by Andrew Garcia
Sep 01, 2022
2 minute read
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Causes of Depression in Dogs
- What Are The Signs of A Depressed Dog?
- How to Help A Depressed Dog?
You may have recently moved to a new house or brought a new pet or baby home. Then out of the blue, you notice that your energetic pup is unusually withdrawn and listless. Unfortunately, dogs can’t verbalize their feelings. As a matter of fact, they can experience different emotions just like humans do.
Causes of Depression in Dogs
Dogs usually exhibit symptoms of depression after they experience a distressing event. For example, losing their owner, a companion animal, or sensing grief experienced by those around them can affect dogs’ overall emotions.
Furthermore, significant life changes also affect dogs’ emotions. These changes could include moving to a new house or bringing home a new member. Generally, dogs experience anxiety when there is a significant change in their daily routine.
What Are The Signs of A Depressed Dog?
Loss of Interest
Activities like playing and going for walks are usually interesting to dogs. But if your dog suddenly loses interest in these things, you must take note. If your dog exhibits signs like less activity, loss of purpose, or slowing down, he could suffer from dog depression.
Hiding and Avoiding Human Contact
Although dogs are man’s best friends, they tend to avoid human contact and hide when they suffer psychological or physiological issues. So if you notice this sign in your dog, check your dog for physical injuries. And if you don’t see any, the problem could be psychological.
Sleeping All the Time
Although dogs sleep a lot, it is usually because their owners are gone. If your dog continues sleeping when you are back home and barely reacts to your presence, then something is wrong.
Changes in Appetite
Dogs experiencing depression often lose their appetite. And an obvious sign is the visible weight loss. But, on the other hand, your dog may eat more than usual when depressed because he finds solace in food. So if your dog is exhibiting abnormal appetite patterns, it could indicate severe underlying issues.
How to Help A Depressed Dog
Dogs can’t verbally express how they are feeling. So, understanding what they are going through can be a challenge. However, it is essential to know what to do to help your pup when you notice visible signs of sadness.
If you have a feline friend as well, click to learn more about how to help your cat with anxiety.
When you notice your dog is depressed, you should first seek your vet’s advice. Sometimes sudden behavioral changes are initial signs of illness. So, you have to check your dog to be sure the symptoms are not due to a physical ailment.
Giving Your Dog More Attention
Giving your sad pup more attention is a great way to help. But, it would be best if you offered this extra attention moderately to give your dog time to deal with his feelings at his pace.
Keeping Your Dog Active
Like humans, dogs experience a drastic boost in their mood when they spend more time in the fresh air. You also have to build up activity slowly. Taking your dog out on regular walks can boost his physical and mental health. Besides, you can invest in some dog toys and play with your furry pal.
By nature, dogs are social creatures. Encouraging your pup to socialize with friends can boost their mood if your four-legged friend is sad. You can create social activities for your dog by organizing time with other dog owners. You can also take your best buddy to a dog park.
Keeping A Routine
A routine can speed up your dog’s recovery process. So, it is best to ensure your furry pal knows what he is doing daily. A stable routine can boost your dog’s mood. The routine could be taking a walk at a similar time each afternoon or serving dinner around a specific time.
With the proper behavioral and medical treatment, you can cure your dog of depression. However, you should immediately take your dog to a qualified vet if you suspect he is suffering from emotional distress.
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