Dog depression: what to look for and how to relieve symptoms

Dog depression

Like their owners, dogs can become depressed and not act like their usual happy and active selves. Commons signals that your dog may be depressed include a decrease in appetite and drinking less water, changes in personality, sluggishness and excess sleeping, weight loss and clinginess. These symptoms are similar to those in humans but can be even more dangerous for your dog and seriously affect your dog's health. Dog depression symptoms can be brought on by a number of factors, and once these symptoms start, it is important to act right away to prevent further depression. Grieving a loss, moving to a new home, or possibly the weather can affect your dog. Sometimes the loss of a pet playmate or a close human companion can lead to depressed dog behavior. If your dog is being left alone often this can also cause dog depression. Bring your dog to a park or dog run to interact with other animals or take more walks and show lots of affection and attention. If possible, get a new dog so your pet is not home alone all day. If you cannot take your dog on vacation with you, choose a kennel or dog daycare facility where your dog can play with others and won’t be in a cage all day. Socializing your dog is important to prevent and ease depressed dog symptoms. Sometimes there are deeper physical problems for depressed dog symptoms. If doing more fun activities and socializing your pet does not improve your dog's behavior, visit your veterinarian to check that other physical factors are not the cause of dog depression. With blood work, x-rays and a physical examination your vet can diagnose a possible chemical imbalance or medical condition such as Canine Coranavirus. If a chemical imbalance is the cause the depressed dog symptoms, an anti-depressant may be prescribed by your vet. Do not give your dog any medicine on your own without first consulting your vet. Though a holistic treatment may not be your vet’s first recommendation, there are also herbal supplements available for dogs that could help relieve dog depression. Ask your vet before using any of these treatments to be safe. If you suspect your dog is depressed, do not wait long to visit your vet if depressed dog symptoms, like losing interest in eating and drinking and excess sleeping, persist. These can be signs of health problems and should be addressed by a doctor as soon as possible. To prevent depression-like symptoms associated with changes, ease your dog into any transitions and be prepared to show a little more affection and be more active with your dog to keep him happy and healthy.