What is dog depression?

People get depressed when they are in a bad mood, and so do dogs. If your dog starts to have a poor appetite and is depressed, there is a good chance that he or she is suffering from depression. There are three main reasons for this condition: the outside environment, the dog’s owner and the dog itself. When the dog’s living environment suddenly changes, such as a new family member, forced to separate from the owner, can cause the dog depression.


Can dogs feel depressed and anxious?

Dogs play an important role in people’s family life, they grow up with people and bring joy to them, but you should not think that seemingly ever carefree dogs are not depressed, dogs also have feelings, since they have feelings they can also feel happy or sad, they also have emotional needs, and naturally they can feel depressed for some reasons.

What is black dog and depression?

The feeling of being bitten by a “black dog”, as described by depressed people, is that the patient is in a long-term emotional depression and has difficulty getting out of it. There are many clinical manifestations of the “black dog” of depression. Clinical signs of depression include fatigue, depressed mood, silence, lack of concentration, reduced interest, sleepiness or insomnia, reluctance to leave the house, poor appetite or bulimia, palpitations and panic attacks.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

How do you know if your dog is depressed?

Identify changes in your dog’s behavior

1. Observe whether your dog has become withdrawn. Healthy, happy dogs are very outgoing, if you come home, he is indifferent to you, lazy and unwilling to move, or lose interest in activities that used to be of interest, then he is probably depressed.

Instead of running to the front door to greet guests, a depressed dog will find a corner to curl up and sleep.

If your dog is avoiding you, it is likely to be injured, sick, or depressed.

There is also the opposite situation. Some dogs suffer from depression when they like to stick to their master everywhere but are not willing to communicate.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

2. observe whether the original lively dog has become lifeless. A happy dog seems to have inexhaustible energy, and when you finish walking a section of the road, it has walked back and forth on this section several times. It will tirelessly take back the ball you threw out, your arms are sore from throwing, it has not played enough.

However, when the dog is in a bad mood, he will droop his ears and follow you with a hard gait. When you stop to gossip with friends, it sits down or even lies down.

When a dog shows these symptoms, it could be suffering from depression.

3. Observe if your dog strolls. If the dog constantly pacing back and forth from room to room, fidgeting, it most likely has depression.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

4. Observe whether the dog’s sleeping habits have changed. Dogs like to sleep, especially when the owner is not home. However, if you have arrived home, it is still sleeping, or when the letter carrier or other dogs passing your house can not get his attention, you should be careful.

5. pay attention to changes in the dog’s appetite. Dogs suffering from depression eat less and will become thinner. However, just like people, some dogs will overeat when they are not feeling well. Be aware of the following conditions: resisting their usual favorite big meals, gaining weight or losing weight.

6. A dog with depression may destroy things in the house. If the dog does not often go out for air, he will be depressed, and then destroy the home shoes, walls, books, furniture or pillows. This time you should not be angry, take him out to play, and let him urinate and defecate outside.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

7. Observe if the dog becomes aggressive. When you try to communicate with your dog and he gets irritable or even tries to bite you, it means he may have depression.

Observe your dog’s body language

1. Pay attention to your dog’s eyes. When dogs are in pain, stressed or depressed, they always squint their eyes. Depressed dogs don’t want to look at anyone, not even you.

Of course, some dogs’ eyes look sad when they are happy, because they are born with droopy eyelids. So, you have to have a little common sense to see which situation your dog really belongs to.

2. Observe if the dog has drooping ears. A melancholy dog does not respond to the sounds around it. For example, you called its name or took its collar and leash ready to take it out to play, but it did not move.

3. Observe whether the dog licks its paws. Dogs will lick their paws to seek comfort when they are depressed.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

4. Observe whether the dog is hanging its head down. Depressed dogs, whether standing or sitting, like to hang their heads down and do not care about what is happening around them.

5. Observe the dog’s tail. A melancholy dog always has its tail between its legs, and even if you reluctantly let it wag its tail, it is still duplicitous.

6. full attention to the dog’s movements. A depressed dog will stand with its head or tail down, move slowly, and take little interest in what is happening around it.

7. Observe whether the dog has lost more hair than usual. When a dog is depressed, the hair loss will increase. If you find a lot of dog hair on your hands after petting your dog, or if you find more dog hair on the floor when you clean the house, he may be suffering from depression.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

What are the signs and symptoms of dog depression?

  • 1. Dogs with depression are difficult to excite and remain lethargic and sullen no matter how entertaining or engaging their parents are.
  • 2. The dog loses interest in the food and toys he used to love, and the exercise he usually likes will stop.
  • 3. The amount of water consumed decreases significantly and is much lower than before.
  • 4. abnormal hair loss, the dog loses a lot of hair when gently grooming the coat.
  • 5. The dog with depression will become very self-absorbed, reluctant to communicate with parents or other dogs, contact, prefer to be alone.
  • 6. The dog will become lazy and will not want to go out of his den or home except for necessary physical activities.
  • 7. Appetite is significantly reduced, eating less and losing weight.
  • 8. the dog will become sleepy, he can sleep from morning to night, if the parents wake him up, will definitely offend him.
  • 9. A depressed dog is slow to move, and you will notice that he always seems slow and breathless in everything he does.
  • 10. A depressed dog can be aggressive, as violent behavior is one of the typical signs of depression.
  • 11. A depressed dog is more prone to anger, often provoked by small things, and the anger is hard to quell in a short time.
  • 12. dogs can become timid, easily nervous, and react violently to the stimuli of the external environment.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

What are the causes of depression in dogs?

