Most dogs have a happy sunny disposition; it's one of the many things pet parents adore about their furry canine friends. However, just like humans, dogs can suffer from depression. Depression in dogs is usually caused by major changes such as a new baby, spouse, or pet. It can also be triggered by moving house, losing a companion (owner/canine buddy), or empathy for a depressed owner!
As a loving pet parent, you may wonder how to tell if your dog is depressed, especially if your hound seems somewhat in the proverbial dumps! For many pet parents, the thought of doggie depression results in frantically Googling the term 'what to do if your dog is depressed'; why else would you be reading this blog? Thankfully we have the answers!
This blog looks at the 5 typical warning signs of depression in hounds and what you can do to get them back to feeling their happy-chappy selves!
5 Warning Signs of Depression in Dogs
1. Loss of Appetite
An obvious sign for pet parents researching how to tell if your dog is depressed is a sudden loss of appetite. If you notice that your pup isn't eating as much food or has suddenly stopped eating, this could be a sign that something is wrong.
2. Changes in Sleeping Habits
Another sign to look out for is a change in sleeping habits. If your normally active and energetic pup suddenly becomes lethargic and prefers to sleep all day, it could be a sign of depression.
3. Loss of Interest in Activities
Dogs love their toys, but if your hound has suddenly lost interest in playing with them, it could mean he's feeling down in the mouth! The same goes for going for walks. If your pup used to love taking a stroll around the neighborhood but now prefers to stay inside, depression could be the cause.
4. Excessive Licking
Dogs often lick themselves when stressed or anxious, and this behavior can become repetitive if depression sets in. If you notice that your pup is licking himself excessively, it could signify they are struggling with depression.
Lastly, if your pup is avoiding people or other animals, it might mean that he's feeling low. If your dog used to enjoy being around others but now prefers solitude, it might be time to have him checked by a vet.
What to Do if Your Dog is Depressed?
If the above behaviors sound familiar, they could be signs your dog is depressed. As pet parents, we can do a lot to help our furry friends feel better and lift their spirits. Let's take a quick look at what to do if your dog is depressed.
- Be sure to give them plenty of love, affection, and attention.
- Take them for regular walks and play dates with other dogs.
- Offer positive reinforcement (treats) for good behavior.
- Create a comfortable/relaxed environment at home.
- Make sure they're getting proper nutrition.
If the symptoms don't improve or worsen over time, it's best to consult with a vet as soon as possible to determine how best to help your pup.
The Final Mope
Depression in dogs is no laughing matter, so if you think your pup might be feeling a little blue or wondering how to tell if your dog is depressed, use the above warning signs to check if your suspicions are correct. Then with lots of patience and love, you can help your furry friend get back to being happy!