Just like people, dogs can also suffer from depression. Unfortunately, it often goes undiagnosed, which is why it is so important to read this list closely and share it with all of your fellow doggy-lovers! Together, we can help to end this needless suffering!
1. Change in Behavior
Is your pup acting differently? Usually, when dogs are healthy, they are very social and happy. If your dog is acting more withdrawn, it can be a sign of depression. Does your dog curl up in the corner when you come home, instead of running to the door to see you? Or does your dog follow you around, but have limited interest in interacting? These are all signs to look for.
2. Less Active
Is your dog less active? Dogs usually have what seems like never-ending amounts of energy. But if your pup no longer begs you to throw a ball, or shows less enthusiasm when playing, it could be doggy depression.
3. Increase in Pacing Back and Forth
Does your dog pace back and forth in the same room? Or even wander from room to room, as if he / she can’t find a comfortable spot? A happy and healthy dog will not usually behave this way.
4. Change in Sleep Patterns
It is completely normal for dogs to sleep a lot, especially when you are out of the house. However, if your dog keeps sleeping when you come home, or regularly sleeps through things that used to excite him (like the mailman coming!), you should be concerned.
5. Changes in Diet
Dogs who are depressed will often eat less than usual and begin to lose weight. However, some dogs may go the other direction, and eat more than usual as a way of comforting themselves. So keep an eye on if your dog is gaining weight or losing weight. Or even more basic things, like if your dog won’t eat treats that previously he / she loved.
6. Increase in Aggressive Behavior
Is your dog acting more aggressive lately? Is there an increase in growling or showing of teeth when you interact? These are definite signs of depression.
Ok, so what do you do if your dog is depressed?!? Here are 3 easy things that make a huge difference…
1. Make Sure Your Dog Isn’t Sick
While all of these signs can indicate depression, some of them can also be warning signs of other health issues. So you definitely want your vet to take a look at your dog.
2. Reward For Showing Happiness
You can reinforce when your dog shows signs of happiness by giving a treat. These rewards are a great way to encourage happiness in a depressed pup.
3. Increase Exercise
Just like with people, when dogs get exercise and are active, their bodies release endorphins (which is a hormone that makes you feel happy). In fact, exercise can even increase your pup’s immune system. Plus, lets be honest, we all could use a bit of extra exercise, right?!?