How do dogs act when home sick?


Dogs are known for their boundless energy and unwavering loyalty, but like humans, they too can experience bouts of homesickness. Whether it’s due to an absence of their owners or a change in their daily routine, dogs can exhibit various signs of distress when they long for the comfort and familiarity of home. Understanding how dogs act when home sick is essential for pet owners, as it allows them to identify the signs early and take appropriate steps to ease their furry friend’s discomfort.

In this article, we will explore the common behaviors exhibited by dogs when they are feeling homesick. We will delve into the physical and psychological signs to watch out for, as well as the possible causes behind their homesickness. Furthermore, we will provide insights and practical tips on how pet owners can alleviate their dog’s sadness and help them adjust to being away from home. By recognizing the signs and taking the necessary measures, we can ensure our beloved canine companions feel loved and secure, even in unfamiliar environments. Let’s explore the fascinating world of homesickness in dogs and discover how we can give them the support they need.


What are the Signs of a Home Sick Dog?

In this article, we will explore the various behaviors and signs exhibited by dogs when they are feeling home sick. Understanding these indications can help pet owners identify when their furry friends are feeling down and take appropriate action to address their needs. Read on to discover the common symptoms of a home sick dog and learn how you can support them.

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How do dogs act when home sick?

When dogs are feeling homesick, their behavior can change in several noticeable ways. Just like humans, dogs can experience separation anxiety and may exhibit certain symptoms when they miss their owners or familiar surroundings. Here are some common ways dogs act when they are homesick:

  • Increased clinginess: Dogs that are homesick may become more reliant on their owners and seek constant attention and comfort. They may follow their owners around the house, become more cuddly, or constantly seek physical contact.
  • Loss of appetite: Homesick dogs may lose their interest in food and experience a decrease in appetite. They may refuse to eat or eat less than usual. This change in appetite can be a sign of distress or depression.
  • Changes in sleep patterns: Dogs may have difficulty sleeping or experience disrupted sleep when they are feeling homesick. They may avoid their usual sleeping areas or display restlessness during the night.
  • Excessive barking or howling: Dogs may vocalize more frequently and loudly when they are homesick. This behavior can be a way for them to express their distress, seek attention, or communicate their longing for their owners.
  • Increased pacing or restlessness: Homesick dogs may exhibit restless behavior, such as pacing back and forth or walking in circles. This behavior can indicate their inability to settle down and their desire to be in a different environment.
  • Changes in bathroom habits: Some dogs may experience changes in their bathroom habits when they are homesick. They may have accidents indoors or display signs of anxiety when being taken outside to relieve themselves.

It is important to note that not all dogs will display the same symptoms when they are homesick. Some dogs may show several of these signs, while others may exhibit only one or two. The severity of homesickness can also vary between individual dogs.

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Understanding how dogs act when home sick can help owners recognize and address their pet’s emotional needs. Providing comfort, maintaining a routine, and gradually introducing new environments can often help alleviate homesickness in dogs.

According to a survey conducted by the American Kennel Club, 68% of dog owners reported that their dogs showed signs of homesickness when separated from them for an extended period.

FAQs about How Dogs Act When Home Sick

1. How can I tell if my dog is feeling sick at home?

There are several signs that indicate your dog may be feeling sick at home, such as decreased appetite, lethargy, vomiting or diarrhea, excessive panting, restlessness, and unusual behavior.

2. Can dogs exhibit separation anxiety when they are home sick?

Yes, dogs can sometimes exhibit separation anxiety when they are feeling sick at home. They may become more clingy, whine or bark excessively, have trouble settling down, or engage in destructive behaviors.

3. What can I do to make my sick dog feel more comfortable at home?

To make your sick dog feel more comfortable at home, you can provide a quiet and cozy resting area, adjust the room temperature to keep them comfortable, offer fresh water and a bland diet if they have digestive issues, and give them plenty of love and attention.

4. Should I keep my sick dog isolated from other pets in the house?

If your sick dog has a contagious illness, it is advisable to keep them isolated from other pets to prevent the spread of the disease. However, for non-contagious illnesses, it is generally okay for your dog to interact with other pets, as long as they are comfortable doing so.

5. Can I leave my sick dog alone at home?

If your dog is sick, it is best to avoid leaving them alone for extended periods. Sick dogs may require monitoring, medication administration, or frequent bathroom breaks. If you must leave, consider asking a trusted friend or family member to care for your dog or hire a professional pet sitter.

6. Should I take my sick dog to the veterinarian?

If your dog is exhibiting signs of illness and is not improving within a day or two, it is advisable to consult with a veterinarian. They will be able to diagnose the underlying cause of your dog’s sickness and recommend appropriate treatment.

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7. Is it normal for a sick dog to lose their appetite?

Yes, a decreased appetite is a common symptom in sick dogs. It is important to monitor their food and water intake and consult with a veterinarian if the loss of appetite persists for more than 24 hours or is accompanied by other worrisome symptoms.

8. Can a dog’s behavior change when they are sick at home?

Yes, a sick dog’s behavior can change. They may become more withdrawn, avoid certain activities, sleep more or have difficulty sleeping, or display signs of discomfort or pain. Any significant behavior changes should be reported to a veterinarian.

9. Should I continue to exercise my sick dog?

While moderate exercise can sometimes be beneficial for sick dogs, it is important to consult with a veterinarian before engaging in any physical activity. In some cases, exercise may exacerbate their sickness or slow down the recovery process.

10. Are there any over-the-counter medications I can give my sick dog at home?

It is not recommended to give your dog over-the-counter medications without consulting a veterinarian. Some human medications can be toxic to dogs, and the appropriate treatment for your dog’s specific condition should be determined by a professional.


Dogs can display various signs and behaviors when they are feeling sick or unhappy at home. These include changes in appetite, lack of interest in activities, lethargy, increased sleeping, vocalization, clinginess, and destructive behavior. It is important for dog owners to observe and recognize these signs in order to provide appropriate care and seek veterinary assistance if needed. Additionally, creating a comfortable and secure environment for the dog, maintaining a routine, providing mental stimulation and exercise, and offering comforting measures such as soothing music or a cozy bed can help alleviate their symptoms and make them feel better.

Furthermore, separation anxiety is a common issue among dogs, and it can worsen when they are feeling sick or unwell. Spending quality time with the dog, providing companionship, and offering reassurance can help alleviate their anxiety and promote healing. It is also important to note that while many actions may seem like signs of sickness, they could also be indicative of other underlying issues or behavioral problems. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions and obtain proper guidance and treatment. By paying attention to their dogs’ behaviors and emotions, dog owners can ensure their beloved pets receive the care, love, and support they need when feeling sick or unhappy at home.