Just like humans, dogs can also experience depression. Being a speechless creature, your dog unable to communicate his melancholy to you, however, you can always get to know about your dog’s emotional or mental state by observing his behavior. When humans get depressed, they start behaving differently, and even they start withdrawing themselves from life. Many of human depression signs are similar to dog depression. When a dog suffers from depression then he starts losing his interest in his daily routine.
Canine depression can be triggered due to numerous reasons such as the loss of a family member, moving to a new house or a new baby, etc. Generally, depression in a dog occurs when he couldn’t handle any major change in his life and started experiencing a full range of emotions. Even any traumatic event such as injury or surgery can also result in causing depression in dogs. When any change takes place, it affects a dog’s mental health and makes him anxious and depressed.
If you notice any unusual behavior in your dog or see him sad or aloof then you need to look out for any warning signs of dog depression. In order to help your dog part his ways from depression, you need to recognize all the possible signs of depression then you can take effective steps to fix it. Just like humans, a dog’s mental health is as important as his physical health. Also, poor mental health can also affect your dog’s physical health in the long run. A dog’s sudden shutting down behavior should be taken seriously as overlooking it will only result in making him feel more depressed.
We’ve rounded a few warning signs of dog depression which every dog should be aware of:
Sleeping too much or too little
One of the most common signs of depression is a change in sleeping habits. Dogs love to live an active lifestyle but when they choose to spend their time sleeping all day long then it implies that they are not in a happy state. Although canines sleep around 12 hours a day, however, when you get back from work and your dog barely moves from his bed to greet to then it signifies depressed behavior. Sometimes, when a dog is depressed, he can also become insomniac. A dog may find it hard to sleep when the reason behind his depression is related to any physical pain which is why he is unable to sleep properly. If you notice any change in your dog’s sleeping habits then considers taking him to a veterinarian.
Increase or decrease in appetite
One of the most common signs of depression in both humans & dogs is the increase/decrease in appetite. When a dog suddenly loses his interest in eating then it can be an indication of depression. When a dog feels upset or depressed then his food consumption also starts fluctuating so on noticing that your dog has gained or lost a few pounds then you need to take him to see a veterinarian.
Hiding from everyone
When a dog feels depressed or sad, he displays avoidant behavior. Generally, a dog hides when he suffers from any illness or injury, and he wants to be left alone as it will make him feel better. On noticing that your dog is trying to hide himself then you need to understand that maybe something is bothering him either mentally or physically.
Sometimes, when a dog started feeling blue, he starts licking himself excessively to soothe himself. Generally, dogs lick themselves in order to clean or scratch them, however, excessive licking could be a warning sign of depression.
Another common sign of canine depression is destructive behavior. A dog tends to display destructive behavior when he has some form of mental or emotional issues. Being sad for a prolonged time can make a dog aggressive and destructive. On noticing any destructive behavior in your dog, you need to seek help from a veterinarian.
Lack of interest in toys
Dogs love to play with their toys but when depression triggers, they started losing interest in their toys. If you notice that your furry friend has suddenly stopped playing with his favorite toys then this could be a sign of depression. You need to spend more time with your dog & reintroduce the toys to him so that he can start playing with it again.
Another way dogs display depression is by excessive howling. Howling is a way of vocalizing in the canine world but it often signifies as a depressed behavior. If your dog keeps on howling on a regular basis then you need to consider it as a mournful howl. When a dog feels extremely sad or depressed then he tends to engage himself in the howling behavior.
Depression is not just experienced by humans, sometimes our innocent fur balls also experience it. Luckily, we can help our furry companion to get rid of any trace of depression, however, to be able to help him, it is highly crucial to acknowledge all the warming signs. On noticing any of these signs, you need to contact your vet immediately.