Antidepressants like Prozac are only given to dogs with severe cases of depression, and usually for short periods of time. Also, consider natural remedies including flower essences and a calming essential oil diffuser. Understanding Depression In Canines. They may drink only minimal amounts of water and lose interest in play. Generally speaking, when we speak of a depressed dog we are referring to a dog who is exhibiting a change in behavior that manifests as decreased interest in normal activities or a change in interaction with his family. It's important to verify whether or not your dog is sick or has a chemical imbalance that should be treated with medication. Depression, unfortunately, is something that can affect dogs just as much as it affects humans and is a very common issue for many dog owners. Dogs get depressed just like people do. If this is happening to your dog, you need to address it right away by taking them to the veterinarian for a check up and possible diagnostics. If your dog is acting out of character, first rule out a health problem by a trip to the vet, before assuming the problem is low mood." Exercising with your dog is a wonderful way to begin.. So if a dog seems sad, are they depressed or reflecting their pet parent’s mood? Do Dogs Get Depressed? If the vet finds that your dog is physically healthy, the best thing you can do is maintain the routine that you and your dog had before the traumatic event, to get her back to a sense of normalcy. Depression can also be triggered from major changes in the dog's routine whether it is a new baby, new pet, or even moving into a new house. Read on to find out reasons why dogs get depressed, and what you can do to get … Medications are sometimes thought of as a last resort, but there are cases when they are the best option. Your vet will be able to determine if the depression has a physical cause. This is a tricky question to answer because dogs can’t talk. Blind dogs also benefit a lot from living with other dogs … (Picture Credit: Cavan Images/Getty Images) This … This is not inherently bad, but do try not to coddle or overly comfort your dog. Some advice from veterinarian, Pippa Elliott MRCVS: "Dogs do get depressed, for sure. If your dog suddenly loses interest in playing, going for walks, and other things that … I would do anything to turn my dog's sadness around! BMJ, doi:10.1136/vetreco-2015-000146. You may believe you are your dog’s whole world, and you basically are! I would come through the … If the timing is right for your family, you may consider getting another dog. Is My Dog Depressed? If you are dealing with the death of one of your dogs, there are several things you can do to help your remaining dog (or dogs) get through this difficult time. There are also some dogs who will eat a lot more when they get depressed, because dog food can serve as a comfort to them.If your dog has experienced extreme weight loss in a short amount of time, there might be a chance there is a chemical imbalance caused by clinical depression. However, one might wonder if dogs … If several months go by and your dog is still depressed or experiencing anxiety, a vet might prescribe medical treatment. Canines are usually able to get over dog depression on their own, with loving attention from their owners. If your veterinarian does not think a physical illness is the culprit, consider making some changes at home to try to make life fun again. By using The Spruce Pets, you accept our, 6 Things Your Vet Wants You to Know (But Won't Tell You), How to Stop Your Dog From Peeing in the House, Ways to Help Your Itchy Dog With Allergies. Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, 2020, Can My Pet Get Depressed?. 15+ Popular Stores You Didn't Know Were Dog Friendly, Pets Becoming Fake Service Dogs is a Serious Problem, Separation Anxiety in Dogs: 6 Breeds That Hate Being Alone, New Giant Mattress Is 12 Feet Across, Perfect for All the Pets. If your dog is dealing with any of these changes and exhibiting the signs listed above, depression is the likely culprit. Too much coddling and comforting on your part may actually reinforce the sad behavior. Do dogs even get depressed? Well, it could be that your dog is depressed. Sometimes depression is weather related. Continue to try to engage her with activities she used to enjoy, like going to the dog park, and make sure you pay her extra attention. Slow deterioration and loss of initiative are definite clues that something is bothering your dog. Like humans, some dogs can occasionally suffer from bouts of depression. You may find that some shorter-term techniques quickly change your dog's behavior. Maybe this is in part the reason why most dogs don’t seem to miss their puppies – they know, in ways that a lot of human moms don’t seem to, when it’s time to let go. Excessive sleeping could signify depressed behavior. Again, these depression symptoms are remarkably similar to humans. It is very important to try your best to stay on schedule and stick to your normal routine. This can give your dog a sense of security and boost his confidence. Try to engage in fun activities with your dog, like games, fun tricks, and general training. When dogs become depressed, they often eat less or even stop eating. If none of these activities seem to be helping, your vet may still be able to help. Tell us how you handled it in the comments below. 