay to ask for help as dogs love interacting with new people.

  • Bring in a new furry companion

It can be a good idea to adopt or buy another doggo to keep your little one busy. This way they will have each other to play with when you are out working. Even though this brings in more responsibility, it will still be an advantage if you are unable to keep them company.

  • Making time during work hours

Try to come home during your lunch break to check in on your pup. Feed them, give it a bath and sit down to eat with them. This way he/she won’t feel lonely throughout the day.

  • Turning on the television

Teach them to use the remote to turn on the television so that they can keep themselves busy while you are at work. You can also turn on the radio before leaving them. The study shows this makes them feel safe while you are not around due to the music.

  • Lots of toys to keep ‘em busy

Leaving them with stuffy and chewy toys, to keep them company can also help.

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  • Using a dog pheromone

It helps to reduce anxiety issues for dogs. Try using dog appeasing pheromone sprays, collars or diffuser which will relax your pup while you are away. The pheromone that is released will bring out an essence of familiarity and calm him/her down.

  • Asking neighbors for help

You can leave your pups with neighbors from time to time to bring out a change in their environment since they are alone for hours.

  • Doggy day-care

There are several daycares where you can leave your pup and take them back home with you on your way from work. Make sure the center is reliable and the service provided includes all the needs of your little pup.

Why do They Need Your Attention?

Your pet is your responsibility. To think they are any less than your children would be a big offense because just like a human child, they too need your affection and looking after. Since they lack the most basic communication tool, i.e. speech, it is our duty to study and understand their body language.

Dogs are not going to take your attention by force as our feline buddies do. They always look to fulfilling their needs above your own. Their sixth sense allows them to know when they’re being ignored, which believe it or not can break their heart.

Just because you have immense workload and crazy working hours doesn’t mean you are not eligible for owning a dog. However, it is essential that you spend more time with your dog even after a hectic schedule. Dogs, in short, are creatures of joy. They’re looking to have some fun with their favourite human all the time! Give them the proper attention they deserve by trying out some of the activities listed below in your free time.

family dog

Simple and Effective Ways to Give Your Dog Attention

  • Regular walks

Go out for walks on a regular basis to give it the attention it needs. This will keep him healthy and fit.

  • Restrict yourself from multi-tasking

While spending time with your dogs, make sure that you do not indulge yourself in other activities like using an electronic device etc. Give it your full attention.

  • Fix a time for playing

Play fetch or any other fun game with them for a fixed amount of time to keep them busy. Buy toys for them to play with. Especially the chewy ones so that they don’t chew on other stuff. You can also try taking them to dog parks to play or bond with other dogs.

  • Responding to their affection

It is no surprise that your furry friend loves you unconditionally. Hence he/she is going to expect you to reciprocate his gestures and affection. You can try to gently massage their bellies or the back of their ears. This will show them that you are pleased and happy to be around them. Cuddle them at times and let them lie next to you while taking a nap or watching television. This will boost up your bonding.

  • Planning fun activities

You can also take them on a road trip every once in a while with the windows down, letting in the fresh breeze of air. Taking them for a swim can also be a good way to exercise and spend time with them. Try planning for a spa day which can also be quite interesting and relaxing for the pup.

  • Plan a birthday party

When is it not nice to celebrate a birthday? Ever wondered how happy your pet would be to celebrate his/her birthday? So, throw them a birthday bash, buy a dog cake, decorate his dog house with balloons and invite his friends from the neighborhood to party with them. Go all fancy.

  • Dressing them up for occasions

Try dressing them up for occasions like Christmas or Halloween and go trick or treating with them. Buy or make fancy outfits to expand their closet collection and make them a part of the festivities.

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  • Giving proper training

Training your dog is a must nowadays. Talk to them more often so that they understand you better and respond to your words. Take them to special training centers where they can learn swimming and other dog sports.

  • Playing tug of war

Playing this particular game with them enables them to hold on and grip the rope tightly. This prevents them from chewing on other objects and enables you to spend quality time with them.

  • Waking up early

From time to time wake up an hour early before going to work so that you get some time to cuddle and play with them. Breakfast could be a way to spend some quality time

  • Putting them to bed

After a tiring day, put them to sleep. They feel safe that way. You can take five minutes out of your own bedtime to read them some stories or simply talking or better yet, singing them to sleep till they drift off.

  • Involvement in outside chores

While gardening or mowing the lawn, take their assistance. These will enable them to learn new chores and spend time with you. This will also teach them discipline.

  • Pet events

Take your pup to dog events like dog meet up groups or competitions where they can show their talents and have fun at the same time.

  • Spending time outdoors

Explore dog-friendly places together like parks or lakes or nearby woods to play around. This will also help keep your puppy healthy and fit!

boy playing with a dog

Apart from trying all these activities to keep them company, make sure to monitor their health and behavioral traits every now and then. Take them to expert vets so that they can inform you about their health issues and assure you of their well being. Keep your lifelong furry friend as close to you as possible because they need you, love you and want to feel like a part of your everyday life.

Related Post: Best Christmas Presents for Dogs

Sources:

  1. 10 Easy Ways to Show Your Dog Affection – PetMD
  2. How to Give Your Dog Healthy Attention -wikiHow
Olivia Williams
Olivia is our head of content for MyPetNeedsThat.com, mum of one and a true animal lover. With 12 different types of animal in her family, it's never a dull moment. When she isn't walking the dogs, feeding the cats or playing with her pet Parrot Charlie, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest products for your pets!

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