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11 Signs Your Dog Is Feeling Ignored… and What You Can Do About It

How can you tell if your dog is feeling ignored?… Stick with Cute Animal Planet to find out!

Let’s all admit it: our lives get busy. Between family commitments and daily routines, our most loyal companions frequently await our return, hoping for a moment of affection. But have you ever stopped to wonder if your dog is feeling ignored?

Canines, much like humans, yearn for love, attention, and understanding. And sometimes, they show some subtle signs of feeling overlooked in our lives’ chaos, you just have to know to look.

Recognizing these signs can be a game-changer for your relationship with your furry pal. That’s why Cute Animal Planet has decided to share with you 11 signs your dog is feeling ignored, and we’ll even share some ways you can mend the gap and reignite your bond.

Dog Is Feeling Ignored
Photo by Denys Yelmanov at Shutterstock

Escape artist

When your dog is feeling ignored, he may exhibit escapist behavior, trying to run away or escape from their environment, a.k.a. your backyard. This behavior is usually a desperate attempt to seek out new incentives or find companionship.

You might notice your dog trying to dart out the door when it’s opened, escape from the yard, or attempt to run away during your walks. Addressing this behavior as soon as possible is vital to prevent your dog from putting themselves in dangerous circumstances.

Avoidance or withdrawal

Just like humans, pets crave companionship and social interaction. So when your dog is feeling ignored, they may avoid contact with their owners and withdraw entirely.

You may notice your pooch hiding in corners, spending more time alone, or retreating to a secluded area of your home. This behavior is a coping mechanism for dealing with loneliness and can mean your dog is not getting enough affection or attention.

Changes in eating habits

A dog’s eating habits can provide us with valuable insights into its emotional state. While some may overeat when feeling neglected or anxious, others may lose their appetite altogether.

Changes in eating habits, like refusing food or eating significantly less, could indicate that your dog is feeling ignored and experiencing stress or emotional distress.

You should monitor your dog’s eating behavior and consult your pup’s vet if you notice any significant changes that seem to persist.

Destructive behavior

One of the most common signs that your dog is feeling ignored is when it displays destructive behavior. Dogs, just like us, can experience anxiety and stress when they feel forgotten or lonely.

They might resort to digging up the yard, chewing furniture, or tearing apart household items to ease these feelings. This behavior is often a cry for attention and can escalate if not addressed as soon as possible.

Potty accidents… even though they’re already trained

If your dog has already been potty trained yet all of a sudden starts to regress, it can be a warning sign that it’s feeling neglected and needs more TLC.

Sometimes, it can simply mean your dog is asking for attention and other times, it can be a stress response from lack of attention or proper exercise.

This can also be an indication of underlying medical concerns, though, and it might be best to rule everything out with your veterinarian.

Dog Is Feeling Ignored
Photo by marialevkina at Shutterstock

Lethargy or depression

These are common warning signs of emotional distress in canines. When a dog is feeling ignored or lonely, it can become listless and withdrawn, not showing interest in interactions or activities.

You may even notice your dog sleeping more than usual, showing little enthusiasm for playtime or walks, and exhibiting low energy levels.

Depression in dogs can have severe consequences for their overall physical and emotional well-being and should be addressed as soon as possible with care and attention.

Lack of interest in usual activities

As we all know, dogs are naturally curious and playful animals. And they thrive on engaging in activities with their owners. But, they may lose interest in things they once enjoyed when they feel ignored.

You might notice your dog refusing to go for walks, play fetch, or participate in your training sessions. This lack of interest in activities can suggest that your dog feels detached from you and seeks more interaction and attention.

Nipping or play-biting

At some point or another, your dog has probably transformed from an adorable pup to a land shark instantly, probably during its puppy stages.

Nipping and biting are natural play-related instincts for a canine, and it’s our job as pet parents to help them direct that biting behavior appropriately toward chew toys.

Although sometimes, even fully-trained dogs will nip you in the ankle during a random moment or nibble your hand as you walk by them. This usually isn’t a sign of aggression.

Instead, it’s your dog’s way of forcing you to pay attention to them at that moment and they’re hoping you’ll engage with them further.

Excessive whining or barking

Excessive whining or barking is another strong indicator that your dog is feeling ignored. They tend to use vocalization to communicate their needs, and when they feel anxious or lonely, they may bark or whine perpetually to get your attention.

While occasional barking is standard, constant vocalization, especially when you’re away, could indicate that your dog is feeling isolated and seeking companionship.

Excessive grooming

Excessive licking or over-grooming is a common coping mechanism for canines experiencing anxiety or stress. When a dog is feeling ignored, it might use compulsive grooming or licking behaviors to self-soothe.

And even though grooming is a natural behavior for dogs, excessive licking, particularly of specific areas like tails or paws, can indicate underlying emotional issues that should be addressed sooner rather than later.

Nudging or pawing at you

When your dog nudges or paws at you with their nose repeatedly, they’re trying to initiate playtime and get you to interact with them. It’s their way of saying: “Hey! I’m here and ready for attention!”

It’s essential to note that this could also be a sign of anxiety and that they’re looking for you to comfort them. Be aware of their body language.

If their tail, ears, and spine look relaxed, they’re probably just looking for more engagement. If their tails are tucked under them, their ears are back, or they seem stiff, they could be experiencing anxiety.

Dog Is Feeling Ignored
Photo by Lucigerma at Shutterstock

How do you make the most of your time with your pup?

We understand that it isn’t realistic to spend every waking moment making your dog happy. But the truth is that the quality of the time spent together matters more than the actual quantity.

So, if you feel like your dog is feeling ignored, ensure you’re making the most out of your time together by giving them attention and affection. You can do this by:

-Playing an interactive game like fetch or hide-and-seek
-Going for a walk or hike together
-Having a dog play date
-Doing a training session

It’s also just as critical to pay attention to how your dog’s behaving when you can’t give them the attention they want. This is an ideal opportunity to provide them with mental stimulation with tools like:

-Lick mats
-Puzzle toys
Snuffle mats
-Long-lasting chews

Combining these tools with crate training can help you and your pup find the right balance between enjoying time alone and getting attention from you without sacrificing any stimulation and engagement your dog needs to be healthy and happy!

Do you think your dog is feeling ignored? If so let us know how you’ve been dealing with it in the comments section. And if you liked this article, we also recommend reading: 7 Everyday Habits That Put Your Pet in Danger


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