Imagine you return home one day with another dog, and your usually energetic tail-wagging puppy suddenly changes his mood, ignoring you out rightly and choosing to lie on the floor. Humans are not the only being that gets Jealous or depressed; dogs also get hunted by depression.
Just like humans, dogs suffer from a bout of depression, and these dog depression feelings show up in them in the form of sadness, lethargy or withdrawal.
Since dogs can’t talk, they only show their depression through changes in behaviour, for example, loss of appetite, excessive eating, drinking of little water, excessive drinking, negative response to care and affection, etc. These are not the ideal behaviour of dogs when your dog begins to act this way it shows he is depressed. As a caring pet parent, it is your responsibility to cater for your dog’s emotional needs. You should always protect your dog and keep them safe.
Depression arises as a result of emotional imbalance, which is usually incited by unpleasant occurrences or happenings around the dog. The good news is, there is a way out of dog depression! If your dog is depressed, do not panic, he/she can still recover.
For an average pet parent, the first action plan to tackle unwanted behaviours in dogs is usually locking the dog up in a cage. Keeping a dog in a cage might not be right for your dog, there are better ways to help the dog than putting him in a cage.
Causes of dog depression
There are a number of things that can potentially result in dog depression, let’s take a look at some of those factors.
- Sickness: Dogs tend to express depression when they are suffering from a health challenge, this can trigger dog abnormal behaviours. We recommend that you take your dog for a medical check-up when in this state, the depression state will get better once the puppy regains wellness. If the dog’s depression persists, try solving the problem emotionally, like giving the dog enough attention.
- Fear: When a dog is in the condition of fear, he is likely to suffer depression. Some dogs have phobias for certain things, they may not look like it but deep down they are afraid of something. Making them hide in secluded areas can easily make them uneasy and vulnerable.
- Grief: When the dog loses someone special, he is bound to be depressed, like losing someone in the family, or losing its owner, or someone in the neighbourhood he plays with.
A dog can also mourn for a child he grew up with who suddenly relocated, and this is usually a hard thing to explain to the dog. So the dog might conclude that the child is gone since the dog can no longer find him.
- Environmental changes: Sometimes dogs get depressed when they relocate to a new home, so a change in scenery can stir up depression in dogs. Change of weather can also cause depression in dogs. It is usually very difficult for dogs to blend in quickly to new environments. It takes them time to attune themselves with new surroundings, and in the process, depression can set in.
Signs of depressions
When dogs become depressed they tend to change from their normal behaviour to an unwanted lifestyle. Some of these lifestyles include:
- Expression of Aggression: Depression can make a lovely soft dog hostile, angry and violent. If you catch your dog expressing some newfound aggression, don’t hesitate, reach out for help. You can invite your family vet to examine the dog.
- Wetting the floor: If you’ve trained your dog to urinate outside, but finds out that he has adopted a new habit of wetting the floor, then the dog is depressed. In essence, depression makes dogs disobey rules.
- Becomes destructive: Imagine coming home to a scattered room, your shoes in the parlour, clothes positioned disorderly on the floor, and you know you didn’t leave your room in such a state. That is the call of depression. Dogs become destructive when they are depressed.
- Hiding attitude: When you can barely find your dog, and even when you shout his name, he seems to be comfortable where he is hiding. That’s another sign of depression.
- Lack of appetite: Lost of the desire to eat is a sign of depression, if you discover that your dog no longer pays attention to food, don’t keep calm, get help immediately. It is very unhealthy for dogs to miss their meal, this can affect their weight and healthiness.
- Losing the interest to have fun with toys: Almost every dog loves to play, a playful dog is a happy dog. When your dog can’t play, it shows the dog is not happy. And when they can engage in fun activities like exercising or training, they will develop sickness that might affect their health.
- Insomnia behaviour: A dog refuses to observe his resting time, it can be an indication of dog depression. When they are going through physical or emotional pain, it becomes hard for them to sleep. So the unwillingness to sleep can also be traced to depression.
- Excessive sleeping: Dogs have their normal sleep length, a healthy dog is expected to sleep for about 14 hours each day, but when the dog begins to spend excessive hours on bed, it means the dog is depressed.
- Low response to affection: When the dog begins to resist affection, maybe by running away when someone tries to touch it or winks all the time. This might be another sign of depression.
How to know dog is depressed ? If you catch your dog exhibiting any of the above-mentioned signs, it shows that something is wrong with the dog. In this case of depression, the right place to begin is your veterinarian. You can take the dog to a vet for physical examination. After the examination, the doctor should recommend some dog depression meds, please ensure you administer the recommended drugs assigned for your dog properly.
Don’t forget to provide emotional support to your dog. Try to go out for an exercise with the dog. Also, embark on other exciting activities that will help the dog recover.