Dogs are indeed man’s best friend, and according to archaeologists, they have been for more than ten thousand years. Loyal and loving, our beloved dogs give unconditionally, and in return, we want to do everything we can to protect them and keep them safe. But did you know keeping your pup’s tail wagging is about much more than just keeping him safe and getting his shots regularly? Many Twin Cities pet owners don’t realize that just like people, our furry friends are susceptible to mental health disorders and depression.

 

At Normandale Vet Hospital in Edina, we work hard to keep our community’s pets healthy and happy inside and out. In this blog entry, we’ll discuss the importance of canine mental health, some of the signs your dog may be suffering from depression, and how we can help.

 

What is Depression?

There’s a good chance you know someone who suffered from depression at one point, or perhaps you have struggled with depression yourself. Clinical depression is a condition where someone’s mental health is significantly affected by constant depressed thinking and a loss of interest in normal activities. Dogs can become susceptible to depression in the same way humans can. Although we can’t ask dogs what they’re going through, research has consistently demonstrated that like humans, animals can experience mood disorders.

 

These are a few things that have been known to contribute to canine depression:

 

●        An abrupt change in their immediate environment

●        A change of ownership

●        Neglect

●        Isolation

●        Physical or verbal abuse

●        Lifestyle changes

●        Schedule changes

 

Is Your Dog Depressed?

It is more common than you might think for clients to ask our veterinary team if their pet is experiencing symptoms of depression. If you’re noticing unusual changes in your pet’s behavior, we can help you make the determination.

 

Look for changes in your pet’s eating habits. If he or she hasn’t eaten much in the past few days, start paying careful attention to their mood. Pets who are depressed may also sleep far more than usual. They have also been shown to have a difficult time adapting after their owners have spent time away from home. A lack of interest in their favorite activities, avoidance, and hiding are also signs to be concerned over.

 

Keeping Your Pet’s Mind and Body Healthy

If you’re concerned about your pet’s mental health, we can help you assess your furry friend’s behavioral changes to determine if he or she suffers from depression. In some cases, your pet may be suffering from an injury or illness you can’t see. Bringing him in for a regular check-up is another great way to stay on top of your pup’s mental health.

 

If we do diagnose your furry friend with depression, we’ll work with you to help her get back on track to good health so she can be her old self again soon. At Normandale Veterinary Hospital, we offer compassionate veterinary care that treats your pet as a member of your family. Schedule your pet’s appointment by calling us at 952-831-8272, visit our pharmacy, or stop by our contact page to discuss your concerns.