Does your dog seem sad? Has he been refusing food? Has he been hiding? Your pooch is probably depressed. In fact, specialists believe that dog depression is not that different from human depression. But, unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure.
You obviously can’t ask your pet to know how he’s feeling, and there is no exam to diagnose dog depression. You can, however, observe some signs.
What are the signs of dog depression?
One of the main signs of dog depression is lack of interest in food or decreased appetite. He may not want to exercise and be lethargic. He may even exhibit sudden aggression. Your pet might also act disoriented or lost at home, lick his paw excessively, try to avoid or hide from you. Sometimes they even sigh.
What are the causes of dog depression?
There could be many causes. Ask yourself what could have happened. Sudden changes like moving from his old house, a new baby in the family, boredom, loss of a family member or pet companion, separation, or a new puppy could contribute to your dog’s depression. Even something small like moving a piece of furniture can make your dog depressed. Animal consultant, Darlene Arden, says that is also possible for a dog to feed off of its owner’s depression, because they pick up on our body language and our moods. If you can’t find the cause, you may want to talk to your veterinarian of choice.
What is the treatment for dog depression?
Many dogs react well to time and reassurance. You may, for example, take your dogs for more walks, hikes, playtime and lots of cuddles. Reward them with a treat when they show signs of happiness like when they wag their tail and don’t reward them when they show signs of unhappiness. You might also want to consider a new puppy friend and divide the attention equally so that he doesn’t feel left out.
If your dog is still depressed, and nothing else has worked, you may want to consider having a veterinarian prescribe some medication, which is usually the same that are used for treating humans, like Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft.