You’ve never thought that way, but it turned out to be true. At least, it explains why your active and joyful furry friend has lost its cheerful nature and turned into a listless and dozy creature.
Yes, you are right. Your pet shows signs of dog depression. It might sound impossible, but dogs suffer from depression just like we humans do.
So, in this article, we’ll go over the signs and reasons for pet depression. And, once you dig to the cause, we’ll equip you with the mechanisms that would help drag your pooch out of this state.
Can a Dog be Depressed?
Dogs do not have the same complex reasoning abilities as we humans do. We are the only creatures capable of understanding the mental states of others and having abstract thinking. However, it doesn’t mean that depression in dogs doesn’t exist.
According to Dr. Carlo Siracusa at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, dogs are capable of experiencing depression, but not at the same level as we adults do. It might be less complex and equivalent to the level of sadness of a two-year-old kid, but the fact that it exists can’t be denied.
Some other vets claim that it’s hard to make any judgments about dog depression. Pets can’t talk and it’s impossible to make any conclusions about their mental health. But they also assure that sometimes depression is the only explanation for the change in the canine’s behavior and mood swings.
No matter what, we can’t deny that canines succumb to depression. It might be slightly different from what we humans got used to, but it’s definitely not a myth
How to Tell if Your Dog Is Depressed - Are You Paying Attention to These Symptoms?
You can easily spot cracked paws or an inflamed tooth, which hurt your dog so badly. These are the visible symptoms you can detect immediately. But how do you define the invisible ‘injury’ that keeps on gnawing at your pooch from the inside?
Even though that might be a tall order, it’s still possible. Here are the dog depression symptoms that would help you define if your canine is depressed or not.
- Decrease in appetite
- Shrinkage in activity level
- Loss of interest in play
- Excessive paw licking
- Increase in sleeping time
As you see, most of the symptoms of the depressed dog are similar to what we humans experience. The canine might refuse to eat even the best dry dog food and will be less active. You won’t miss this state once it gets to your precious pet.
Dog Depression Causes - What Pushed Your Dog to The Edge?
Humans can be depressed due to a number of reasons, including the ones that are linked to our self-consciousness. For example, Jack-human can become desperate due to failures at work or in social life. Perhaps, he is not satisfied with how he gets the work done and believes that he could have done much better.
Jack-dog is unlikely to feel sad because he has caught the ball in the wrong way. What’s more, Jack-pet won’t get upset even if he fails to catch that frisbee at all.
So, when it comes to dogs, we exclude any reasons that stem from complex reasoning and self-consciousness. However, there are some unexpected causes that prove that dogs have big hearts. Just check them out.
Is my dog depressed or sick? Sometimes the line is so subtle that depression becomes the symptom of the illness your canine is enduring. The good news is that once your vet prescribes treatment and your canine feels better, depressions will go away.
Loss or Grief
‘My dog looks depressed as the neighbor’s dog died,’ that’s what you might hear from other dog parents. Or the pet might feel depressed because an in-home playmate has moved out or passed away. We might not notice it, but canines do mourn and feel grief just the way we do.
Have you moved to a new place? Are there any new members in the family, and your four-pawed friend is no longer in the center of attention? Do you suspect that your female pet has dog postpartum depression after the birth of the puppies? Any changes in the well-established way of life can be the reason for depression.
If you have a depression therapy dog or have a furry mate living by your side as you are coping with bad days in your life, your pooch can recognize your emotions and feel the same way.
How to Cure Dog Depression - Things That Work
As you know what makes your canine depressed, you can develop a plan of dog depression treatment based on what makes your pet miserable.
If that’s the health condition, you can ask your vet to prescribe dog depression pills along with health-supporting medicines. Also, consider GNC pet vitamins that would provide your canine with the lacking essentials that might work as mood boosters.
In case your pet has an emotional breakdown, you can treat dog depression in several interactive ways:
- Exercise with your dog
- Be engaged in fun activities
- Establish bounding and cuddling time
- No stress, stick to your normal routine
After all, you know best how to cheer up a depressed dog. You know your canine, what it is crazy about, and what makes it sad. Just do whatever makes your four-pawed friend happier at this moment. Perhaps, this will save the day and bring your restless cuddler back to normal life.
There’s no one sure way to help your pet get better. Think of the reasons that brought your pet into this state and build a recovery plan based on the canine’s preferences. When you think about what to do for a depressed dog, take actions that are sure to awaken positive emotions.
It depends on the level of the bond built between two dogs. If they were close emotionally, then yes.
Depression duration can vary depending on the trigger. Normally, it can take from several months to a year to fully recover from depression.
Dogs are known for providing mood-boosting benefits to their owners, so getting a dog for treating depression is a smart move. You can adopt a canine from a shelter or get a service one that is trained to help with stress disorders from the center.