As anyone whose best friend is a dog knows, our canine companions are very expressive. Most of the time, they are masters at letting you know what they are thinking, whether their thoughts involve your sandwich or going outside. Is there anything as winning as puppy dog eyes, or anything as heart-warming as a joyful dog? However, sometimes dogs, just like humans, get sad. Can dogs get depressed? Yes. According to recent research done using MRIs, the areas active in human brains during certain emotions correspond to the same active areas in dog brains. From this research, we can deduce that dogs and humans experience similar emotions. Let’s take a look at some signs of a depressed dog, so that you can tell when your furry pal is in need of some extra comfort and attention.
Why would a dog get depressed? For the most part, dogs get depressed for the same reasons people do. A dog might get depressed because of illness, or because of the loss of a companion. It could be that the dog’s owner died, but it could also be that a family member went away to college, or another family pet passed away. Often, when the family breaks up due to divorce, the family dog will become depressed. Dogs develop deep attachments to human and animal companions and can feel it deeply when they are separated from a loved one. So, if you are wondering, “Is my dog depressed?”, consider what is going on in your dog’s life.
It could just be that your dog feels sad or stressed, and a few simple tweaks can help him return to his old self. Maybe she is sick and a visit to the vet can determine the cause of the problem. If sadness and stress have moved into depression, though, you might notice the following symptoms.
If you have noticed some of these symptoms, your next question will probably be, “What should I do about dog depression?” The first step is to take your pet to the vet. Depression can be a sign of illness or pain, and many of the symptoms of depression are similar to symptoms of other medical conditions. For example, canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CCD) is a condition that can affect the brains of older dogs, impacting their awareness, memory, learning, and response to stimuli. If your pet is older than eight years old, ask your vet if the symptoms you are noticing could be CCD. Chronic pain, too, is often mistaken for depression in older pets. That is why a pet showing symptoms of depression needs to be seen by a vet.
Once you’ve ruled out physical causes, offer your dog emotional support. Make sure your pet gets plenty of sleep and a healthy diet, and take the time to go on outings with your pup, interacting one on one. Set up play dates with other dogs, and find ways to increase mental and physical stimulation, like playing fetch or giving the dog enrichment or puzzle toys. If your dog is acting out because of depression, make sure you are reacting appropriately. Punishing dogs for unwanted behaviour is ineffective in general, but especially when the dog is suffering from depression or anxiety.
If you are trying different measures to help alleviate your dog’s depression, and he or she doesn’t seem to be improving, it is time for another trip to the vet. Your vet can help you come up with a plan, and may recommend a variety of treatment options that could make a difference. These include prescription medications, behaviour modification, changes to the pet’s environment, supplements, or medical therapies. Your vet may also suggest selecting a trainer experienced in handling these issues in dogs. Depression can be difficult to manage, both for humans and for animals, but your dog is fortunate enough to have you as an advocate, and you and your vet together can find a way to improve your pet’s condition.
The relationships we have with our pets are rewarding, and for most of us, that means we want to do all we can to make their lives happy. For some dogs, more access to the outside world can be a mood booster, and that is a good reason to install a pet flap to help your pet feel happier. When you are ready to install pet flaps in your home, you can trust that Pet Flaps UK is ready to help, with exactly the features and setup you need. Like many people during the height of the pandemic, John Carolan took comfort in the companionship of his dog, Lola. However, when he started looking for a reputable company that installed dog doors, he found himself at a loss. He knew Lola was too boisterous for a simple dog flap, and he knew that other pet owners seeking dog doors and cat flaps were probably facing the same challenges that he was. Even though he knew nothing about cat flap and dog door installations, John decided to fill a need and start a business installing high quality pet flaps. Since those early days, the business has grown, so that Pet Flaps UK now covers much of the UK, including Scotland, installing high quality pet doors, and providing all types of glass installations. For more information, call 0330 165 4940 or contact us through our website.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.