A Depressed Dog May Be Eating Less Than Usual
Does your previously ravenous pooch seem uninterested in their dinner? A mood problem might be to blame.
“Generally speaking, I would expect to see a dog eat less if it were in a depressed state,” Jones advised INSIDER.
Changes in appetite and a loss of interest in eating might signal increased stress levels. You can try gradually changing their food to something they may find more appetizing, but if your dog’s appetite doesn’t improve, you should make an appointment with your vet in order to rule out possible medical issues.
Change In Your Schedule
Accepting a job with drastically different hours can affect more than just your sleep. Going from the day shift to the night shift also means that your dog wont get her regular 6 a.m. walk. Even if shes still going out at the same regular intervals, timing shifts mean new and new friends. The same exact route at a drastically different time can mean big change for a dog!
How To Recognize Dog Depression
These are a few potential areas of concern to be on the lookout for.;
- Changes in Sleeping Habits;;;;
Dogs;are made to;sleep;much more than humans.;However, dogs are often most awake and alert when their owners are home. If you notice that your dog continues to sleep even when youre around, this may be a sign of depression.;;;;;
- Paw Licking;;;;;
If you notice that your dog appears to be licking or chewing much more than normal, know that this can be a sign of a psychological issue. A dog that is depressed may lick or chew their paws as a self-soothing mechanism. It also could be a sign of;anxiety, which depression is closely linked to.;;
- Loss of;Interest;;;;;
Although not all dogs are enthusiastic, take note if your dog suddenly loses interest in previously enjoyed activities.;If going on walks, playing ball, and other things that would normally excite your pet just dont seem to do it anymore, it may be depressed.;;;;
- Changes in Diet;;;;;
A dog who loses weight and eats less;could be experiencing one of a multitude of issues, one of which could be depression. However, just like humans, some dogs will eat more as a comforting mechanism. Watch for any unexplained weight changes in your pet as a potential sign.;
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Anxiety & Depression In Dogs: Causes Symptoms & How To Help
Depression and anxiety can affect dogs, much like humans. Here, our Southeast Memphis vets share what symptoms to look for and how to help cheer up your furry four-legged friend.;
It’s true, dogs are capable of suffering from depression and anxiety. This is because they are intelligent creatures who, like humans, experience a range of emotions.
What To Do When Your Dogs Symptoms Arent Really Depression
There are a few things you can do if you think your dogs symptoms may be the result of a physical ailment.
One option is to take your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup. Your vet will do a thorough examination and take your dogs vital signs. From here, he or she should be able to give you some indication of whether your dog may be dealing with a physical issue.
Another option is to take the natural route.
Well cover the specifics on how to treat your dogs depression naturally soon, but homeopathic remedies, tonics and probiotics can also work to bring your pet back to an overall state of wellness.
Give us a call to discuss your pets condition and we will recommend a treatment plan that addresses his or her specific condition.
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Warning Signs Of Dog Depression
And, of course, they can simply tell us that theyre not feeling good.
Our dogs dont have this option, but that doesnt mean that they cant feel sad or even depressed. While theres not as much research out there as there is for humans , all kinds of anecdotal evidence exists pointing to dog depression.
Some stories seem more obvious, such as a dog suddenly shutting down and sleeping all day in the back of a closet after another dog in the pack dies. Others arent quite as straightforward, where dog owners might notice moping or mood changes after something like a move.
So, how do you know if your pup is experiencing canine depression? Here are several common signs many of which are similar to signs of depression in people.
Dog Dogs Truly Get Depressed
The answer is yes, but luckily dogs tend to have short-term depression, not the long-term serious condition that some humans battle. For dogs, the mental slowdown is usually related to loss of a family member or a major change in lifestyle.
Certainly the death of a longtime companion can upset many dogs. When my English setter died, my German shepherd dog howled almost nonstop for 2 days. She was mourning the loss of her friend but also depressed and not acting like her usual self.
Because they tend to live “in the moment”, dogs generally recover faster from depression symptoms than humans who can have recurrent long-term cycles of depression. Even so, some dogs, such as a dog who loses their home due to the death of an owner and gets placed in a shelter, can suffer severe and long-term depression.
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When To Seek Help For Dog Depression
If your dogs mood or behaviour has changed suddenly and you can find no reason why this may be happening, visit your vet to check for clinical causes.
Once your dog has a clean bill of health, consult an accredited experienced behaviourist who can look at any behavioural changes or issues, and help you transform your dogs mood and life for the better.
