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Do dogs ever forget their previous Pet Parents?

Do dogs ever forget their previous Pet Parents?

Do Dogs ever forget their previous Pet Parents?

Are you wondering if your dog will remember you when you go away for a long time? Most pet parents think that their dogs may never recognize them if they separated for several months or even years. But this is not actually true.

Dogs don’t forget any person they interact with during their lifetime. They can recognize your scent and identify you with their powerful eyesight. 

How long does it take for a dog to forget?

There is no accurate timeline when dogs can completely forget a person, including their previous pet parents. This is because dogs have a strong sense of sight and smell. They don’t easily forget the scent of people who raised them. If a dog has a pair of healthy eyes, it can identify their former pet parents even after 3 years. They can never forget any person who was part of his life in the past.

Dogs have both short-term and long term memory. Based on how a previous owner made a dog feel, it would instantly recall him after seeing him or detecting his scent. That is why you should treat your dog with love and appreciation. It will always associate your smell with the emotions it experienced in your presence. As long as your dog has healthy eyes, it will not forget you. 

How long do dogs recognize the scent?

Dogs recognize the scent of their previous owners forever. A dog will remember your scent by relating it to how you made him feel while around you. Dogs’ brains store information in terms of emotions. So whenever they detect a smell, their brains compare and match it to previous emotions. If the scent finds a match, then your dog will instantly recall its previous owner.

There are scenarios when a dog remembers his owner, who returns after several years. This is because it can recall the emotions it experienced when associating with his previous owner. If you treated your dog in a friendly manner, then it will feel safe around you. And if you mistreated it, then your dog would run to its current owner, trying to seek protection.

What’s more, your dog has a powerful sense of smell, which is 40 times greater than that of humans. Dogs have at least 300 million olfactory receptors in their nose as compared to humans who have around 6 million olfactory receptors. This is why dogs can remember the scent of anything they are exposed to, including their previous owners.  

Do Dogs ever forget their previous Pet Parents?

Do dogs miss their owners when given away?

Giving a dog to a new owner is usually a stressful experience. Most of the time, dogs develop depression and anxiety, especially if they come from a home where they feel safe and happy. They will miss their previous parent by the day and drown into sadness.

However, if the dogs came from a home where they were mistreated, they would adjust with time. If the new owner provides excellent care and makes it feel loved, the dog will eventually get used to its new environment.  Such dogs may show signs of fear and aggression at first while recalling abuses they experienced in their previous homes. But with consistent love, they let go and develop trust in their new owner.  

How long does it take for a dog to adjust to a new owner?  

This depends entirely on the age of the dog as well as its history. Dogs that are not more than 12 weeks old quickly adapt to their new owners. This is because their memories are not fully developed and may not have strong bonds with their former parents.

Dogs that are more than 12 weeks old may take longer to adjust to their new owner. This is because such dogs may have developed strong relationships with their previous parents. It is hard to forget the beautiful memories they experienced in their former homes.

If the dog seems to be happy and adapting to their new owner, then it is safe to bring their previous owner. However, if the dog is having a hard time getting used to its new owner, seeing their former parent can be devastating. It would make it “homesick”  and become anxious around its new owner. 


Dogs can remember their previous owners through their sense of smell and scent. Dogs have powerful eyesight. If a dog has a healthy pair of eyes, it can recognize its former owner any day.

Dogs associate scent to the emotions they felt while interacting with their previous owners. So when they detect the smell of their last owners, dogs recall how they were treated. If their owners were friendly, then the dogs would warm up to them because they feel safe. However, if their owners neglected and mistreated them, then those dogs would run away because they are terrified.  

Author: Vincent Otieno

Author Bio - Vincent Otieno

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