If you find yourself going through a bout of depression, then you’re not alone. No, we’re not talking about your friends or family. We’re referring to your faithful canine. Although dogs may not show it as much as humans, they can become depressed and fall under a cloud of sadness for long periods and many reasons. Below, we explore what it’s like to be a sad dog and what how we can treat your pet when it’s experiencing the blues.
Is it Possible for Dogs to Get Down?
Although we have no verifiable proof that dogs go through depression (because we can’t ask them), there is enough evidence to lead us to that conclusion. Certain conditions can trigger a dog's mood and begin a downward spiral toward depression. For example:
● Dogs that are chained up and confined
● A sudden change of environment or owners
● Ongoing verbal or physical abuse from an owner
● Neglect and isolation
● Changes in a dog’s schedule or lifestyle
How to Tell if Your Dog is Depressed
Many of our clients bring their dogs to our clinic and ask the same question: “Why is my dog so sad?” Like any other member of your family, as you get to know your canine more, you’ll be able to see the signs. In many cases, the more depressed your dog becomes, the more noticeable the symptoms are. Some of these signs include:
● Change of Appetite. If you notice that the dog has not touched the bowl in a few days, then you should watch your pet’s demeanor. There may be a link between its appetite and its mood.
● Increased Sleep. Dogs sleep more than usual when you are away for a long period. The problem is that when you return from being away so long, your dog may not recover so quickly. It may take a while for the canine to get over its emotional slump.
● Not Interested In You. Would your canine rather be alone instead of spend time with you? This behavior may mean that something is off balance. You dog may become less active, slow down, or have no interest in any activity with you or anyone else.
● Avoidance or Hiding from Everyone. Dogs are like most animals. When they become injured, they are likely to hide somewhere. If you notice that your dog is trying to avoid everyone and wants to hide in the closet, then bring it to our clinic right away. It could be suffering from an injury.
If you suspect that your pet may be suffering from depression, then bring it to Normandale Vet Hospital. We can assess your pet's behavior and give you some professional pointers on how to help it on the road to emotional recovery. We can also diagnose your dog to see if it is injured. Call us today at (952) 831-8272 and schedule a diagnosis. We serve all pet owners in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.