Is My Dog Bored Or Depressed
Alright, letâs get right to it: is your dog bored or depressed?
Well, these 2 kinds of behavior are quite easy to distinguish. In fact, bored and depressed dogs usually show very different signs.
A bored dog will find himself something to do, trust me! Itâs very rare that a bored dog just lies around. On the contrary, heâll probably jump up on you and whine and bark to get your attention to finally have some fun! Or hell finds himself something, like digging in your trash or chewing on your chair, so much fun!!
If your dog just seems to be sleeping the whole time, you can almost 100% be sure that he isnt bored. There are a few lazy kinds out there who are just lying around even when theyre bored. In that case theyll stare at you though. Youll literally see that they want to do something!
Related article: why does my dog stare at me?
To learn more about lazy dogs, make sure to check out my article about the 7 possible reasons your dog is lazy.
If your dog isnt doing much all day, he could be depressed, though. Depressed dogs show a number of different signs and sleeping all the time is one of them.
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Stressed Dogs Might Lick Themselves Non
If you notice that your dog has started licking or chewing to an excessive degree, it might be a sign that your pooch isnt happy.
Jones revealed that destructiveness can sometime be a sign of emotional turmoil. Excessive licking can also be a sign of anxiety or stress, as dogs often employ this behavior to soothe themselves.
Of course, youll want to make sure that there isn’t anything stuck in your dog’s paw or that he hasn’t been stepping on irritating surfaces before talking to your vet.
Causes Of Depression In Dogs
There are several factors or causes, which can act as potential triggers of depression or mood changes in your dogs.
Physical illnesses A variety of health problems can cause your dog to feel depressed or upset. Moreoften than not, due to their inability to communicate with humans, a lot of physical illnesses or injuries seem to get ignored.
Most injuries or problems can go away in a few days. However, some can persistand can cause behavioral changes in your dog. It is important to contact a vet right away to examine your dog and determine whether there is any physical illness in him or her.
Grief Dogs have the ability to mourn the losses of humans and animals, just like humans do. There
can be an instance where your dogs playmate died or moved away , or maybe a kid or family member in your home moved away. This can all be causes ofgrief in your dog and humans have no way of explaining the situation to them.
Dog owners hardly notice signs of grieving in them and should take efforts more often to interact and take notice of their pets behavior.
Environmental Changes a new home for the dog, a change in the location where you stay or eventhe weather can affect the mood of your dog in an adverse manner. You as a dog owner cannot explainto them the reason for the change. Although your dog gets adjusted to the changes in a few months, itis important to discuss with your vet how to help and support your dog during this period.
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How Do I Know If My Dog Has Depression
The symptoms of depression in dogs are similar to those experienced by people.;
Common symptoms include low activity levels, a loss in interest in the things they once enjoyed, and a change in eating;and/or;sleeping habits.
Some dogs may also show signs of aggression, including uncharacteristic howling or whining.
How Do You Cheer Up A Depressed Dog
You can cheer up a depressed dog by inviting them to fun activities and taking them out for morning walks.
Its also best to spend more time with them. And give them extra care and attention.
But, there are also some dogs who may not like cuddles. So respect their personal bubble and avoid smothering them.
Instead, show your care in other ways. Say, offering their favorite treats or buying them new toys.
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Triggers And Treatments For Depression
If you can identify what’s triggering depression in your pet, you’ll learn to spot the symptoms earlier. This will help you figure how to help your pet feel better.
- Environmental Changes;As with people, events going on around your pet can cause him to feel depressed and;anxious. Changes in a dog’s environment or living circumstances can trigger depression and anxiety. For example, dogs can experience depression and grief when another pet or human member of the household is ill or dies. This is also true when a family member moves away or changes schedules. When summer ends and your dog is suddenly alone most of the day after having children around all summer, symptoms of depression triggered by;separation anxiety;and loneliness can occur.
- Weather and Seasonal Changes;;Just as in humans, changes in seasons can have an impact on pet moods, as do periods of extended bad weather. For example, the moods of dogs that live in areas where hurricanes occur can be impacted by the change in atmospheric pressure. Additionally, just as the onset of winter can lead to seasonal affective disorder in some people, it can also an impact on dogs.
- Loss of a Companion;;This is probably the number one cause of depression in dogs. Dogs create strong emotional bonds with both their fellow dogs whom they see regularly as well as those who care for them. The loss of a friend or loved one is difficult on everyone and this is no different for your dog and they need ample time to grieve.
