How should you greet your dog after spending time apart?

At one point or another you'll have to pack your bags and leave your pooch at home for a few days.

While it's no secret how happy most dogs are to see an owner return home, new research indicates that the four-legged friends may even have a preference for how a person greets them in those instances.

Researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala decided to explore this topic. They conducted an experiment with various scenarios of greetings and monitored the dogs' emotions by measuring levels of cortisol – the stress hormone and oxytocin – a happiness chemical. Both of these are released depending on if an animal is feeling excited or anxious.

As it turns out, the group of dogs were happier when they were greeted by their owners with a verbal "Hello," and a rub on the head or back. On the flip side, the researchers learned that dogs who were not greeted at all by an estranged owner seemed to be bothered by it. The animals in that group chose to seek attention from a stranger rather than remain in the company of the distant owner.

If you're away from your pooch for some time, try to keep these strategies in mind. Don't forget, if you leave Fido with a friend, give him a Hartz® flea and tick treatment beforehand.

This content is provided by the flea and tick experts at Hartz. We believe in offering safe, effective and affordable parasite prevention for every dog and cat.