Sense of time is connected to memory. This is why it’s common for humans with memory loss (such as amnesia) to have a distorted perception of time. Animal memory is thought to be much more simplistic than human memory, and dogs have episodic memories, which means they are only able to remember certain events in their life. While your dog will remember you leaving the house, they most likely won’t understand how long you were away. When dogs are left alone, sometimes they become stressed (stemming from their separation anxiety), indicating that they have an awareness of the passage of time.
Can Dogs Tell Time?
Dogs have a sense of time but don’t understand the ‘concept’ of time. Unlike humans, dogs don’t have the ability to create actual measures of time, like the second, hour, and minute, and they don’t know how to read clocks. So, telling them ”I’ll be back in 15 minutes” won’t really do much, but we understand that you feel like you have to do it anyway! Dogs are capable of being trained based on past events, and can be taught to anticipate future events based on past experiences. Pavlov’s dogs are the perfect example of this.
Fun fact: Dogs can smell the passing of time. Fur-real? Well, dogs can sense the changes in the air. For example, hot air rises over the course of an afternoon, and dogs can sense this.
Do Dogs Get Bored?
Yes, it is absolutely possible for dogs to become bored. When this happens, they usually exhibit destructive behavior, like shredding your carpet or gnawing on your furniture. This usually happens when you aren’t home, but can also happen when you are with your dog. If you notice them barking or sticking their nose in your lap while you’re trying to watch Netflix, chances are they are bored! Additionally, some picky eaters will become bored with their food and become poor eaters. If this happens, you can mix things up with a scrumptious food topper!
Things to Do for Your Dog When You're Away From Home for a While
During these crazy times, some of us hardly leave the house anymore. However, eventually we will resume going to work and traveling again, and this may be a hard transition for your dog to deal with.
Here are some things you can do to help them entertain themselves when you aren’t there to ensure they have a barking good time:
- Press play on a Spotify playlist just for them!
- Give them a yummy treat they can gnaw on that will last them a while.
- Set your TV to Animal Planet (or any other network focused on animals). The sounds of barking dogs and other animal noises stimulate your dog’s brain in a quiet house, making them less likely to get into trouble.
- Open the curtains to a window in your home so that your pooch can watch whatever is going on outside. If you have a smaller dog, set a cushion or chair by the window so that your pup can easily see out the window.
- Make your dog work for their meals by hiding small handfuls of their kibble around your home.
- Take your pooch to doggy daycare so they can frolic with their fur friends.
- Give your dog puzzle toys to entertain themselves and stimulate their brains.
- Set up a playdate with another friendly dog, or give your pup a permanent playmate (fur brother or sister) to play with at home.