Depression is a topic that has slowly been given more emphasis nowadays. There are multiple articles that help people spot the signs of depression. For example, a depressed person could be exhibiting warning signs such as loss of appetite, pessimism, and suicidal tendencies. There’s also a chance that they’ll withdraw from life in general by avoiding their own families and friends.
And most importantly, a depressed person may be vocal about their declining mental health.
Unfortunately, dogs don’t have that option. But like any living creature, they are capable of displaying a great range of emotions. So when something incredibly sad happens, say for example a loss of a longtime friend, your dog could end up becoming depressed.
Yes, dog depression exists, and it is surprisingly common. In a study posted by The Telegraph, researchers from the United Kingdom found that one in four dogs are suffering from depression.
The Warning Signs of Dog Depression
Dog depression is brought about by a variety of factors. Some of the most common reasons are the loss of a pack member, kid owners leaving for college, and a mom losing her puppies. The signs of depression are quite tricky to spot and, in some cases, fleeting.
Straightforward symptoms include shutting down, sleeping all day, moping, and other mood changes. To provide care for your beloved pets during this difficult time, it is best to learn the warning signs of dog depression and then work on a plan with your vet.
Scroll down for the videos
Displaying abnormal dog behaviors could be something serious that needs medical attention, and you as the owner should be knowledgeable and alert enough. Here are common signs of dog depression to look out for:
- Appetite changes. Like human beings, dogs lose their appetite when they become extremely sad. But in some cases, canines find solace in eating and want to eat more, leading to sudden weight gain.
- Restlessness. Dogs like sleeping, but they often do so when the house is quiet and there’s nothing left to do. But when your dog opts to sleep instead of reacting to your presence, something could be bothering them. If all physical problems are ruled out, ask your vet about the possibility of dog depression.
- Paw licking. Paw licking is a sign of physiological or psychological problems. It also happens to be the dog’s way to soothe themselves.
- Loss of interest. When you dog stops wanting to play, going for walks, and other activities that would normally get them excited, they could be suffering from depression.
- Avoiding and hiding. Dogs withdraw from the people they love when they become depressed or when they develop other illnesses or injuries. If there’s no physical cause for your dog’s withdrawal, the problem may lie with their psychological state.
When you notice your pet is exhibiting any of the symptoms above, it is best not to immediately conclude that he is depressed, because oftentimes, they could be indications that your dog is sick from other illnesses. If you notice any changes in their behavior, have your dog checked by the veterinarian immediately.