Coming home to a changed dog

Sounds like you are doing all the right things for little Kiwi!

I’ve had cats who were sullen or even quite annoyed with me after I returned from a trip, whereas others were just thrilled to have me home again.
Animals have these whole little complicated worlds in their heads that we have to guess about since they don’t speak English!

Please don’t feel guilty. You’re allowed to have a life outside your home. You did your best to find a great sitter for your pup, and you’re doing your best now. You’re clearly a loving and conscientious caretaker who adores Kiwi.
I hope it all works out very well. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :smiling_face:
(We’d love to have Kiwi updates later, if you’re so inclined.)


@4themoon so you jumped to all the worst conclusions and assumed your pets had been mistreated. Pets have feelings and emotions and when changes in their surroundings are happening they’re bound to be subdued - shouldn’t this be expected? This is normal behaviour in response to changes and after some time of re settling in will likely resolve. The vet will not be able to help you unless there’s a medical problem (not eating/drinking/pooping/peeing)

That seems a bit presumptuous with no evidence and doesn’t put the OP’s mind at rest. All animals interact differently with humans that aren’t their owners or give off different energy. Your dog may have simply missed you, or missed the sitters once they left. In this THS world of mutual exchange a temporary sitter is never going to be you and it’s unfair to expect them to be that @4themoon. If you have prescriptive expectations then a paid service would suit you better. A vet can only surmise on why his character might be different, it’s not medical just emotional. #foodforthought


On our first pet sit, the owner messaged us to say their dog hadn’t eaten breakfast on the day after we left.
Not for some sinister reason, but the fact the dog had enjoyed our company so much, he was actually pining for us a little. :smiley:

Its possible you experienced the same trait maybe, rather than anything else?


This was one of my biggest concerns when we joined as sitters. We knew that we could keep a dog safe and healthy (walks & food) but each dog is unique & would we fulfil all their emotional needs. Would we be able to replicate the level of interaction given by the owners and not give too little or too much. For example, We look after a young Tibetan Terrier who is used to going to different people & loves to come to stay with us - in fact I feel bad for the owners when he goes home as he gets a lot of focus and attention during the time he spends with us & his home routine can’t be like that all the time so sometimes he doesn’t want to go home. On the other end of the scale, on our first sit we had a very sensitive older Collie - we knew she liked to sleep a lot but sometimes play. But it was hard to gauge how much of each she would naturally be doing with her owners. I was very watchful of her behaviour constantly checking she was happy in herself. In the end All was well - the owners confirming they had come back to happy pets but I was anxious during the sit that we were meeting her needs but also not changing normal patterns of behaviour. Hope that makes sense.

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Dogs get attached to the sitters, even over just a week, so in 2 months they will have built up a good relationship. Personally we don’t like to leave before the owners get back as we think it confuses the dog, we had to do it once and the owner said the dog was looking for us. If the dog is old as well its all a big change for them. I’d say give the dog time to settle down again with you.


Just to be clear, I did NOT jump to the worst conclusions at all. I am fully aware that this could be age, confusion, any number of things. I reached out to the sitter to ask if she’d noticed any changes in behavior while she was here just to get more information. I was certainly not accusing her of anything. We are just sad because our dog seems to have lost her zest and we’re trying to get as much information as we can. Maybe there is no information to get, but I’m disappointed that the sitter won’t respond at all.


We house sat a lovely big dog in London for 3 mths. His name was Gnasher … a complex character and we fell in love with him and he with us- what adventures we had!
When his owners returned from America, Gnasher wouldn’t go to them initially it was embarrassing and difficult to explain and he took a few days to re attach to them. Looking back I’ve wondered if perhaps they smelt different from having a different diet whilst away maybe, or was Gnasher angry with them for going away or was it the fun we’d given him in comparison to his normal life. I still think about him now and it was 44 years ago….dear Gnasher, what a dog!
The Cornish Rex cat meanwhile ignored us and them in equal measure! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Love the love bomb expression!

You may want to re-read what I wrote. I did not say our dog was mistreated. I was addressing the question from an owner asking if someone had experienced something similiar to what she was experiencing. And I had. I am well aware that every pet has its own unique personality and may react differently to being cared for by another person as well as perhaps sulk (laying the groundwork for a guilt trip) upon their owner’s return from a trip. However, that has never been the case with our dog. We have traveled every year since was a puppy (she’s 8 years now) - often two or three trips a year - using a sitter in our house - and have come home to the same dog. So of course coming home to her being subdued and quiet … raised a few concerns. I will probably never know exactly what caused her behavior … but I mentioned the suspicion that I thought she had been left in the yard - on her own a lot - as my neighbor told me that she saw her outside - alone - a lot. And as much as our dog loves being outside… she far prefers to be with company … whether it be outside, inside or even in the bathroom. She’s a people dog. That’s all.

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Update! Our sweet dog is about 90% back to the way she was - asking for treats, happy to see us and sleeping in all her usual places (including our bed!). Seems like mostly she needed time to adjust. Thanks everyone!


Oh, yay!
I’m so happy for you and your sweet pup! :smiling_face: :purple_heart:

Cuddles with mum I’m happy to hear all is back to normal. :heart:

Probably missing the sitter, you get attached

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