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home alone

Dogs are social animals, yet many spend hours home alone. While some dogs seem to adjust quite well, others are lonely or show distress.

No dog owner likes to leave their dog home alone.  This can be a distressing situation for both you and your pet.

Lonely Dog?

When your dog is lonely, sometimes they exhibit undesirable behaviors as they are unable to cope with being home alone. Common signs include:

Are those the only symptoms?

While some dogs show the profound symptoms listed above, others may show subtler signs of distress:

How can I find out if this is happening to my dog?

  • Use a smart phone, camera, or tablet to make a video recording of your dog when you leave the house
  • To be most accurate, you must actually be away for at least 5 to 10 minutes
  • If you see signs of distress, contact your veterinarian for help

What can I do to help my dog when he's lonely?


If your dog is experiencing destructive behaviors or is barking excessively, consult a veterinarian for a behavioral modification plan.


Be aware this situation may take months to resolve, depending on the severity of the distress. For best results, everyone in the family needs to be prepared to stick to the plan.


Studies* on Adaptil have shown that utilizing a collar or diffuser when first bringing a puppy into a new home can help it settle faster with less distress.


Studies* have also shown that Adaptil can be useful when bringing home a dog from a rescue center or shelter.


Adaptil Diffusers have been shown* to help calm dogs when lonely, especially when used in conjunction with a behavior modification plan.


Use either an Adaptil Diffuser and/or an Adaptil Collar to provide calming pheromones 24/7.

*Gaultier E, Bonnafous L, et al. Efficacy of dog-appeasing pheromone in reducing stress associated with social isolation in newly adopted puppies. The Veterinary Record, 2008, pp 73 – 80. Taylor K., Mills DS, A placebo-controlled study to investigate the effect of Dog Appeasing Pheromone and other environmental and management factors on the reports of disturbance and house soiling during the night in recently adopted puppies. Applied Animal Behavior Science 104 (2007) pp 358-368. Gaultier E., Bonnafous L., Bougrat L., et al. Comparison of the efficacy of a synthetic dog-appeasing pheromone with clomipramine for the treatement of separation-related disorders in dogs. Veterinary Record, 2005, 156, pp 533-538. This video provides advice on how to help your dog cope when home alone.

Additional tips to help your dog adapt to being home alone:

Where can you buy an Adaptil Collar or Diffuser? Click here.