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Almost all of us have become well-accustomed to the happy-go-lucky attitude of dogs. They are always there to lift our moods and brighten our day. However, what if our dogs are the ones who need a lift? Depression in dogs isn’t as rare as one might initially think. We’ve compiled a list of signs to look out for and tips for when your dog is suffering from depression.
Signs to look out for:
The first sign that your dog might be depressed is sudden changes in appetite. Your dog will either lose all interest in food and lose weight or start to eat for comfort and gain weight. Be sure to keep an eye on your dog’s eating schedule and monitor any changes.
Change in their Sleeping Routine
Your dog will sleep when you are away and then gain energy when you arrive back home. If you realise that your presence suddenly does not phase your dog or that they continue sleeping throughout the day and night, you might need to look into the matter a bit further.
General Loss of Interest
Dogs who have a sudden loss of interest in the activities that generally would have excited them may be suffering from depression. If your dog is no longer excited nor willing to go on walks, play fetch or engage in daily activities you should check with your vet if your dog might be suffering from depression or a more serious health matter.
Excessive licking or chewing is a tell-tale sign that your dog might be suffering from a mental disorder like depression. They often like to chew at their paws to soothe themselves.
Most frequently, owners realise that something is wrong when their dog simply isn’t around as much anymore. A sign that your dog might be suffering from depression is avoidance or hiding, by keeping to themselves for the majority of the day.
What To Do When Your Dog is Depressed
Naturally, your first instinct is going to be to want to smother your sad furry friend with love and affection. Unfortunately, this is exactly what you want to try to avoid. Being overly affectionate to your dog in this time only encourages and reinforces the behaviour that you are trying to get rid of in the first place, and your dog might feel as if you are praising them for their current behaviour. As long as your dog is in a safe environment and getting enough food and water, it’s perfectly fine just to wait it out. If the behavior persists for a long time or if you are worried that your dog might be suffering from a physical problem rather than mental, be sure to take your dog to your veterinarian.
Signs that your