We all experience depression at some point in our lives. Stress at work, bills to pay, losing someone and other problems can easily dampen our spirits. Dogs feel the same way and can even spiral into depression just like us. A few common causes of depression in dogs include loss of an owner or a fellow dog, welcoming a baby or another dog, moving into a new house, being left alone for several hours daily and lack of stimulation, among other things.
Here are 5 warning signs to watch out for to know if your dog is depressed:
Change in Appetite
People deal with stress and sadness in different ways. Some lose their appetite while some stress eat and this is how it is with pets as well. If you feed your pet at regular times each day and notice a change in his eating habits, he is most likely feeling emotional. While some eat their way through their sadness, most dogs lose their appetite and lose a few pounds.
Change in Sleep Pattern
While dogs love to sleep, they try hard not to in your presence (especially when you’ve just come home from work). Normally they would want to play with you and try to get your attention. When he continues to sleep and ignores your presence, he is likely feeling depressed. The same goes when he is the opposite – when he is restless and can’t sleep through the night.
Loss of Interest
Dogs love to play with toys, run around and go out for walks. A red flag of depression is when your pet suddenly loses interest in the things that used to excite him. Usually he will ignore you and his toys and he has to be dragged outside for his daily walk.
Like us, our pets are not in the mood to socialize when they’re sad or depressed. Hiding in a quiet corner in the house or an upstairs bedroom may mean that he’s sad.
Some dogs let out their sadness by being aggressive and destructive. While chewing on random stuff may be a sign of boredom, making a mess and excessive chewing might be a sign of depression.
When your fur baby shows a sign or two mentioned above, it doesn’t mean that he’s depressed. It is still best to get the opinion of your vet for the right diagnosis. In the meantime, shower your dog with love and attention, make sure that he’s active and most importantly, don’t forget the treats!