Dog Depression – Signs and Care
The dog depression is a very complex topic, considering that many specialists are not even coming up to the same conclusion if it even exists. Whatever we call it, though, everyone is agreeing that the dogs are capable of feelings and emotions and can have drastic amplitudes of their moods. It is important to recognize the moment unsatisfaction with overall dog depression or longterm apathy.
The problem with these conditions in the pets is that they can’t tell when the depression is affecting them. The depression is usually self-diagnostic condition. Furthermore, the depressed individual identifies the feelings by himself/herself and this is impossible with the dogs. The best we can do is to observe carefully the dog’s behaviour and try to help when we notice that they aren’t well.
It is crucial to note that these rare and/or longterm low levels in the mood of our pets are often not just emotional. Moreover, what we know as dog depression, could be explained by physical pain or other conditions. This is why it is so important that whenever we notice similar changes in behaviour or mood of our dog, to consult with a veterinarian.
What are the signs that your dog suffers from depression?
- Lack of interest and liveliness. Curiosity is typical for every non-depressed pet. Therefore, if your dog is lacking interest towards his/her toys or walks, then try to observe if other behavioural changes occur.
- Appetite changes. Just like us, dogs can either stop to eat when depression occurs or either start to overeat. This can be estimated mainly by the individual temper of your dog.
- Sleepiness. Most of the dogs sleep around 12-14 hours a day and if you notice that your dog takes naps more often for longer periods of time, this could be a sign of dog depression. Most people consider it as an ageing process of the dog, but very often this is not the case. Ageing dogs can be so full of life, as long as they are healthy and in good mood.
- Intensively licking paws and overall fur hygiene. Dogs tend to focus on their paws, when in depression, whereas with cat depression the main focus is to clean its own fur more often than before.
- Withdraw and isolation. The most common reaction with dog depression is similar to the human reaction – isolation. Keep an eye if you notice that your dog is often out of your sight or trying to avoid others.
Reasons for dog depression
The reasons for depression can be many and they depend on the personality of the dog. Dog depression can occur when dog experiences loss of friend, owner or another pet. It could be, because of changing homes or family. Also, drastic change in the diet or loss of beloved toy. However, this might be closer to longterm sadness, rather than dog depression. It is important not to see just the symptoms of depression, but question the reasons and understand why it occurs. The causes can be either emotional or painful for your beloved pet.
Be careful with “rewarding” the depression in dogs without noticing. Quite often owners are mistaking by calming their pets but all you need to do is give it some time and be patient.
Required care for dog depression
- Daily routine. Keep your dog active and happy. Try to involve more of their favourite activities- eating, walk or playing in a schedule, so they can expect the next one!
- Eating schedule. Try to feed your dog at the same time every day and don’t forget to include new and tasty treats from time to time.
- Try to implement new things around your dog, new treats or toys, in order to distract it. There is always a way to make your dog happier!
- Make sure that your dog is drinking enough water by providing it with a pet water fountain around, which can reduce the risk of dehydration.