However Some Dogs Might Actually Eat More When Theyre Feeling Down
Just like many of us might find ourselves snacking more during stressful times, some dogs can actually experience an increased appetite when dealing with low mood.
“Dogs can be like people some will eat less when under stress and some will eat more. Some dogs are so food driven that you may not see a change in its appetite,” Jones explained.
If you are feeding your dog enough for their size, age, and breed and you know they’re not pregnant, try chatting with your vet about your dog’s increased appetite.
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How To Comfort A Depressed Dog
For the first time ever, you walk through the front door after a long day of work and your dog doesnt greet you. Your heart sinks.
Could she be hurt? Or worse?
No, thats right. Shes still depressed.
You thought it would pass, but its only getting worse. You know this isnt going away on its own, but what do you do?
Anyone who has ever had a depressed dog has struggled with this question.
Fortunately, there are good answers. Although they do have emotions, dogs are not complicated beings. Their needs are simple, and its usually not too difficult to turn their mood around. Usually.
Try one or all of these four things to help your depressed dog feel better.
Act Fast Dog Depression Symptoms
#1: Loss of appetite
Did you know that dogs and humans share similar genes?
One study found that gene similarity in both species relates to:
- Neurological processes.
This is why dogs suffer from some of the same diseases as humans. Plus the signs are similar too. This is the case with diabetes and breast cancer.
As well as mental illnesses. Such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression.
So like humans, depressed dogs will also have reduced appetite.
They may start skipping meals or refuse to eat at all. And this is usually one of the first signs of an ailment.
So if you didnt change your dogs diet. Or if they were a hearty eater before
This definitely raises the alarm.
What to do?
- Offering them irresistible snacks .
#2: Less water intake
Next, check if your pooch is drinking enough water. Because a sad dog may also drink less than usual.
And this is more dangerous than refusing to eat.
Not drinking enough water for days can result in dehydration.
And a dogs organs might collapse due to a lack of fluids in the body. Which might result in death.
So how much water do canines need daily?
For most dogs, PetMDs estimate is around 1 oz per body weight.
So, a 50-lbs canine should drink at least 50 oz a day.
Note: How to know if your dog is dehydrated or not? If they have moist gums and sparkling eyes, theres nothing to worry about. As well as if you pull a part of their skin and it quickly returns to its natural state.
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Spending Too Much Time Inside
Dogs need space to run around and might become sad if they havent been given the chance. If you were locked indoors all the time and not exposed to the outdoors except the immediate yard and around the block, you would not be fulfilled and would be depressed, says Hartstein. Same goes for dogs, so take time to bring your dog on long walks or to the park. Once it starts getting the freedom it craves, your pet might slowly get its energy back.
How To Cheer Up My Depressed Dog
If you know that your dog is depressed, then you can take steps to resolve it. Most dogs will be able to have some recovery with these potential solutions.;
One option is to consider medication just like you would prescribe for a human. Your vet can recommend an antidepressant although always use caution with these remedies.;
Some pet owners turn to more natural options, like;CBD oil for dogs. A few drops of the oil or;an infused treat can correct the imbalance your dogs chemical system that is causing the depression.; which may be a more natural alternative to medication.;
Of course, you should also try some lifestyle changes to improve your dogs depression.;Sometimes something as simple as spending quality time with your pet;and showing;affection is enough to boost their mood.
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Dogs Grieve Based On The Relationship
Dogs can form;emotional attachments;to people and to other dogs. But, just as with people, not all dogs react the same after the loss of another dog in the household. If the pups shared a very close bond, then the dog may react with behaviors that indicate depression after a furry friend passes away, says;Dr. Mary Burch, a certified applied animal behaviorist with more than 25 years of experience working with dogs.
The signs of grieving for both dogs and people can be the same, says Dr. Burch. Depression is a typical sign and it is characterized by changes such as sleep problems, a decreased appetite, a decrease in activity, and increased anxiety that, for dogs, manifests itself with behaviors such as panting, pacing, and sometimes the destruction of objects.
In general, grieving dogs who have recently lost a close buddy may lose their spark and suddenly seem less perky, attentive, and active, says Dr. Burch. On the other hand, if the dogs werent close, there may be no signs of grief. As a matter of fact, in a case where the dogs just coexisted and really did not interact much, if the owner began lavishing attention and activities on the remaining dog, the dog might actually seem happier.
Note that there is nothing malicious about a lack of grieving behaviors in dogs, says Dr. Bekoff. Each individual dog just grieves differently.