Warning Signs Of Dog Depression - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

By Ameera Mills. Updated: January 21, 2019
Warning Signs Of Dog Depression - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

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Is your dog showing signs of depression? Dogs are incredibly loyal and sensitive animals that can sense when we as humans feel happy or sad. But when our dog is depressed, what do we do? Dogs can be sad for various reasons and often these reasons mirror those of their humans. A change in environment, death of a family member and stress can all contribute to making our canines depressed.

Is your dog showing signs and symptoms of dog depression? If you think this may be the case, you’ve come to the right place. Here at AnimalWised we will be discussing the warning signs of dog depression, including its causes, symptoms and treatment.

Remember that these are simply tips in order to help uplift your dog’s mood. If these suggestions do not work, we recommend consulting a canine behavioral specialist or ethologist.

You may also be interested in: My Cat is Depressed

Dog depression: symptoms

Like people, dogs are susceptible to depression. For that reason, if we are aware of the habitual behavior of our animals, it will prove easier to identify any change in it. However, if you have recently adopted a dog that appears sad, you may not be as familiar with its character to know for sure. In this case, take a look at these symptoms of sadness and depression in dogs;

If you notice that your dog is suffering from any of the above symptoms of sadness, we recommend consulting a veterinarian. A professional will help you rule our any case of pathology, as well as prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Warning Signs Of Dog Depression - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment - Dog depression: symptoms

Dog depression: causes

In general, dogs usually suffer from depression when a significant change in their lives takes place. It usually occurs when this change alters their normal routine. However, some disease or hormonal alterations can also cause typical symptoms of depression in dogs. Take a look at some of reasons that may explain why your dog is sad;

  • The death of a loved one: Be that a human or animal, death usually affects pets as much as they do us. Losing a playmate, friend or family member can be a devastating blow to a dog. In these cases, the best we can do is try to liven up their lives with frequent; trips to their favorite place, excursions, intelligence games or physical exercise.
  • Change of home or family: When dogs undergo a radical change in their lives, they tend to show a period of adaptation. During this process, it is normal that they may appear shy, unsocial or even sad.In this case, provide your dog with adequate love, time and affection, so that they feel that they are safe and supported.
  • Excessive loneliness: Separation anxiety in dog, is one of the most common problems that dogs which spend to much time alone suffer from. Separation anxiety in dogs usually leads to destructive behavior or excessive barking and it is very important address this problem accordingly. In this case, intelligent games are a great tool to alleviate accumulated sadness from hours spent in solitude. Exercise and constant love also prove as great mood-boosters!
  • An unpleasant situation: A situation that has been very unpleasant for your dog can cause your dog to feel both sad and apathetic. In this case, be patient and offer your dog adequate affection; giving it time to deal with the situation at hand.
  • A dogfight: If your dog has been involved in a dogfight, it is very likely that its behavior may change. Some dogs tend to become more reactive after dog fights, while others become scared. In this case, it is important to socialize your dog again, in order to help it trust other dogs again.
  • Break of family nucleus: If someone has left your home recently (either person or pet) your dog may suffer from depression due to the ‘‘loss’’ of that loved one. In this case, you need to keep your dog occupied with games, love and exercise. The sadness should subside naturally over time.
  • The arrival of the baby: If we have not been able to prepare our dog for the arrival of a baby at home, our dog may begin to become sad and/or jealous. This attitude cannot be ignored. If it appears that your dog is jealous or sad, you need to socialize it in order to make sure the environment is safe for both baby and dog.
  • A new pet: Like with the arrival of a baby, a dog can become jealous you have decided to adopt a new pet. We must remember that it is important to pay attention to the oldest member of the household. It is very important to avoid jealousy and aggressive attitudes that may result from a lack of attention. Therefore, if you adopt a new pet, make sure that they both receive equal attention and socialization.
  • Diseases: Diseases can can be the cause of sadness and apathy. A veterinarian will be able to detect whether your dog’s sadness is originating from physiological problems.
  • Psychological pregnancy: Psychological pregnancies in dogs is a problem that can affect bitches that are not sterilized. A phantom pregnancy can cause serious consequences to a female dog’s physical and mental health. In this case, consult a professional about the best options for your dog’s specific case.
  • Anxiety and stress: a dog suffering from stress and anxiety can also easily appear sad and apathetic. For more, take a look at our article on: 10 signs that your dog is stressed.

As you may have noticed, the causes of sadness in dogs are diverse and several. The most important thing in this case is to identify what the reason is for your dog’s sadness and how to treat the specific situation accordingly.

            Warning Signs Of Dog Depression - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment - Dog depression: causes

            Dog depression: treatment

            Once you have identified the cause behind your dog’s depression, you can begin to solve the problem. If you are not sure what the cause may be, we suggest that you consult a specialist and follow their professional advice.

            Ideally, regardless of the reason behind your dogs depression, you should always review key factors in making sure that your dog is happy and healthy. We encourage you to review the following aspects:

            • Do you feed your dog quality food?
            • How many times do you walk your dog?
            • Do you use positive reinforcement?
            • Do you exercise your dog regularly?
            • Do you provide your dog with enough love and attention?

            For more, take a look at our article on: how to make dogs live longer.

            In the most severe cases of depression, a veterinarian may recommend the use of drugs. Homeopathy for dogs is also another remedy that some people opt for when it comes to treating dog depression.

            Warning Signs Of Dog Depression - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment - Dog depression: treatment

            This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

            If you want to read similar articles to Warning Signs Of Dog Depression - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment, we recommend you visit our Mental problems category.

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