Depression in dogs: symptoms and treatment


Identify if your dog is sad, depressed or anxious, it must be one of the priorities in your home, because it is already part of your family! In addition to being one of the many responsibilities that you acquire from day one you decide to have a dog a dog. Well, even if they don't talk, Show clear signs of depression.This is the way to know if your dog is depressed!

According to The American Society of Animal Behavior, Depression in dogs shows symptoms similar to those of humans. For example, when you are depressed, it is normal for you to lose your appetite, right? Well that's the first sign.

How to know if your dog is depressed / courtesy iStock

The depressions in dogs It is related to changes in habits, such as a new house, loss of a canine companion or absence of owner. If you were wondering, How to know if my dog ​​is depressed? Take note of the signs and start helping him out of that depression, as it could cause him to death!

  • When you get home it doesn't move its tail, it doesn't jump, that is, it doesn't show any energy or emotion when you arrive.
  • When you talk to him, he doesn't run and walks with his head bowed.
  • Although you throw his favorite toy, he doesn't want to play.
  • If you are looking for different places to lie in the house, then you do not feel comfortable in any (or in your bed)
  • If your dog sleeps "curled up" even while you are at home. Dogs sleep a lot but you will surely identify when you are sleeping more than the bill.
  • If your dog has stopped eating or eats very little and is starting to lose weight. You can do the test by giving him something that he would not regularly resist. If you reject it, you have the answer!
  • Cause damage to your home, such as biting furniture, pillows or shoes is a sign of anxiety but it can be your prelude to showing depression, as it is trying to get attention.
  • If before it was the sweetest and most affectionate dog and suddenly do something and growl or start to get aggressive, it is also a sign of canine depression.
  • If you have droopy ears and tail between the legs.
  • If he often licks his legs.
  • If you are shedding too much hair, then dogs dream of releasing their hair as a reaction of stress and depression.

Does your dog have more than three signals from this list? If your answer was yes, we recommend you take it to the vet to Examine that you are not sick or a physical cause. If it's ok then rMake an analysis of what change there was at home that could have caused depression in your petand help him return to normal. Your veterinarian can certainly help you with recommendations and tips!

© How to know that your dog is depressed?

Symptoms of depression in dogs

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The symptoms of canine depression they are very similar to those of humans. They may be somewhat irritable and depressed, have low energy levels, sleep more than usual, not wanting to interact with their family ... However, These can also be symptoms of other pathologies, so we should not assume that our dog suffers from depression. Let's look carefully at some symptoms of depression in dogs:

  • Behavioral disorders: behave differently than usual, suffer episodes of irritability, isolate themselves from the family nucleus, appear to lack energy and refuse walks and games.
  • Decrease in excitability: If your dog is usually very cheerful and playful, even naughty, and suddenly seems lifeless, it can be a sign of depression.
  • Excess sleep: Have you noticed that your dog sleeps more than usual? The usual thing for a dog is to sleep while his family is at work and stay active when he is at home. However, if your dog is still apathetic and wanting to sleep throughout the day, or if he does not sleep but is still in his bed and does not want to leave, he may be depressed.
  • Less energy: When you go out for a walk, do you get tired earlier than usual? Don't you want to play or move around the house much? Lack of energy is also a symptom of canine depression.
  • Tail Drop: lack of movement of the tail, it is no longer upright or agitated.
  • Overeating or lack of appetite: Depending on each dog, they can react to depression by not eating or overeating, increasing or decreasing their weight significantly.
  • Restlessness: yes, oddly enough, some dogs are not apathetic, but more nervous than usual. For example, they may have trouble sleeping at night.
  • Pee or poop inside the house, instead of asking to go outside.

Causes of depression in dogs

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As in humans, Canine depression can be due to various factors, beyond the hormonal or mental imbalance of the animal, such as:

  • Abuse: Did your dog have a previous owner who mistreated him? It is very common for dogs that have suffered abuse to develop fears, distrust and depression in the long term.
  • Clinical depression: If all other potential causes of depression are ruled out, clinical depression remains. In this case, you may need to take antidepressants.
  • Death of a relative, either canine or human. The ties that dogs create with their owners are so great that the loss of a member can cause depression.
  • Depressed Owner: Dogs feel great empathy with their masters and they affect what we feel.
  • Environment: Changes in the dog's environment can cause depression. Variation of attention, a move, change of place to sleep ... In general, changes in the dog's routine.
  • Loneliness: An isolated and boring dog experiences a lot of sadness.
  • Underlying medical conditions: Some diseases can cause depressive feelings.
  • Lack of responsibility in pet care, abandonments ...
  • Old age: It is common for dogs to become more apathetic as they age.
  • Weather changes, such as storms.

Depression treatment in dogs: at home

Most depressed dogs recover within a few days or weeks, increasing care and attention. The key is to make them feel loved and keep them active. Also, reward the dog with petting or dog goodies when he is happy or satisfied with the activity he performs. For example, you can go for a walk in the countryside, go to the beach, the park ... See how he reacts and what he likes best.

It is very important not to encourage negative behavior, if you give rewards when you are sad, you will believe that this is what you should do.

Our friend needs all our love and attention to get out of that state of inactivity in which he is involved.

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Treatment of depression in dogs: medicines

Antidepressants should not be given to the dog just because we suspect he has depression, or to be prevented. Antidepressant treatments are aggressive and should only be used as a last resort. In fact, They are not always effective, neither in people nor in dogs, even, in the case of the dog, they can be counterproductive. After all, they can't tell us how they feel while they are medicated.

The best for treating depression in dogs is try to detect what causes that state and solve it by eliminating that negative stimulus, giving attention and affection.