8. It could be a physical injury, or it could be purely emotional. There are several potential causes of depression in dogs. It's possible your dog is depressed. Issue a calm reprimand. There are also some dogs who will eat a lot more when they get depressed, because dog food can serve as a comfort to them. Remember that the right place to begin is with your veterinarian. If there isn't an underlying medical condition, then I'd try increasing my dog's activity levels as a way to ensure my dog's mood improves. You may not realize it, but dogs do grieve the loss of a companion. Depressed dogs will often lick their paws to soothe themselves. Why Your Dog Seems Sad and Depressed All of a Sudden Just like humans, dogs react to their environment. Proceed carefully. Some vets will prescribe a drug like fluoxetine (Prozac) though this is not right for all dogs. You may also consider seeking the help of an animal behaviorist. Now two years into a project to train dogs to go into an MRI — fully awake — so that we can better understand how their brains work, I believe the answer is: Yes, dogs miss us when we’re gone. If that’s the case, they may discuss canine anti-depressants with you or recommend other courses of … Significant changes in your life can directly affect their life. What Can We Learn from Pets with Mental Illnesses? If some of the major changes are triggering anxiety and you've put your finger on the source of the problem - try working with your veterinary behaviorist or a trainer on techniques that decrease these triggers. However, what we can say is that dogs do show symptoms of what looks like depression. You might come home from work and find that your dog doesn't want to get out of bed. Keep feeding times and amounts the same, and take her on plenty of walks so that she can get enough exercise. You may also consider letting your dog play with other dogs or go to doggie daycare. It could be triggered by something major such as a move into a new home, a death of a pet sibling or an addition of a new family member to the household such as a baby or another pet. Key triggers to look out for include: Loss of a family member (human or animal) can affect dogs and other animals just as much as people. The Spruce Pets uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. The Use Of Fluoxetine By Veterinarians In Dogs And Cats: A Preliminary Survey. As you progress into the training program, specific activities will be outlined to help you deal with this issue. There may be no underlying root cause for depression in your dog that you can pinpoint, however a variety of factors and life events can potentially lead to your dog becoming depressed and unhappy for a time. If your dog suddenly starts hiding from you or wants to be left alone, that's a strong indication that something is bothering her. As a loving dog owner, you will be relieved to learn that you can actually help your dog if it is addressed. Yet, sometimes, it is because they feel that their time is nearly up. This may be helpful if your dog is depressed because of losing a companion. In particular wintery conditions, it may not be feasible to take your dog for a walk. They can even lose interest in play. As a pet owner, how do you fight an invisible, inner enemy? When dogs are depressed, they often appear sad, lethargic, and withdrawn. Depression in dogs is typically observed through behavioral changes that can’t be explained by any other health issues. If your dog has experienced extreme weight loss in a short amount of time, there might be a chance there is a chemical imbalance caused by clinical depression. Has your dog ever gone through depression? Some dogs get depressed when being aged. Is My Dog Depressed? Reality: Blind dogs enjoy walks and going outside and going on car rides! Sometimes, new dogs can be a source of stress and agitation for a current dog which creates more problems. While it is true that depression in dogs often resolve on its own after a short time, it is important to be proactive with dog's with depression. Signs of depression can look very similar to signs of illness. That will only encourage it to be repeated. Your vet will help you rule out any health issues or physical problems. The good news is that you can help to alleviate your dog's depression and get him or her feeling better again. They might be less interested in doing something that previously they love. MYTH: Blind dogs are depressed and don’t do anything. Take some time to bond with your dog. Still, your dog is accustomed to a specific lifestyle. Eventually, some depressed dogs can lose drastic amounts of weight and develop a variety of physical illnesses. If you suspect your dog is depressed, start with a veterinary appointment to identify the causes of your dog's depression. 1, 2016, p. e000146. As we mentioned previously, first, take your dog to the vet to make sure these symptoms are not caused by a physical ailment. Do not pet, cuddle, baby talk or otherwise reward the dog after the aggressive behavior. So, is your dog depressed? Just like humans, dogs get depressed due to a number of factors – all of which we will discuss within this article. These behavioral or … There's a lot you need to know to make things go smoothly with your new friend. If it seems like your dog is displaying excessive licking or biting behavior, he may be depressed. Check for physical problems first, but if you can’t find anything and the symptoms continue, he may be depressed. Eastern Shore Hospital, 2020, Kaur, Gagandeep et al. Veterinary Record Open, vol 3, no. It’s like, “Okay, I’ve done all I can here, now scoot!” It’s the human equivalent of getting them packed up and off to university. In dogs, depression is not exactly the same complex clinical disorder that it is in people. The first step is recognizing the problem. Losing a pet is a sad and stressful situation for everyone, including the other dogs in the household. On the other hand, old age is also another symptom of depression in dogs. The reasons may be different. However, for your existing pups, they may need help adjusting to a new dog. And reward them when they show signs of happiness, Beaver said. I've found that a loss of family member can be extremely stressful and a cause of depression. We look at pets as being a part of the family and because of this, it really takes a toll on us when we see them diagnosed with depression and begin to misbehave. It's well-known that dogs form strong emotional bonds with members of their human family, and often suffer grief when a loved one dies or moves away. Dogs can be incredibly sensitive to events and changes that happen around them which is why most often dogs develop depression that is situational. Some dogs will stop eating or eat much less than usual. However, this could make things worse if your current dog does not accept the new dog. Dog Depression Dog depression affects a number of pets. So when you’re feeling sad because you’ve lost a beloved pet, your dog is feeding off your sadness. When dogs are depressed, they often appear sad and withdrawn.