1. Lack of exercise – Some dogs inhibit socialization when they are not given enough exercise and playtime. This may manifest in reduced interaction with other family members or in staying alone in the kennel or other rooms. If you notice that an otherwise happy and active dog suddenly becomes depressed, consider the possibility that he or she needs more exercise. Increase the amount of daily activity.

Most dogs need more physical activity than even their owners think they should. You should give your dog three sessions of sustained, heart-pounding exercise per week, and each session should be no shorter than 20 minutes. Thirty minutes is better than 20 minutes, and six or seven times a week is better than three times a week.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

Meeting the minimum exercise requirements will prevent muscle atrophy, but not necessarily increase muscle mass, strengthen tendons and ligaments, sharpen balance and proprioception, and improve cardiovascular health, which is why more exercise is better. If you can take your dog for daily walks and provide additional training activities for your dog to achieve other exercise goals, all the better!

2. Lack of human interaction – If a healthy dog is depressed, it may lose interest in eating or playing, become depressed, make a mess in the house or stop running to greet you when you come home. Like a lethargic, lazy dog, a depressed dog often just needs quality companionship from its owner.

Make it a habit to spend an hour a day with your dog, with physical activity, coat repair, training routines and gentle touching. This will also help you relax!

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

3. Punishment – If a dog is punished for bad behavior rather than rewarded for good behavior, it may stop interacting with its owner in an attempt to avoid abuse. Dogs can enter a depressed state called “learned helplessness” because they feel powerless to avoid negative situations.

4. The importance of positive reinforcement behavior training cannot be overstated. This method will help your dog become a friendly canine citizen and maintain and preserve the significant relationship you have built with him.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

5. Presence of illness – If your dog is exhibiting behavioral changes, even if you suspect you know the cause, it is best to make an appointment to see your veterinarian.

Most behavioral changes indicative of depression, including loss of appetite, making a mess in the house, lethargy, resistance to exercise, and sudden aggressive behavior in dogs that have never shown aggression, can also be signs of any underlying illness.

6. Owner Depression – Dogs are susceptible to their owner’s emotional state, which they can sense by observing the owner’s voice tone, body language and other subtle cues, including the owner’s pheromones (emitting scent). How the owner moves, speaks, and behaves can send subtle signals to the dog indicating the owner’s mood.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

For example, when you are in a stressful situation, such as a veterinarian’s office, the dog will expect you to put him at ease. If he senses that you are nervous, he may become more anxious. Dogs are highly intuitive; therefore, if you are feeling depressed, it is no surprise that your dog will also seem depressed.

Loss of a human family member or pet playmate – It’s not uncommon for dogs to grieve the loss of a close human or animal friend. Animal behavior experts believe that dogs have the same basic emotions as people, including grief, fear, anger, happiness, sadness and even possessiveness.

When a dog is grieving the loss of a friend, it usually leads to depression. Signs of depression in dogs are similar to those in people and include lethargy, slow movement, decreased appetite and lack of interest in playing.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

If your dog seems depressed by the loss of a close human or animal friend, engage him in daily activities that he enjoys, such as walks, fetch games or trips to the dog park. Things your dog enjoys can distract him, and given enough time. He will stop looking around for a friend that has disappeared.

What to do when you determine your dog is depressed

1. Determine if your dog is sick. When a dog becomes abnormal, it is best to take him to the vet. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if your dog is depressed or sick because the symptoms are very similar, so it’s best to see a vet.

2. Find out why your dog is depressed. A healthy dog can’t just become depressed for no reason. You need to find out if anything special has happened recently to irritate it, because a dog is a very regular animal. If its routine is broken, it will become abnormal. [17] Changes in routine may include.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

Stress: In the dog’s world, stress comes from anything that distracts him from

  • 1. The owner who was staying at home now goes to work.
  • 2. There is a new baby or puppy in the house.
  • 3. The sudden loss of a companion, who may be a human or a dog.
  • 4. Moving house.
  • 5. Given away by the owner.
  • 6. The house is rebuilt or redecorated.

Can a dog get depressed and stop eating and not eating?

Yes, dogs are actually the same as people when they are depressed, they are in a bad mood and have no desire to eat, if this is the case, we also need to pay attention to whether the dog is depressed.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

Can a dog die from depression?

Puppy depression can lead to death.

When a dog suffers from depression, it will show no enthusiasm for life, no interest in food, kind, toys, emotional instability, easily angered, and slowly lose weight. There will also be a loss of appetite, body wasting, immune system decline, so it will increase the chances of dog death. If the owner does not intervene in time to treat the dog, the dog can die of depression.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

The solution to dog depression requires owners to take care of their dogs, take care of their dogs’ emotions, prevent them from being frightened, use their time off to spend more time with their dogs, if there is not enough time, you can find a small partner for your dog to play with it, when the owner is away from home, the dog will always miss the owner, then you can leave some small snacks for the dog, so that the dog distracted.

