Sometimes it’s necessary to leave our pets behind when we have to travel or go away for an extended period of time. Though we understand that being away from your pet for long periods of time can cause worry and stress, knowing that they are in a safe and comfortable environment can help when it comes to dealing with a lot of the anxiety that goes along it.
There are times when we must leave our pets for extremely long periods of time, and we wonder if they will remember us when we return. While this is a normal concern, you can rest easy knowing that there has been plenty of evidence suggesting that even after as long as a year, animals not only remember their owners, but get excited to see the familiar faces upon their return.
There are a number of stories surrounding people who have placed rescue dogs with families whom they have only cared for for a couple of months and upon visiting these rescue dogs a year later, the dogs remember their former caregivers. According to an article from The Daily Puppy, though breeds are different as far as memory goes; it appears that most dogs do remember their previous owners and owners who have simply been away for long periods of time.
In the article, author Patricia McConnell, PhD, who has written several books on the behavior of dogs, states that dogs do appear to have a sense of time and long memories. Her proof, which lies in a study published in the book, Applied Animal Behavior Science, says that, “the longer dogs are left alone, the more intense they greet their owners…So time — even 20 years in the case of Argos (the dog in Homer’s classic book, The Odyssey, who remembered his master after 20 years)! — doesn’t seem to affect a dog’s memory of relationships, past and present.”
If we have to leave our pets for long periods of time, it helps to know that we are leaving them in a professional, loving and caring pet facility. When we know that they are being well taken care of, it relieves our anxiety and we can simply look forward to being reunited.
So no worries! You will be remembered!