Just like humans, even dogs can suffer from depression. But the major difference is that dogs cannot convey their problems to us. Hence, it is very important to learn about their body language and understand whether there is something wrong with them. Some of the common signs of depression in dogs include:
- Slackness – Makes the dog feel tired and fatigued easily
- Passivity – Dogs lose the enthusiasm to carry out their mundane tasks, some dogs may even appear unnaturally serene
- Lack of appetite – Dogs eat less and on an occasional basis
- Speedy weight loss – Lack of food intake by dogs
- Reduced drinking – Due to depression
- Lack of interest in carrying out their favorite activities including fetch or tug
- Resistance to exercise like walks (Some dogs might even be unwilling to move)
- Aggression – Due to depression dogs’ personality changes drastically, which might make them aggressive towards fellow creatures, humans and even members of their own family
- Whining and howling – Dogs vocalize their sadness through wailing, whining or howling
If you see any of the above mentioned signs of depression in your doggy rush to your veterinarian immediately. There are certain diseases that have similar symptoms like depression so he/she will first of all rule out those diseases. Once it is confirmed that your pooch is suffering from depression, then your veterinarian is the best person to assist you.
Causes Of Depression
Let us now look at the some of the common causes of depression in dogs:
If another dog or human being close to the doggy passes away or moves away it can result in aggravated feelings of sorrow. If this dog or person lived in the same house as your dog, then it can be highly problematic. Even the loss of a neighborhood playmate can result in depression in certain dogs.
Depression Of The Dog Owner
Most of the dogs understand the state of mind of their owners and so if you are feeling ill or depressed for a very long time it can cause depression in them.
Alterations In The House
Dogs are sensitive to change. Moving to a new locality or getting a new owner can be a painful experience for dogs. The transition from living with mother to living with people can result in depression.
Just like human beings, chemical imbalance can be one of the causes for depression in dogs. If for some reasons, certain neurotransmitters are not being utilized properly in the brain, it can cause depression in dogs.
It is very difficult to diagnose depression in dogs because they cannot explain their feelings. Initially, your veterinarian will get rid of all possible physical causes of changed behavior in dogs. Once these physical causes have been eliminated, your veterinarian will consult you and ask pertinent questions about your dog’s behavior and any recent changes he has undergone so that they can figure out whether depression is the real reason for the change of behavior.
How to Deal With Depression in Dogs?
You can do the following things to improve the mood and quality of life of your doggy:
Introduce Him To Friends
If your pooch is depressed due to the loss of a companion, then you need to get him another doggy. If it is not possible for you to get another pal then take him to doggy daycare or set up play dates with neighborhood dogs that would make him relaxed and come out of depression.
Be Happy To Keep Your Furry Pal Free From Depression
If you think that your pooch is affected by your attitude try to get some professional help so that you can come out of the sad times. This will not only enhance your life but also make your tyke feel better when he sees you in a happy mood.
Provide Support To Your Tyke
Once you have moved to a different place, assist your doggy by spending more time with him and conducting things that he enjoys. Keep him up-close with you so that he can get reassurance by your presence. If you have got a newborn puppy and he is depressed because he has been separated from his mother and is suffering from grief then devote quality time and space to him so that he can recover from the grief in due course of time.
Just like human beings, exercise the best thing that can get him out of depression no matter the cause. So take him for long walks, have him run around in a park and play games of fetch or tag with him.
Treatment For Depression
As a last resort, if the depression is severe, your veterinarian would suggest some prescription treatments like antidepressants to treat the dog. Never ever give the treatment to your furry pal until and unless it is recommended by your veterinarian.
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