Can dogs get seasonal depression?

There is no direct data to show that dogs can get seasonal depression.

Can dogs get depressed after being spayed or neutered?

For a dog, after neutering, its own body has one less important part, it may become, what we usually call depressed, the dog depression after neutering may become introverted, at this time the owner only needs to give the dog more love and comfort, stay with the dog, let it understand that after neutering, the owner’s love for it is the same, and over time, the dog will naturally not be depressed. Secondly, no research data shows that dogs suffer from long-term depression after spaying and neutering.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

What about post-surgical depression in dogs?

Interact and have fun with your dog often. You targeted more time to communicate and interact with your dog. For example, playing with toys, playing games together, going outdoors together, walking your dog every morning and evening, etc. are all good ways to bring each other closer and are key to guiding your dog out of depression.

Give your dog more love, spend more time with your dog when you are off work or at home, let your dog rely on you, increase the good feeling, so that your dog will open up his heart and trust you.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

How to cure depression in dogs?

1. Spend more time with your dog. You can take a walk with your dog, do games, play tricks, go to the dog park, throw a ball for him to catch. You can even tug of war with it, through which you can train your dog to be flexible. When watching TV with your dog, sit with him instead of sitting alone in a chair and ignoring him. Whatever you decide to do, you need to make sure your dog is as happy as you are, which may help him overcome his depression.

2. Give your dog more opportunities to socialize. If your dog has lost a companion, then find him a new one. Dogs need more interaction, so if you don’t have a lot of time for them, don’t leave them alone at home. You can send him to daycare a few days a week or hire someone to walk him and take him to the park as often as possible.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

3. Reward your dog when it behaves well. Many dog owners always make a big deal out of their dog’s misbehavior, which is bad for the dog.

For example, if your dog doesn’t eat and you keep making a fuss about it, you will inadvertently make your dog think that not eating is a fun thing to do.

At this point, you set the bowl aside and ignore it, and if it will eat, praise it promptly.

Regularly encouraging positive behavior can help your dog get rid of depression.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

4. Keep a regular routine to make your dog feel secure. Dogs feel insecure whenever there is a change, so try to make their lives as regular as possible.

5. If your dog’s symptoms of depression do not improve, take him to the veterinarian. If your dog has an endocrine disorder, you will want to take him to the veterinarian’s office for fluoxetine (a medication for depression), or for behavior modification.


  • 1. When you notice signs of depression in your dog, recall how he usually behaves. It should be expected for an otherwise docile dog to refuse to get up and greet guests, so there is no need to worry too much. The original vivacious and outgoing dog suddenly refused to greet guests, it is certainly a depression.
  • 2. if you are at home when the dog is unhappy, this must not be a good thing. If you don’t care much about your dog, don’t take him for walks often, or even leave him alone in the yard, then you don’t know what he’s interested in. Leaving your dog alone for a few days, weeks, months or even a lifetime is abusing it.
  • 3. Whether you live in the city or the country, you should not tether your dog or confine them to restrict their freedom, as this will make them feel nervous.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

How to cheer up a depressed dog?

  • 1. many reasons affect the depression of dogs, subjective factors depend mainly on their timid, inferior character; objective factors are mainly the following: such as the depression period after the neutering operation, the sudden change in the external environment, the family for no reason added a new member, the owner’s mood affects their mood and so on.
  • 2. If the dog belongs to timid and inferior character, the owner should give them double the love, after work or usually at home, should be more with them, with the dependence being the first step out of the house.
  • 3. just after birth control surgery, dogs often feel inferior due to physical defects. The owners should do is to take them out for walks, say goodbye to the gloom, and restore confidence. At the same time, they are hormonally imbalanced, so it is essential to control their weight to avoid gaining weight.
  • 4. if a new environment, such as moving home or going away to a friend or neighbor to look after temporarily, it is best to take them to familiarize themselves with the environment in advance, and when brought to the new environment, you can carry some old objects from the old address to increase the degree of affection and nostalgia.
  • 5. If a new member of the family, like a new pet, or a new baby in the family, it is easy to neglect them, this time, the owner should allocate a good opportunity, both to take into account the harmony of the two, but also to treat them equally.
  • 6. When the owners are in a bad mood, it is easy to influence the mood of the dogs, in order to let the dogs to eliminate concerns, owners try not to bring home bad feelings, and not to take them as a punching bag.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

What are the dog depression medications?

“If nothing else, medications can help dogs get rid of depression. Karen Sueda, DVM, a diplomat at the American College of Veterinary Behavior, says the medications used to treat depressed dogs are the same as those used for depressed humans – Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft. she also uses the FDA-approved drug for separation anxiety in dogs Clomicalm”.

How to find the cause of depression in dogs and how to solve the dog depression

That’s the end of today’s discussion on the signs, causes and solutions of depression in dogs. If you still have questions, we welcome you to contact us at any time and we will get back to you as soon as we receive your contact.

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