If you have a dog of your own, then chances are good that, at some point, you've sat around and wondered what exactly they do at home when you aren't around. You know what they do when you're there: they probably stick by your side the entire time, whether they're eating, begging for food, taking a nap, trying to cuddle, or trying to get you to play with them. You might see them play fight with any other animals in the house or get totally attached to their own little toys. But what do dogs do when you're not home? Are they lonely and bored, or are they perfectly fine?
Unless you set up a surveillance camera in your home, you can't know exactly what your pup is up to whenever you aren't around. And, to be honest, that surveillance video might end up being pretty boring. What your dog is most likely doing is just biding their time until you, or someone else in the family, walks through the front door. They're social animals, and they don't like to be left alone - so that means that when you aren't there, they're most likely sleeping to pass the time.
Dog experts agree. Jennifer Freeman, DVM, PetSmart’s resident veterinarian and pet care expert, told Elite Daily, "Dogs are social creatures, so typically, if left alone, they’re likely to sleep or look out the windows and keep an eye on things." This is your dog's time to rest and relax, so they're probably taking advantage of that. Why do you think they're so excited to greet you when you get home? They've been bored and sleepy all day!
Of course, there are some dogs who are doing more than just sleeping and staring at the window, watching the world go by and maybe occasionally barking at any animal that catches their eye. Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety and/or depression can be a little more active when they're on their own, and not exactly in a good way.
Dog trainer Kathy Santo told Good Housekeeping, "[Dogs with separation anxiety] don't do well when left alone for long periods, and if you have one, I'm guessing you already know what they do when you're out, because you've had to replace the bedroom carpet and the kitchen baseboards (twice)." Dogs that struggle with being alone are more prone to accidents, or they might find something to chew on that they definitely aren't supposed to chew on.
If you come home to find that your dog has destroyed something or, maybe even worse, left little surprises for you on the. floor, then you might want to consider hiring someone to give them some company. You don't need to get a full-time dog sitter, but maybe having someone come by to walk them for an hour or so would help them get their energy out and allow them to just, you know, sleep while they wait for you. Of course, you can also talk to your vet if the behavior issues really become a big problem.
Overall, though, you can probably rest easy knowing that your dog. is just hanging out, sleeping, relaxing, and taking in the sights from the window while they await your arrival. Doesn't that make you want to go home right now to give them a hug?