Like humans, dogs, too, can go through episodes of depression. While they don’t share our capacity to reason, feeling regularly weighed down and upset isn’t a foreign thing to our canine pals.
When our fur babies are depressed, they’re often withdrawn, look sad, and appear lethargic. Some will have a drastic lack of appetite, while others may stop eating altogether. They’re not going to be in the best mood to play with you and will drink only very little water.
Eventually, some of these dogs will acquire a host of physical illnesses from not being physically engaged and eating right. One clear indication of this is if, after evident withdrawal for weeks on end, your dog loses weight.
Thankfully, there’s a remedy to this, and we’ll get to that in a bit.
What causes dog depression in the first place?
Like humans, there are a variety of factors that lead to dog depression and mental instability, even only if they’re episodic. That said, dog owners need to understand, too, that to improve their dog’s disposition better, we must recognize what the problem is. The more we know what could potentially be the cause, the more focused and accurate our approach can be.
As much as we mourn the loss of our friends and family, dogs can feel the same way when they lose their human companions or animal friends, too. Perhaps one of your roommates moved out, or your neighbor’s dog passed away. Whatever the case, when one of your dog’s most favourite playmates disappears all of a sudden, they’re bound to be negatively impacted. And oddly so, there is no way to explain a disappearance to your four-pawed best friend. We may not see it with our own eyes, but studies confirm that our dogs definitely grieve, as well.
It’s normal for physical illnesses to cause your dog to disengage or to make them lose their appetite. The moment they seem less interested and playful than usual, bring them to the vet immediately. Physical causes of a dog’s depression should be automatically identified to prevent further complications. If the vet does recommend specific treatments, comply as soon as possible. But if the vet says your dog’s physical health is okay, then you’re going to have to start looking at emotional reasons as to the cause of his or her depression.
Your personal energy
Dogs are sensitive beings. That means when you’re sick or depressed yourself, they’ll know. That’s why it also isn’t impossible for your furry boy or girl to pick up the energy you radiate at home. Similarly, dogs can also feel depressed if you’re out of the house too often. While others exhibit severe anxiety problems, some tend to isolate themselves by choice.
What to do to better the situation
Dogs are like us in many ways. One characteristic we humans share with them is that they’re very social. Keep your dogs energized and engaged by continually taking them out to walk. Playtimes should be very much scheduled, too. Allow your dog to pick up a little sport. Whether it’s Frisby or merely running around at the park, allow them to get used to an active lifestyle.
If your dog’s depression is birthed from the loss of an animal friend, consider getting another pet if your situation allows it. If not, allow him to bond with other dogs, either at the park or a friend’s house. The more your dog socializes with others, animal or not, the more they’ll feel cared for and surrounded with love. Experts encourage you to keep training your dog, too. The more educated they are about desirable dog etiquette, the more quickly you’ll understand them.
Ultimately, the mental health of your little one is just as important as ours. If your dog behaves strangely out of the ordinary, take them to the vet immediately. Other than that, keep making sure your dog is comfortable, having fun, and respected.