Haunting Video Shows The Unseen Sadness Of A Dog Left Home Alone
As has been proven time and time again, the depth of love and loyalty of dogs knows no bounds. Sadly though, there are times when even the most well-meaning of pet owners are unable to return the favor, leaving their canine companions all alone.
That absence might not make a dog's heart grow fonder though - it could actually break it. YouTube user "Mike the Intern" recently attached a GoPro camera to his dog to get a better idea of just what goes on while he's away from home. While the experiment might have seemed harmless at the time, the melancholy of the resulting footage is nothing short of profound.
Just seconds after being shut in all alone, the dog begins showing clear signs of distress - scurrying throughout the house and peering out the window. After a few moments, the dog takes up a spot on a bed.
The Dodo's attempts to contact the uploader to learn more about his pet's situation were unsuccessful.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), some of the most common complaints about dogs - things like barking, howling, chewing, digging and going to the bathroom inside - can all stem from separation anxiety.
Lawrence Stevenson, a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) in Philadelphia, says the behavior seen in the video could be symptomatic of separation anxiety, but the clip doesn't contain enough clues to know for certain.
"There are all kinds of body language I can't see in the video. You can see him pacing around the house looking for his owner; he clearly misses his owner. The tongue flicks you see are also an indicator of anxiety, but the video is too brief to really make a diagnosis. After this short video the dog could have settled down, continued this level of distress or escalated into full blown Separation Anxiety. We don't know." says Stevenson.
"The cardinal rule about leaving dogs home alone is that a tired dog is a good dog. I would tell this person to make sure his dog gets enough exercise, and to give him environmental enrichment when he leaves, like a chew toy or something else the dog really likes. After, I'd have them contact a certified dog behavior consultant."
For more tips on how to alleviate anxiety in dog to make the time spent apart a little easier on everyone, check out the ASPCA's website here. To find a CDBC in your area, visit the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants' website here.